Express Patient Care through Speech-enabled reporting solution


For patients diagnosed with cancer, it can be difficult to learn that they have to wait for paperwork before they can begin treatment. To speed the lengthy reporting process that precedes treatment, Centre Oscar Lambret (COL), a French cancer hospital, implemented a speech-enabled reporting solution based on the Microsoft Speech Platform and Winscribe Text. COL has slashed report creation time from 21 days to 3 days and gives doctors an unprecedented mobility.

It takes a village

Treating cancer patients takes a village of specialists and hospital departments, and all the paperwork and bureaucracy can slow patient care. In Europe, the average time between first patient visit and treatment-start is 48 days —an interminably long time for the patient or family waiting anxiously for a diagnosis and treatment to begin.

At Centre Oscar Lambret (COL), a leading cancer care, education, and research center in Lille, France, the wait was not quite that long – an average of 30 days but COL knew that patients deserved better.

The culprit was paperwork. Managing oncology patients is a complex, multidisciplinary process. At COL, various specialists run tests on a patient, then meet to discuss and create a treatment plan. However, after each test, a doctor created a report that was distributed to other team members, and doctors had to wait for colleagues reports before they could weigh in with their own treatment plans. The time to create and distribute each report at COL averaged 21 days. “We needed to speed up report generation so we could speed up treatment,” says Didier Cauchois, Chief Information Officer at Centre Oscar Lambret.

In 2005, Cauchois introduced Winscribe Digital Dictation, which provided a big productivity gain over writing reports by hand. But doctors and their assistants still had to transcribe, correct, and distribute the reports. Cauchois looked at speech recognition technology which automatically transcribed dictated text but the products available then were not mature enough.

Mobile speech-enabled workflow solution

In 2014, Centre Oscar Lambret embarked on a major initiative to digitize all patient files and become a paperless facility. This was the perfect time to revisit speech recognition.

Cauchois turned to Winscribe to look at its latest speech recognition offering, Winscribe Text. Winscribe Text is a Windows operating system based program that provides not only speech recognition but end-to-end workflow, electronic signature, and documentation management tailored to the needs of healthcare organizations. The product’s speech recognition capabilities are based on the Microsoft Speech engine that is part of Windows.

The version of Microsoft Speech that Winscribe Text uses was further advanced by Recognosco, which adapted the Microsoft

technology for use in complex, enterprise healthcare IT environments. Recognosco added features such as the ability to understand medical terminology, centralized management of profiles and vocabularies, built-in streaming capabilities, and failsafe and recovery features. To the Microsoft Speech and Recognosco foundation, Winscribe adds workflow, healthcare interoperability, and document management capabilities geared to the needs of hospitals.

“We looked at other speech recognition solutions, but we were already a solid Windows shop and were very impressed with Microsoft Speech and the comprehensive workflow management capabilities in Winscribe Text,” Cauchois says. “Because of our Windows foundation, Winscribe was able to integrate Winscribe Text into our existing health information system [HIS] so that doctors can automatically pull patient health data from the HIS and insert it into reports,”Cauchois says.

COL is using Winscribe Text on hospital workstations but is evaluating ways to make the speech-enabled reporting solution even more accessible by testing it on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. COL is considering the possibility of distributing Surface Pro 3 devices to all physicians and many administrative staff as their only computer. “Because we have switched to digital patient files, we want doctors to have access to those files wherever they are,” Cauchois says. “We can have this kind of mobile productivity with the Surface Pro 3, which is every bit as powerful as our workstations.”

Faster report creation speeds patient care

With its new speech-enabled document management solution, COL has cut the time-consuming reporting process down to size. “With Winscribe Text based on Microsoft Speech, we have reduced report creation and distribution time from 21 days to 3 days,” Cauchois says. ” This reduces patient anxiety and speeds the start of treatment.” Often, doctors can access reports within 24 hours.

After performing a patient test, a doctor selects the patient name in the HIS, opens the appropriate report template, and dictates the test results into Winscribe Text using a microphone attached to the Surface Pro 3. Winscribe Text automatically pulls patient health data from the HIS and inserts it into the report. Winscribe Text transcribes the doctor’s speech into text, and the doctor reviews the text, makes any corrections, and electronically signs and distributes it to other members of the medical team. Any team member can also listen to the audio file, stored in the HIS, if he or she wishes.

Greater productivity, new mobile scenarios

Now that reports are no longer such a quagmire, busy doctors get more done every day. “Our doctors are much more productive and our workflow more transparent with Winscribe Text,” Cauchois says. “When the solution is fully deployed, our doctors could save an hour or more a day, which they can use to extend time with patients or see more patients.”

COL has to revise its HIS and other core medical applications for responsive design before staff can effectively use them on mobile computers, but that’s coming . When the hospital’s Windows-based medical applications become mobile, doctors will have patient files with them wherever they go. They will also be able to show X-rays and other images to patients at bedside and take photos with the camera built into the Surface Pro 3.

“Mobile computing will open up new efficiencies inside the hospital and out,” Cauchois says. “Using Windows security features and Active Directory, we can fully secure patient data so that doctors can access patient files from home for the first time ever.”

Reduced administrative work

A year ago, the COL radiology department had a backlog of 600 reports. Today, there are fewer than 30 reports in that pile. “We used to have eight people in radiology imagery reviewing and managing reports, and we have transferred two of those people to new jobs,” Cauchois says. “Report management doesn’t consume as many hospital resources as it used to.”

One of the things these workers did was review dictated reports for accuracy. The Winscribe Text solution at COL boasts an average accuracy rate of 97.6 percent, which speeds or eliminates review work. The high speech-capture accuracy rate also helps with compliance requirements by tracking user and event activity and providing audit trails.

“Our goal is to have all doctors using Winscribe Text on Surface Pro 3 devices by the end of 2016,” Cauchois says. “It is one of the most exciting technologies we have ever used.”