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Letter times reduced by using BigHand

14th December 2011

Waiting times for letters has been dramatically reduced by the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust following the introduction of digital dictation.

The wait time between letters being dictated and being sent to a doctor has fallen from six weeks to one week since the change to digital just over a year ago.

The results were presented to the BigHand Healthcare user conference by the trust’s medical directorate manager Adam Carson and ICT programme manager Gunther Empl.

Previously, trust staff who operated in the community would return to their office base to type and dictate before returning out again to see patients but they can now record dictations on BlackBerry smartphones, Olympus digital dictation devices and mobile phones.

The BigHand system also removes geographical barriers to work sharing for secretaries, so they can better manage their work flow, the conference was told.

Since October 2010, 126,000 dictations have gone through the system and a key reason for the reduction in time-lag between letters is the ability of medical secretaries to share their work.

Empl said: “Previously it hardly ever happened; if a secretary was on holiday, nothing happened until she was back to work.”

Another benefit has been the complete elimination of patient information being lost because analogue tapes went missing while security had increased because the small mobile devices were more discreet.

Clinicians have also expressed satisfaction with the sound quality, the security of the voice files and the fact they no longer had to hand in tapes.

 

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