Making radiology more efficient – without compromising accuracy – is a vital step in addressing staff shortages and spiralling backlogs. But it’s also how radiology can begin to build a healthier future and raise standards in patient care for the long-term.
As a discipline, radiology continues to be severely understaffed. The Royal College of Radiologists’ Clinical Radiology UK Workforce Census 2020 Report published in April 2021, estimates today’s consultant capacity at just a third of the required workforce. Without intervention, that shortfall is expected to hit 44% by 2025.
For radiologists and radiographers, this creates unnecessary pressure to deliver accuracy against unprecedented backlogs. As a result, demoralised radiologists are leaving the NHS in the hundreds.
- 41% moderately or severely demoralised in their jobs post-pandemic
- 48% planning on working less
- 22% considering leaving the NHS
The report also found that a further 12% of radiology consultants were considering leaving in the next 12 months. This is three times more radiologists than would normally leave the NHS each year, equating to the potential loss of 735 consultants and trainees across the whole workforce.
Faster, more flexible, and more efficient ways to report on images have the potential to transform radiology – and reduce the working stresses affecting radiologists as well as addressing the staff shortages affecting the profession. Crucially, achieving new levels of efficiency can also positively impact patient outcomes and raise standards of care.
Helping radiologists deliver exceptional care
With the NHS facing the biggest backlog in its history following the pandemic, patients are waiting longer for diagnostic imaging. According to The Guardian and data from NHS England, the number of people waiting more than three months for tests was 22 times higher in 2021 than in 2019. This March 2022 the numbers have not decreased and are showing the waiting list for diagnostics total 1 million 568 thousand 914 patients, with 24.8% waiting 6+ weeks, resulting in an increase of 0.6% compared with the same month last year, and 9.3% of patients wating in excess of 13 weeks from referral. These numbers will result in added pressure for radiologists, with priority and routine reports seeing them use a multitude of technologies and transcription services – and all combine into one intimidating backlog. The implications of this backlog are severe.
Early diagnosis is a key variable in patient outcomes. Every delay creates risk to patient care – and, ultimately, to lives. In the words of one NHS radiologist: “Patients are presenting with cancers that six months ago may have been curable, but now are inoperable or untreatable.”
To address this challenge and deliver exceptional care, radiology needs change now, today.
Unlocking new levels of efficiency could be key to making this change a reality, starting with individual radiologists and ultimately affecting the entire profession.
Making individuals more efficient
On an individual level, new technology has the potential to help radiologists manage their workloads and accelerate reporting without compromising accuracy.
Augnito AI-driven speech recognition provides a time-saving way to accurately create reports and notes, simply by speaking them into a mic or headset. Available in the cloud with no need for additional hardware or software, Augnito gives every radiologist a much faster way of working – one that helps accurate diagnoses happen sooner.
However, the combination of staff shortages and widespread backlogs isn’t easily overcome. Helping radiologists work faster isn’t effective when there simply aren’t enough radiologists. No amount of working faster or smarter is enough to address the crisis alone.
That said, the efficiency gains of new technology used across individuals could have widespread implications on the entire radiology space.
Efficiency is about more than saving time
Radiologists aren’t new to speech recognition and its potential to save time. But this is just one part of the wider efficiency gains made possible by more recent innovations.
Many Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and Radiological Information System (RIS) providers have built their operating models around selling and supporting on-premise software. However, as the private sector has consistently demonstrated, true efficiency comes from a more agile, off-premise approach.
When reporting and speech recognition are available in the cloud, the cost and complexity of new technology is significantly reduced. Software like Augnito is available wherever and whenever radiologists need it – without the burden of management and maintenance. Meanwhile, the use of AI in the cloud helps to preserve accuracy in every report.
Of course, this comes with a significant financial advantage. Budgets can be refocussed on the things that matter most, from working environments to patient care. At the same time, radiologists unlock more flexible ways of working, dealing with fewer IT issues and outdated legacy software.
In this way, the benefits of efficiency are compounding – and making radiology more efficient is a vital first step in raising standards for every practitioner and every patient. That’s why digital transformation is a key part the NHS Long Term Plan, with a special focus on ‘using intuitive tools in ways that empower clinicians and reduce the administrative burden’.
The long-term effect of efficient reporting
Immediately, accurate speech recognition can lessen the burden on radiologists, improve workloads, and increase wellbeing and workforce retention. In the medium-term, departments can create considerable time and money savings, focusing more of their resources on delivering the highest levels of patient care.
