With seemingly endless pressure on bed stocks, waiting lists, and workloads, technology is often used by the NHS for its immediate benefits. With a mindset of problem solving, trusts and healthcare providers are looking for faster, more flexible ways to work now. But the always-changing nature of healthcare means any effective technology has to consider the long term.
Speech recognition and digital transcription platforms allow healthcare professionals to capture important information wherever and whenever they need to — without waiting for time-consuming transcription or updating records manually. But a solution that saves time and delivers results today, might not be fit for purpose as our relationship with patients — and their data — continues to change.
A look back across the history of patient data shows us that change is the only constant and the only effective technology is one that’s future-proofed and always improving.
A history of patient data in the UK
Patient data and records have been a key part of UK healthcare for over a century. As far back as 1911, GPs were required to keep written records for all working-age men, supporting the government’s compulsory health insurance scheme. These paper records were deeply embedded by the time the NHS was established – a single, self-contained resource that was easy to misplace, but also easy to secure and manage.
The digital revolution saw a similar overhaul of how patient data is stored and handled. While the first use of computers for record keeping in a GP surgery date back to 1970, the two decades since the millennium have seen rapid changes to expectations around data from government and patients alike.
The NHS began widely deploying electronic health records in 2005, investing in the digital infrastructure to store and share patient data across the country. Today, we’re all familiar with electronic patient record systems (EPRs) and their role as hubs of patient data.
This ongoing change creates new and emerging requirements for technology. At the advent of the NHS, the best record keeping platform was a strong filing cabinet with a lock. Now, healthcare professionals need robust, reliable software as well as intuitive, flexible ways of interacting with that software and capturing data.
The changing nature of patient records
While the means of accessing and storing patient data is always changing over time, the nature of those records is shifting too. 2015 saw the start of an NHS initiative to let patients access summary electronic medical records and, since 2022, almost all NHS patients have been able to see their data via the NHS app.
For the healthcare professionals capturing those notes, reports, and records, this creates new pressure. With potential scrutiny from patients, it’s now more important than ever that notes are clear, detailed, content-rich and free from confusing jargon. In general, this is making patient notes longer and more complex to write, intensifying the need for a fast-yet-accurate way to work. However, in the long run, this will overcome ambiguity and misinterpretation.
Speech recognition and voice-driven AI technology has an important role to play, enabling healthcare professionals to work up to four times faster and offset some of this growing complexity by simply dictating directly into the digitised patient record.
The future of patient data: digital, secure, compliant
Finally, the digitalisation of patient data creates new obligations around security and privacy. NHS Trusts and healthcare providers need to strike the balance between enabling access to data while strengthening resilience against data breaches, accidental disclosure, and cyber-attacks. As AI continues to develop and we unlock new ways to work with, and learn from patient data, these risks are set to intensify.
Augnito Spectra is built for the digital future of patient data. With 99.3% accurate, AI-powered real-time transcription, Augnito Spectra provides a digital way to capture notes and create reports simply by speaking: a natural, human way to interact without the need to type and, more specifically with no wait for manual transcription. With integration into your EPR system, data can be securely sent to wherever it needs to be, contained within the patient record in clear language for easy authorised recollection
At the same time, Augnito Spectra is always evolving, much like the way patient data is handled. As a cloud-hosted platform, Augnito Spectra is being constantly updated with the latest features — from interface changes to security enhancements, reducing clinical risk, streamlining, and adapting to the way healthcare professionals work.
Learn more about Augnito
See how Augnito Spectra delivers measurable benefits now while future-proofing the way you capture patient data. Request a demo and see the benefits for yourself.
Time-saving is often the biggest promise of replacing slow transcription with smart speech recognition—and it’s not a unique claim. With an audience of overworked healthcare professionals, almost every new technology claims to drastically reduce admin time, but working faster isn’t where the real value lies.
If every healthcare professional worked faster, we’d begin to make progress on backlogs, waiting lists and bed shortages. However, this is a drop in the ocean given the chronic understaffing the NHS is facing—and the danger of speed is that it undermines the quality of care delivered. At the same time, the hours saved every day are only important if that time can be spent wisely—to listen, think carefully, and safeguard positive patient outcomes.
Speech recognition can save healthcare professionals up to an hour every single day. But what really matters is the way in which this time is repurposed to improve outcomes.
The persistent barrier of bureaucracy
There are few jobs without a seemingly endless amount of bureaucracy but, in healthcare, the stakes are higher. When you spend excess time on transcription and moving pieces of data around patient records, this is all time taken away from skilled, important work.
According to a survey from staffing app Florence, 20% of NHS and social care managers say they spend 7-8 hours on admin every day. Around 40% said this impacts patients with 30% naming documentation and record keeping specifically. Crucially, 35% feel that outdated technology causes more time wasting.
In this context, it’s only natural that many NHS trusts and private healthcare providers are turning their attention to new technology that claims to reduce admin time. However, these headline time savings aren’t always what they claim to be.
