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The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service commenced a six-month proof-of-concept to trial speech recognition and self-type software in 2020. This action was taken in response to an ageing medical transcription workforce; an increase in outpatient letters due to population growth and the novel coronavirus pandemic; and more timely transfer of care communication to GPs.
The proof-of-concept presented the health service with a unique opportunity as no other public hospital in Queensland had leveraged speech recognition or self-type software for the production and distribution of outpatient letters. The proof-of-concept trial provided 18 clinicians with the choice to type or dictate outpatient letters, electronically sign, and distribute to referring general practitioners (GPs) in one transaction.
The results of the proof-of-concept demonstrated a 39% uptake of speech recognition and self-type software, demonstrating an opportunity to supplement the medical transcription workforce to address the rising outpatient activity. The proof-of-concept also demonstrated an average reduction in transaction time of 25% from the baseline measure over the six-month trial period. This finding supports the timely transfer of communication to GPs. However, it will need to be carefully analysed against the participant frustrations of voice to text accuracy to minimise the risk of poor adoption.
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