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Appletree Medical Practice

“I think if I was to tell the staff that we are going to take Lexacom away, they would all hand their notices in the following day. That’s how much of an impact this digital dictation platform has made in the practice,”

Lianne Burke, IT/Data Manager

Efficiency has improved significantly at the Appletree Medical Practice since the installation of Lexacom.  Having conducted an audit comparing tape-based dictation and the Lexacom system, Lexacom digital dictation software reduced the time it takes to process urgent patient information from 31 hours, 42 minutes down to less than 1 hour, 8 minutes.

Like many GP practices, staff at Appletree Medical Practice used a tape-based dictation system to handle patient information.  The same system had been used at Appletree for in excess of 16 years and was presenting a range of common problems. These included doctors dictating and secretaries finding nothing on the tape, poor sound quality on recordings and secretaries having to hunt through tapes to locate urgent letters.

How did the customer hear about Lexacom?

Appletree first heard about Lexacom at a practice managers’ meeting two years ago, but initially decided against switching from its tape-based platform. However, after receiving some strong recommendations from other practices in the local area that had already made a successful transition to Lexacom’s digital dictation software, Appletree decided to reignite its interest in Lexacom’s software.

Did the customer take advantage of a free trial?

Yes, Appletree enjoyed a 30-day free trial of Lexacom’s software in September 2010.

Lianne Burke, said: “We were quite comfortable plodding along with the tape system we had but we thought we’d give the digital software a try to see whether it would improve anything. All of the users found it very quick and easy to adapt to the Lexacom system during the trial and that was a great way to kick things off.”

What was the solution that was delivered by Lexacom?

Appletree was so impressed with the efficiency gains afforded by Lexacom’s digital dictation software during its trial period that it purchased software for eight GPs, one nurse practitioner and four secretaries the following month.

Have there been any quantifiable time/cost savings calculated?

Yes. Lexacom and Appletree conducted a thorough audit to directly compare the performance of the previous tape-based system and the Lexacom digital dictation software in situ. The time taken to perform certain operational tasks using both platforms was recorded during the course of a month and the figures were then collated to draw an accurate conclusion about the efficiency of both systems. The results were:

Handling routine data using tape-based system

Average time from consultation to dictation is 961 minutes (16 hours, 1 minute)

Average time from dictation to passing the tape on is 874 minutes (14 hours, 34 minutes)

Average time from receiving the tape to typing is 4818 minutes (80 hours, 18 minutes)

Average time from dictation to typed letter is 5897 minutes (98 hours, 17 minutes)

Average time from consultation to typed letter is 6857 minutes (114 hours, 17 minutes)

Handling 42 urgent referrals using tape-based system

Average time from consultation to dictation is 336 minutes (5 hours, 36 minutes)

Average time from dictation to passing the tape on is 289 minutes (4 hours, 49 minutes)

Average time from receiving the tape to typing is 1324 minutes (22 hours, 4 minutes)

Average time from dictation to typed letter is 1902 minutes (31 hours, 42 minutes)

Average time from consultation to typed letter is 2238 minutes (37 hours, 18 minutes)

Handling data using Lexacom digital dictation system

Turnaround time from time dictation is sent to time letter is typed:

Immediate – 1 hour, 0 minutes, 21 seconds

Urgent – 1 hour, 7 minutes, 46 seconds

Today – 4 hours, 50 minutes, 45 seconds

Routine – 26 hours, 48 minutes, 50 seconds

Summary of results

Lexacom digital dictation software reduced the time it takes to process urgent patient information at Appletree from 31 hours, 42 minutes down to 1 hour, 7 minutes, 46 seconds.

Lexacom digital dictation software reduced the time it takes to process routine patient information at Appletree from 98 hours, 17 minutes down to 26 hours, 48 minutes.

What was the customer reaction after the installation?

Lianne Burke, IT/Data Manager at Appletree, said: “I think if I was to tell the staff that we are going to take Lexacom away, they would all hand their notices in the following day. That’s how much of an impact this digital dictation platform has made in the practice.

“Everyone prefers it to the tape-based platform we had before and nobody regrets making the switch. The staff are so much happier because they know they have better control over what’s going on and they are safe in the knowledge that they can turn the urgent information around much faster because they’re not having to spend a long time searching for dictations.”

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