The reality of time savings and measurable value
When comparing technologies, it’s tempting to imagine a direct correlation between time and money savings. We’ve previously written about hidden costs and the challenge of measuring value but even the promise of an hour saved per person, per day, must be understood in its proper context.
A technology like speech recognition helps users reclaim an hour every day, on average. So where is this time currently being spent? With some solutions, it’s not actually time saved—it’s time that’s just moved to checking for accuracy as well as other tedious admin tasks.
From the outset, it’s easy for time savings to be displaced onto training and adoption. Unwieldy solutions may require extensive face-to-face training. In many cases, this significantly reduces the real-world time-saving you can expect. At the same time, ongoing training and support can quickly undermine efforts to work faster and more flexibly. If a user must wait for speech recognition dictionaries to be manually updated every time a new drug name appears, there’s a risk that the user will be working more slowly than ever before.
By automating transcription and documentation tasks, clinicians can save valuable time that can be redirected toward patient care. This reduces work-related stress, improves work-life balance, and influences outcomes in three key ways:
#1 More Time for Patient-Centric Care: With less admin, clinicians have more time to focus on their primary responsibility—providing patient care. This extra time at the bedside allows for better communication, addressing patient concerns, and building stronger patient-clinician relationships.
#2 Timely and Accurate Diagnoses: Accurate and comprehensive documentation supports better-informed patient-care planning, improved medication management and less error prone decision-making. When clinicians have access to detailed timely patient records, they’re able to make more accurate diagnoses and develop safer, effective, treatment plans.
#3 Enhanced Patient Satisfaction: Patients appreciate the convenience and efficiency of prompt and accurate clinical documentation and are more likely to adhere to their treatment plans and follow-up requirements. This in turn contributes to more efficient and timely patient journeys and ultimately to better care outcomes.
Similarly, a new way to capture clinical records, reports and notes is only effective if it’s closely connected to other clinical systems, reducing the risk of errors associated with manual data entry or with data (miss)-routing by systems that don’t integrate with each other. While users might be able to capture notes up to four times faster with speech compared with manual typing, or using an outsourced transcription provider, this may be limited to a given interface. It’s vital that the information captured is right first time, before it is securely sent to wherever it needs to be—from/to patient records, healthcare colleagues, or patients.
How Augnito Spectra turns time into value
Augnito Spectra delivers over 99% accurate medical speech recognition to where it’s needed. An easy-to-use, AI-powered, cloud-hosted platform that saves time compared to manual typing or transcription. What makes it unique is the way it then safeguards time savings so they can be spent improving patient outcomes.
With Augnito Spectra, users can dictate notes and reports directly into the clinical record system from any device. Data is seamlessly and securely routed to other systems as soon as it’s ready, rather than it being delayed due to manual repetitive re-entry. All with unmatched accuracy for any English accent or dialect, with no need for lengthy voice training, so every user can maximise their time savings.
Augnito Spectra is also backed by the service and support that only comes from a team with over two decades experience in delivering transcription services to the NHS. From ongoing product updates to in-app help, a guided tour, and always-available support, Augnito ensures that time isn’t just saved on digital transcription—it’s also saved every time a new feature is used or help is needed.
Learn more about Augnito
See how Augnito Spectra creates compounding time savings across every part of your daily routine. Request a demo to try Augnito Spectra for 7 days and see the benefits for yourself.
From GP surgeries to hospitals, across every department and discipline, the NHS continues to be in crisis. Backlogs aren’t getting smaller, digital transformation is slow, and waiting lists are perpetually increasing. Despite this, Trusts are reluctant to invest in smarter, faster, more flexible ways of working – and it’s easy to see why.
Historically, Trusts have been burned by technology that creates seemingly endless costs without delivering real, measurable value. What appears to be a cost-effective choice now can all-too-often spiral out of control and cost significantly more than expected. While initial investment or subscription fees are within the budget, the expense of implementation, training, and managing adoption undermine the promised value of the software or hardware.
These hidden costs are sadly common and, in some cases, woven into the business model of technology providers. But the true price isn’t just financial – it’s in how these costs affect patients.
What are the potential hidden costs of speech recognition?
Any on-premise technology comes with inevitable hidden costs. These unavoidable expenses may include infrastructure and IT changes, manual implementation and testing, procuring new devices, and ongoing management and maintenance costs, whether they involve your own IT teams or an external provider. Quickly, the per-user licence fee becomes just one part of your overall costs.
In theory, cloud-hosted technology should mark an end to hidden costs. However, the reality of this is largely dependent on the specifics of your chosen solution.
Frequently, cloud software will still require specific equipment. In the case of speech recognition, this could include specific microphones or headsets. Some providers also charge implementation and training fees in addition to your licensing costs. Even if a provider doesn’t charge these fees, you may need to invest in compatible hardware – many solutions are restricted to certain platforms and operating systems.
