News | May 13, 2008

Voice Recognition Improves Care in ER, Says Patient Safety Presentation

May 14, 2008 - An Oregon hospital improved its emergency care by utilizing voice recognition and other sophisticated features of the DR Systems Unity PACS, according to a presentation this week to the National Patient Safety Foundation. The technology dramatically reduced radiology report turnaround time (TAT), said the poster presentation by Tiffani Mozingo, BS, RT (R), PACS administrator at Sky Lakes Medical Center, in Klamath Falls, OR. The PACS expedited diagnosis and treatment by getting radiological information into physician's hands more quickly and with greater accuracy. The poster presentation showed the gains in TAT occurred in large part because the DR Systems reporting suite, which includes voice recognition, is well integrated with the PACS. Tighter integration facilitates faster report generation and distribution, the study said. Use of the reporting suite enabled Sky Lakes to reduce average TAT for normal reports to the emergency room from almost 78 hours in November 2006, to 5.4 minutes in November 2007. Abnormal reports now take less than 15 minutes. The reporting system also yielded a substantial economic benefit. Once Sky Lakes went "live" with the reporting suite, the hospital was able to reassign all 10 of its radiology transcriptionists. The presentation notes that one key to Sky Lakes' outstanding results is full use of the voice recognition (VR) feature. The hospital's radiologists use VR 100 percent of the time. Substantially reduced TAT can be achieved even without VR because of DR Systems' advanced reporting technology, but full use of VR is needed to maximize gains in turnaround time. The rapid TAT, together with the PACS' image-distribution capabilities, provided an additional patient safety advantage for emergency patients, Mozingo reported. Because reports arrive within minutes in the ER and can be read there along with the images, the emergency medical team never has to leave the patient�s side. Mozingo is presenting her results at the annual meeting of the National Patient Safety Foundation, which is being held May 14-16 in Nashville. For more information:

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