Two-thirds of medical reports being transcribed in 24 hours or less

November 16, 2016

Naomi Kirkness

Healthcare providers need quick and easy access to accurate patient information. And now, because of the provincial transcription service, physicians and other clinicians are getting that sort of information in much less time.

October statistics from the four regions that have transitioned to the provincial service show that 65 per cent of medical reports that have been dictated by a physician after a patient care event are being transcribed and distributed to care providers in 24 hours or less. It’s a stat that’s been steadily improving month after month.

October statistics also show that the longest wait time for a report to be transcribed once it had been dictated was 30 hours (down from 103 hours in September and 220 hours in August).

We’ve been successful because of the tremendous uptake by physicians and transcriptionists,” said Lorne Shiplack, manager of the provincial transcription service. “And now that four regions are on the same system, a dictation done in one region can be transcribed in another, depending on capacity. It’s a much more efficient way to work and really puts the needs of patients first.”

Four regions + one software = a more efficient way to work

The software now in place in the Sun Country, Prairie North, Heartland, and Cypress health regions is called Fluency for Transcription. Transcriptionists in those four regions, along with 3sHealth, right now comprise the provincial transcription service, with more regions due to come on in the months ahead.

With Fluency for Transcription (FFT), physicians and other care providers create electronic audio files of their dictations. Every time someone dictates, the technology “learns” that person’s speech patterns and the accuracy of dictations improves. Transcriptionists then listen to recordings and type up the appropriate medical reports. Over time as the system gets more accurate at capturing dictations, transcriptionists listen to the playback and check it against text files displayed on screen. Edits made at that point help improve the accuracy of the system.

FFT improves the work experience of transcriptionists, as the system allows for the automatic distribution of reports and “pulls” patient demographic information into it from other administrative and clinical systems, which saves time. With FFT, transcribed reports can be more quickly integrated into patients’ electronic health records, enabling better care.

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