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Speech recognition in pathology cut-up; revolutionary change at Derriford Hospital

The Histopathology Department at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust has successfully extended its TalkingPoint pathology deployment from microscopy to include cut-up.

talking pointTalkingPoint allows a Biomedical Scientist (BMS) to efficiently generate a cut-up report using speech recognition (SR) unassisted by a scribe.  TalkingPoint also automates LIMS entry, saving a further hour per day.

Dean Harmse, Consultant Histopathologist, Derriford Hospital, said:” The TalkingPoint implementation is one part of a complete process change here.  SR has been a vital cog in the wheel, complemented by process and procedural developments throughout the pathology department.  At a time when staff numbers have already been cut, TalkingPoint is enabling our team to deal with the heavy demand for our services.”

Madeleine Stephens, BMS and SR Project Lead in cut-up for Derriford Hospital explains “TalkingPoint records our statistics as we work.  This was previously an onerous error-prone batch job with hundreds of entries.  Now, TalkingPoint does this instantly for each specimen, which is far quicker and more accurate.”

“Before implementing SR for BMS cut-up, a BMS and Assistant Technical Officer worked as a pair.  The BMS dissected the specimens and dictated the macroscopic description out loud.  The assistant wrote the description on the back of the request form, typed it free-hand into the computer, or used a bar code system to generate standard template reports. Depending on the assistant’s speed, this could be quite slow,” explained Madeleine.

Derriford Hospital had previously developed template reports, consisting of standard macroscopic descriptions.  However, this system was limited to basic specimens, whereas TalkingPoint can deal with any report type, thus improving report content.  The TalkingPoint Team developed a workflow solution to enable paper-free cut-up.  Whereas before, the BMS and scribe conferred to confirm the correct patient specimen and request form are matched up, with TalkingPoint, the BMS simply scans the specimen barcode causing the request form to be automatically displayed on the PC screen, preventing collation errors.  Although Derriford Histopathology cut-up is not yet completely paperless, the simple workflow enables a BMS to singlehandedly double-check that the specimen container and associated request form correlate.

With regards to reporting accuracy, Madeleine explains: “For complicated specimens we free-speak the macroscopic description.  For all of our simple specimens, we use one of the TalkingPoint rapid reports.”

For following microscopy reporting, TalkingPoint automates non-complex standard reports (for example, normal duodenal biopsies) by filling in the text, formatting the report and generating the SNOMED codes, while non-standard complex reports can be efficiently dictated as a combination of shortcuts, pro-formas and free text.

Dean Harmse, Consultant Histopathologist, Derriford Hospital, said:” The TalkingPoint implementation is one part of a complete process change here.  SR has been a vital cog in the wheel, complemented by process and procedural developments throughout the pathology department.  At a time when staff numbers have already been cut, TalkingPoint is enabling our team to deal with the heavy demand for our services.”

To aid the pathology pathway at Derriford, TalkingPoint automatically generates an instant workload report for the main laboratory.  Previously staff physically counted the specimen requests; using TalkingPoint, a button click reveals the lab workload for the following day on screen to allow demand and capacity planning in the laboratory.

TalkingPoint’s Pathology SR workflow system provides a highly ergonomic solution to meet the demanding cut-up environment, enabling Biomedical Scientists to work unassisted.  Excellent SR accuracy is assured by the unique pathology vocabulary.  TalkingPoint also integrates with the majority of pathology reporting systems including Apex, Copath, LabTrack, MediTech, Technidata and Winpath.

TalkingPoint is the only true end-to-end NHS pathology SR workflow solution serving cut up, microscopy and autopsy.  Its use in over 20 UK Trusts has resulted in unique and outstanding features, assuring improved efficiency, minimised turn-around times and significant cost savings.


more about GHG Software Developments Limited or TalkingPoint



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