South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) came to us with a request for a new tool that would help their clinicians spend less time typing up notes, freeing them to see more patients and offer better care.
Clinical notes are a vital component of a health record. Made by clinicians and other healthcare professionals, concise notes serve to document an individual’s assessment and treatment, and can facilitate a retrospective review of that person’s health and care history. But they can take a long time to type and may sometimes be needed before a clinician can commit them into the system.
We worked with SSSFT, and identified a challenge: Could we tackle the burden of paperwork by making clinical notes quicker and easier to record?
Choosing tools available on lower cost tech, we developed a Windows Phone app that clinicians could use following a patient appointment, to quickly dictate their notes aloud.
Each recording is secured and automatically queued up for transcription by a dedicated team, turning the audio files into text notes that are added to a patient’s health records. Our platform completes the process, by notifying the clinician by SMS when the transcription has been done.
We delivered a platform that dramatically cuts a clinician's admin workload, saving several hours each day by using tools available on lower cost tech.
Before the project, it could be several hours before a patient’s notes were in the system. The new platform cut that time down to around 16 minutes.
But aside from that, we're also really happy with how this project fit in with NHS strategic and lean technology goals. A clinician can use their own phone to enter notes. No need for a complicated process of VPNs and frustrating laptop problems.
It also turns out that transcribers are not just good at typing quickly, but also in a way that’s grammatically correct. That means that patient records are now more readable across the board.
We're really proud of this project. The ultimate outcome of our solution could be a dramatic improvement in patient care as direct care time could be increased and by consequence the morale of staff boosted.