Under the pressure of the current resource crisis, few trained consultants can invest their time and energy into building the future of their department and the wider discipline. Today, donating time to training new consultants and assisting in teaching simply isn’t a priority. But it’s only with investment in new staff and a concrete digital transformation plan that standards of patient care can be sustainably increased.
Speech recognition promises to liberate radiology from unnecessary admin, error risks and time-consuming transcription. But that’s only possible when software is delivered in a way that’s flexible and scalable. Driven by AI, cloud speech recognition delivers the accuracy, efficiency and agility that today’s radiologists need. And, empowered by the right technology, consultants can begin to steer radiology to a healthier future – one where impossible backlogs, staff shortages and declining standards of care are a thing of the past.
[London, 23 June 2022] – In 1962 the first speech recognition* (SR) technology could recognise just 16 words in English. Fast forward 60 years and SR is built into most elements of our daily lives. And yet in healthcare, SR solutions are not used to their full potential, until now – there is a new voice-driven AI product suite is offering a more accurate alternative.
UKIO is back as a face-to-face event with a refreshed 3-day congress, programme and exhibition that will showcase the latest state-of-the-art equipment, services, technology and content aimed at addressing issues in the fields of diagnostic imaging, oncology, and radiology. This year’s theme ‘Harnessing disruption: Clinical excellence in a time of chaos’ mirrors the innovation and technology behind Augnito – a next gen clinical speech recognition solution introduced to the UK healthcare market last Autumn.
Since its launch Augnito has already recorded positive sales and trading interest. Born from Scribetech’s 20 year partnership with the NHS to promote patient data accuracy and clinician efficiency benefits, the Augnito speech recognition product suite has secured over 150 installations in healthcare environments across England.
More recently the Augnito team have been sharing their success with industry partners in the radiology sector while celebrating a number of live pilots and positive implementations that have taken advantage of the speech-enabling benefits provided by the Augnito API & SDK solution.
Shiraz Austin, Co-Founder for Augnito comments, “Augnito was built from the ground up in collaboration with engineers, analysts, and clinicians to offer an alternative to the legacy speech recognition products currently available on the market. With extensive transcription experience, 8 years R&D, disruptive innovation technology and a true commitment to clinicians’ needs, we are proud to offer a highly accurate, secure, cloud-based, portable and cost effective alternative”.
Radiology departments have been the early adopters of speech recognition technology to accommodate the ever-increasing levels of diagnostic reporting and the -expanding modality spectrum. Augnito offers this sector an improved, more efficient way, to deliver their service using the streamlining benefits that come with voice-driven AI technology.
“Augnito partners are as critical for its continued market growth, just as Augnito is a key contributor to its partners’ success in speech enabling clinical systems and effectively accelerating digital transformation in the healthcare sector. Augnito offers partners a unique cloud-based technology, which they can easily integrate and rapidly deploy, not just to improve the productivity of busy customers and reduce the cost of clinical documentation, but to also gain healthy business resell margins.”
“Augnito’s aim is to democratize the use of clinical speech recognition software through a selective network of ISVs, VARs, and managed service providers that have a healthcare focus. Augnito also provides services, support and guidance, to partners’ customers either considering, implementing, or already ‘live’ on a medical information system.” concludes Austin.
Augnito can be seen in action, integrated into different clinical reporting platforms at UKIO in Liverpool, 4-6 July, on its attending partner stands; Hexarad A28, Wellbeing Software B45 Fujifilm B46 and Cimar UK B58.
For further information, interview opportunities or accompanying graphics please contact: Georgina Pavelin – Mixed Media ([email protected])
About Scribetech and Augnito
Scribetech (UK) Ltd. is a clinical voice solutions and disruptive technology provider. Founded in 2001, the company has accumulated two decades of experience as an approved supplier of clinical transcription services to the NHS and private healthcare providers.
