BigHand Digital Dictation helps Salisbury NHS Trust improve turnaround times, reduce costs


Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust save £21k and reduce transcription turnaround times from 15 days to 3 in the first year with BigHand

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust is a major acute trust serving over 200,000 people in Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire. Every year they take care of over 40,000 A&E cases, 20,000 day surgery cases and 30,000 inpatient admissions. Their specialist services, such as burns, plastic surgery, cleft lip and palate, genetics and rehabilitation, extend to a much wider population of more than three million people. The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury District Hospital covers most of southern England with a population of approximately 11 million people. The Trust’s staff provide outpatient clinics in other locations in Dorset and Hampshire. Specialist staff hold outreach clinics in hospitals within the Wessex area and, in total; the Trust employed 4,116 staff in March 2010. This includes full and part-time staff.

Currently the Trust has over 300 users of BigHand’s Digital Dictation software, with over 180 Authors and 80 Secretaries, covering 22 clinical departments including Urology, Plastics and Oral Surgery and Pediatrics. During the month of May 2011, this equated to the completion of over 12,000 Dictations.

The solution

BigHand Correspond is a customized Digital Dictation, Speech Recognition and clinical correspondence solution designed by the NHS for the NHS to replaces tape and paper-based systems.

With BigHand, Clinicians, Medical Secretaries and Service Level Managers are provided with an intuitive, easy to use interface enabling them to easily create, track, transcribe and manage workloads, as well as allowing them to leverage additional options such as Speech Recognition, Outsourcing or smartphone-based Dictation.

The Trust completed an initial pilot in Orthopedics and General Medicine between November 2008 and January 2009 to establish whether Digital Dictation and Speech Recognition could provide an easy to use and reliable solution to improving efficiency and saving costs within the Trust. The Trust elected to go to competitive tender in order to get a better understanding of the Digital Dictation suppliers in the healthcare market. In February 2010, they selected BigHand to roll-out Digital Dictation across the Trust.

Since the implementation of BigHand we have been able to save £21k over year one in overtime/bank payments in our medicine directorate. In addition the transcription turnaround time decreased from 10-15 days prior to BigHand to 3-5 days (routine) with BigHand and allowing for 24 hours for all urgent letters. - Wendy Young, Medical Secretary

Switching to digital

The main reason for converting to a digital platform was to be able to deliver a cost and efficiency saving by replacing analogue tape-based systems through the introduction of Digital Dictation. The aim was to improve the workflow of Dictations to enable quicker transcription of clinic letters.

Challenges before Digital Dictation

  • Lost and damaged tapes
  • The cost of using bank staff during periods of sickness, absence, annual leave and peaks in dictation creation
  • Typing backlogs
  • Amount of workload never understood by secretaries –hidden volumes of work
  • With the use of analogue tapes – no ability to performance monitor (dictations can now be tracked and progress plotted from start to finish)

Benefits, as reported by consultant staff

  • Dictations can be made in different locations across the Trust
  • The ability to see progress of work
  • It is less prone to failures
  • Improved voice quality / higher clarity for audio-typists
  • The ability to direct specific letters to specific people
  • Confidence that letters will be typed and not lost (tapes)

Benefits, as reported by consultant staff Administration Managers

  • Much better idea of volumes of work coming through and can flex the service much more effectively
  • Having the BigHand reports enables the effective monitoring of turnaround times
  • Cross cover for typing is more efficient during sickness or annual leave, reducing need for bank staff

About BigHand for Healthcare

We understand that healthcare is not like other industries. Your time pressures are more intense, the need for security and efficiency more pronounced – as shown in the Transfer of Care initiative – and the consequences of delays or breaches more serious than any other sector.

From automated processes to streamlined correspondence creation, our solutions tackle some key challenges for the UK healthcare market.

BigHand for Healthcare