London — Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust operates from over 100 sites spread across a 172-square-mile region providing mental healthcare to a population of 1.2 million. Over the years, there has been a steady rise in the volume of correspondence associated with the ever-increasing demand on healthcare.
The Trust began looking at digital dictation solutions, since all the senior doctors and consultants were already using BlackBerry smartphones for mobile email, the Foundation Trust decided to get even more value from its existing deployment and added BigHand digital dictation for BlackBerry smartphones to the solution, across a potential population of over 500 users.
It enables clinicians to create new recordings directly from their smartphones. Dictations are then automatically and securely sent using the push technology of the BlackBerry solution to secretaries for transcription. The application also lets clinicians see the real-time status of each transcription and review final documents directly via their BlackBerry smartphone.
“Managing dictation for such a mobile workforce presented several challenges—one was workload," noted Gunther Empl, ICT Program Manager at Birmingham and Solihull Mental NHS Foundation Trust. "Clinicians would sometimes wait until it was convenient for them to return to base and drop off a tape with their secretary; the secretaries ended up with one or two tapes and didn’t know how many dictations were on them.”
Turnaround times have improved because consultants no longer have to return to the office to hand over tapes. The deployment proved to be a success for the clinicians straight from the outset. At the end of the first phase, with just over one fifth of the 500 consultants using the solution, 67 percent of all dictations were already coming through the BlackBerry solution.
“With BigHand digital dictation for BlackBerry the backlog in one team has almost completely gone and correspondence is being sent out just a few days after recording, instead of a few weeks as sometimes happened in the past,” Empl added.