Now, this expertise has been combined with 8 years of AI research and development partnerships established with engineers, analysts, and clinicians. The result is Augnito: an innovative, secure, cloud-based clinical speech recognition solution. Augnito brings seamless speech-enablement to daily workflows. All with 99% at-the-cursor accuracy, support for multiple medical specialities and no need for voice profile training. www.scribetech.co.uk/augnito-speechrecognition
The United Kingdom Imaging & Oncology Congress (UKIO) is the permanent amalgamation of two well-known conferences – the UK Radiological Congress (UKRC) and the UK Radiation Oncology Conference (UKRO). 2019 was the first year that this unified event ran as UKIO. In 2020 and 2021, UKIO ran as an online event. In 2022, the Congress will return as an in-person event. This annual event consists of a three-day multidisciplinary scientific congress with a programme that showcases the most cutting-edge content for a multidisciplinary audience that addresses the medical, scientific, educational and management issues in the diverse fields of diagnostic imaging, oncology, and radiological sciences. Alongside this is a large professional exhibition of the latest state-of-the-art equipment, services and technology available in the industry. The event attracts around 2,000 attendees. The 2022 theme is Harnessing disruption: Clinical excellence in a time of chaos. https://www.ukio.org.uk/
[London, 21 June 2022] – With an open API and fast integration, Augnito’s AI-powered speech recognition engine makes Hexarad’s radiology reporting platform faster, easier to use and more accurate.
With widespread NHS staff shortages and increased pressure to provide fast, error-free imaging reporting, the technology that supports radiologists is constantly evolving. Now, Hexarad – one of the UK’s leading radiology platform providers – has adopted Augnito: an innovative, AI-based medical speech recognition solution.
With Augnito’s proven speech recognition in the cloud, Hexarad’s speech-enabled platform empowers radiologists with a faster, more flexible way of reporting.
Developed in partnership with clinicians, Augnito gives radiologists fast, easy ways to capture live clinical data on any device with 99.3% accuracy. This is made possible by a sophisticated, AI-driven engine that intelligently and accurately captures patient data in any accent, including medical and clinical terms. Available in the cloud, adopting Augnito is quick, easy and requires no on-premise hardware or in-house support and maintenance.
Crucially, Augnito understands the way radiologists need to work and the importance of speech recognition that’s deeply integrated with other clinical systems.
“Beyond our user-suite of applications, Augnito includes a comprehensive API and SDK, allowing clinical systems to easily become speech enabled,” says Shiraz Austin, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Scribetech (UK) Ltd. “It’s important to us that the time-saving benefits of speech recognition are accessible to as many healthcare professionals as possible, even in the familiar systems they’re already using. Our partnership with Hexarad is a great example of two best-in-class technologies working seamlessly together.”
The Augnito API allowed Hexarad to replace an existing speech recognition solution and embed accurate, real-time speech-to-text data entry into its radiology reporting platform, Optirad. The API also provides better support for integrating voice commands, saving radiologists time every day.
For Hexarad, Augnito offered the right blend of accurate technology and fast, flexible integration.
“Augnito did exactly what we needed it to do, seamlessly and efficiently,” says Dr Jaymin Patel, Chief Operating Officer for Hexarad. “The integration provided a rapid deployment and roll-out for us, taking a total of just 12 weeks. The API was outstanding and entirely customisable to our needs.”
Today, Hexarad is using Augnito to support all 60 of its radiologists, enabling them to spend more time on the detailed analysis of patients’ scans as well as increasing the number of scans and reports they complete, without compromising on accuracy. This creates a better way of working, decreases the pressure from growing workloads and, ultimately, helps patients get the diagnoses they need sooner.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, interview opportunities or accompanying graphics please contact: Georgina Pavelin, Mixed Media, [email protected]
About Scribetech and Augnito
Scribetech (UK) Ltd is a clinical voice solutions innovator, fusing 20 years of transcription and digital dictation services to the NHS, speech-to-text and clinical coding solutions for the healthcare sector, and its own speech recognition engine and advanced voice AI technology.
Augnito is Scribetech’s secure, cloud-based and AI-driven clinical speech recognition product suite. It offers fast, easy ways to capture live clinical data on any device with 99.3% accuracy, support for multiple medical specialties, and no need for voice profile training. Augnito brings seamless speech recognition to daily workflows and third-party clinical systems, turning medical information into clinical documentation and making healthcare intelligence securely accessible, everywhere. www.scribetech.co.uk/augnito-speechrecognition
Hexarad is a leading radiology platform based across the UK and Ireland. Its bespoke built-in workflow management software solution, Optirad, helps hospitals manage their own radiology resources better, improve productivity and efficiency allowing team leaders to deliver patient -centred service with timely and accurate scan reporting to streamline departments and existing resources. They also provide a full service teleradiology solution to ensure fast, accurate diagnosis for everyone, everywhere.