Phillips Pledges Continued Support for Medical Community

With the increased deployment of online medical records, coupled with the ongoing imperative to improve patient safety, demand for fast, high-quality medical transcription is at an all-time high. The demand is outpacing labor resources—an imbalance that continues to drive transcription costs higher and higher. The healthcare market is therefore embracing speech recognition to enable existing resources to be more productive and to help realize faster report availability.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that a lot of time at  Philips Speech Recognition Systems' recent Partner Event in Berlin was spent on the subject.

Robert Thornton, commercial director of Philips Speech Recognition Systems, expects future speech recognition applications for the medical community to incorporate content solutions, such as coding databases and technology that provides physicians with pathways for best-practice treatment guidance. A continued demand for robust speech recognition systems to handle the rising volume of medical documents is also expected.

"The volume of medical information is estimated to double every 18 months, which leads to a gap between research and clinical practice," Thornton said in a statement. 

The Norwegian Telemark Hospital, for example, generates 500,000 documents per year, but by using speech recognition, it saves $850,000. The Children’s Hospital Boston, with a total transcription volume of 14 million lines annually, implemented speech recognition by following the Six Sigma methodology. This has led to faster report availability and significant cost savings, as 91 percent of the reports are produced within less than one day. Productivity increased by 33 percent, and the work sent to overflow vendors was reduced by 28 percent. The hospital expects a cost-saving potential of $16,500 per month, according to Mary Radley, from the Children’s Hospital.

At Montreal Jewish General Hospital, a wireless speech recognition installation with PDAs now allows physicians to access up-to-date patient information and dictate reports on their PDAs. Completed dictations are immediately streamed to the speech recognition server, and prior to the physician leaving at the end of his shift,  final reports are available, according to Dr. Steven Rosenthal, associate director of the emergency department and director of medical informatics.

"We currently see the advancement of speech recognition from creating text to capturing information," Marcel Wassink, CEO of Philips Speech Recognition Systems, said in a statement.

Currently, more than 200 healthcare IT providers, including Siemens, GE Healthcare, Agfa, and Carestream, integrate SpeechMagic into their applications. The latest among them is 3M Health Information Systems, which announced in mid-October that it would follow suit.

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