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Medical imaging

DI dept. at North York General acquires VR

TORONTO – North York General Hospital will implement Dictaphone’s voice-recognition (VR) dictation and transcription system to speed up report turnaround time in its radiology department, thereby improving service to referring physicians and their patients.

Nineteen radiologists at two hospital sites will be trained to use the solution, which involves a change-over from a tape-based system to digital technology. A go-live is planned for January 2008.

“Currently, while using a manual system over two sites, our turnaround times vary. Given the manual system and all the variables, the turnaround can be from two days to seven days. With [Dictaphone’s] Powerscribe, we are anticipating our turnaround time will be same day or next day,” said Cindy Draycott, Director, Medical Imaging and Cardio Respiratory at NYGH.

The Dictaphone solution was chosen based on functionality and the company’s experience in this area. “The level of experience Dictaphone has with these types of implementation was a key aspect, as well as having the tightest, most functional integration to the GE PACS workstation application,” she said. “The ability to have preliminary reports available to MDs, the link to stat DX, the capability to have standard report templates, and both voice and manual editing abilities,” were key features of the solution.

Workflow for radiologists will be substantially different, due to the move away from an analog, tape-based system. The integration to the PACS application is expected to provide a faster, smoother workflow that should make things easier for the radiologists.

As with any new technology, time will be required at the outset for the users to become accustomed to a new way of doing things. For example, the system will need to be trained to recognize each radiologist’s voice, and there will be a learning curve for radiologists to change the way they dictate to maximize voice recognition accuracy.

A multidisciplinary team was involved in the planning and acquisition of voice recognition technology at NYGH. In addition to Ms. Draycott, the medical imaging part of the team heading the acquisition of a new VR dictation/transcription system included David Macdonald, Manager, Capital Equipment and Technology, and Dr. Elizabeth LaMere, Chief of Medical Imaging and Medical Director.