Province standardizes work types in transcription services

March 4, 2016

We’ve all heard the phrase “less is more.” The idea is that a simple, straightforward approach is usually better than one that’s unnecessarily complex.

With that idea in mind a team of physicians, transcriptionists and health information managers from across Saskatchewan recently took part in a two-day standardization event (February 25 and 26). Their goal was to streamline the number of work types currently used throughout the province to record medical dictations after patient care events, like medical tests and procedures.

By the end of the two-day session, the number of acute care templates that will be used on a go-forward basis at the provincial level was significantly reduced from 171 to just eight – a 95 per cent improvement! Not only were the templates standardized, the fields within them were simplified and, in some cases, renamed as well. Only requisite fields were kept.

Pictured above: participants working on a template.

“I really enjoyed the session,” said Cathy Makie, director of health information management services in Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. “It was very well organized and the 3sHealth team did a great job! It was a very good mix of physicians, transcriptionists and managers from all the different regions. I think we got to a good place by working together like we did.”

Leslie Sharp, director of health information services in Sunrise Health Region, echoed the sentiment. “I found the template standardization process that was used to be very engaging and exciting. Prior to my attendance at this event I was unsure how 3sHealth would accomplish such a huge standardization undertaking. I felt 3sHealth did a great job of listening and responding to participant comments, identifying gaps where more information and participation is required and ultimately accomplishing the goal everyone was tasked with. I think Saskatchewan is on its way to setting a golden standard for improving communication in the care and experience of our patients.”

Pictured above: the full group who worked hard to standardize the provincial templates.

The standardized templates have been supplied to M*Modal (the vendor of new voice recognition software called Fluency for Transcription that will be used throughout Saskatchewan for acute care dictation and transcription work). M*Modal is now building these templates into their system. As the technology is introduced on a region-by-region basis, providers will gain access to the full functionality of the system, including the new templates. The first three regions that will test drive the new system and templates are Sun Country, Prairie North and Heartland.

Pictured above: participants literally giving a "thumbs up" on each template.

The revised set of standardized templates will go a long way toward improving how acute care dictation and transcription work will be done throughout the province. Physicians and other providers who dictate will all use the same types of templates to dictate reports after care events. This improves the quality of dictated reports, which directly benefits patients. And transcriptionists will be able to work more effectively using standardized reports.

A few additional templates to support dictation and transcription work in mental health services may be created to accommodate the unique needs of patients and providers in this stream of care. An event will be held on March 23 to determine what additional templates might be required.

pdf  2016-03-04-Province-standardizes-work-types-in-transcription-services.pdf

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