Finally, usability and intuitiveness play an important role in the cost of your solution. If a speech recognition solution is difficult to use, constantly inaccurate, and frustrating for your users, this creates a very real financial cost in terms of lost productivity, stressed medical professionals, and a negative impact on your patients. In part, these are the financial consequences of a ‘top down’ solution – one where the benefits to your users aren’t clear or desired, so onboarding and widespread adoption take months or even years.
How hidden costs affect practitioners and patients
The appeal of medical speech recognition is simple: improve the workload and daily routine of clinicians to improve the experience of patients.
The way people capture notes is a prime area for reinvention – and one where the benefits can be numerous. Manually typing reports, or waiting for slow secretarial manual transcription adds time to the patient journey. Checking transcription and retyping into clinical systems can slow this journey even further. The amount of time potentially wasted directly correlates to the frustration of medical professionals, the size of the backlog, and the outcomes patients can expect.
Crucially, hidden costs and complexities directly affect patients. The HSJ recently reported a Trust’s admission that ‘patients suffered harm’ due to the huge follow-ups backlog. Meanwhile, data from The Telegraph shows the number of patients waiting to start treatment in England is 7.7 million and growing. Trusts need an urgent intervention and change to ways of working and reporting. A slow, expensive implementation process only creates yet another delay – another drain on resources that takes away from positively affecting patient outcomes.
Medical speech recognition with no hidden costs
In the most objective terms, Augnito Spectra is cloud-hosted, voice-driven AI speech recognition with no hidden costs. Augnito Spectra runs on your existing desktops, tablets, smartphones and MacOS devices. It’s implemented fast with no need for on-premise infrastructure nor IT changes. And our emphasis on ease of use removes the hard-to-estimate cost of training and driving adoption. Users simply take a guided demonstration or click the solution’s own Product Tour button and get started straight away on any device they want.
At the same time, Augnito Spectra is designed to keep costs down over time. With over 99.9% accuracy for any accent and many medical specialities, Augnito eliminates the hidden costs of checking and proofing reports. And with a voice-driven AI engine, Augnito continually evolves – whether you’re adding new words like new drug names, or receiving free, constant updates as we introduce new features. You can see some of our latest updates in this short video.
Augnito Spectra delivers industry leading speech/voice recognition without hidden costs – and, as a cost-effective, intuitive to use, and accurate option, the benefits are easy to see.
Learn more about Augnito
See how Augnito Spectra is already delivering transformational value – with no hidden costs – for medical professionals across the UK. Request a demo to try Augnito Spectra for 7 days and see the benefits for yourself.
In healthcare, new technology always seems to be promising a faster, smarter, better way of working. Solutions claim they’ll save you time and remove your stress, all while improving outcomes for patients and making their journeys more seamless. But those promises all need to be balanced against a simple, more pragmatic reality: budgets are always limited in the healthcare ‘business’.
Recently, the business of healthcare has been in the spotlight. With rising costs and widespread strikes for NHS workers with more on the horizon, there’s more pressure than ever to spend money effectively. Crucially, this doesn’t mean ceasing all spending. It means targeting your budget where the impact – on healthcare professionals, patients, and outcomes – will be biggest and where the value will be most effective.
With the NHS in crisis, now is the time for change: from overworked professionals burdened by manual reporting to a more agile, flexible way of working. And that transformation doesn’t have to mean huge investment, changes to your IT infrastructure, or expensive training.
The demands on healthcare have intensified
Waiting lists are increasing, hospital bed capacities are shrinking and, according to data from the British Medical Association, the average GP is responsible for 17% more patients on average compared to 2015. Accelerated by the pandemic, the healthcare needs of the UK have dramatically shifted in the past few years. It’s only natural, then, that the way healthcare professionals work needs to shift too.
However, healthcare in general is reluctant to invest in new technology. In a recent study by BT, 49% of NHS staff said the standard of technology at work was a source of stress. But while 29% strongly agree that innovation is hamstrung by a lack of funding, 37% identified cultural resistance to change as a significant barrier.
With this in mind, understanding the true value of new technology is key. The only way to overcome cultural resistance is with an objective approach – one that pits costs and price against value, reconciling the expense of a given technology with the impact on staff and patients.
Measuring the price and cost of AI-enhanced speech recognition
The healthcare industry has generally been willing to invest in AI, but Deloitte identifies the need to measure return on investment as key to continued transformation. AI-enhanced speech/voice recognition (instant digital transcription) gives users a faster, more flexible way to report and capture notes, including direct dictation into existing clinical workflows and applications. This has the potential to deliver a measurable return by saving a considerable amount of time and empowering staff to work efficiently – without compromising accuracy.
Augnito Spectra, our clinical speech recognition software, costs £576 (including VAT) per user, per year. With an average of 260 working days, that’s just £2.22 per day. Given that Augnito Spectra saves on average one hour a day – an hour that brings with it an implied cost – that’s a considerable return on investment. At the same time, Augnito has a positive impact on overworked users, improving not only performance and effectiveness but engagement, and retention. Compared to the costs of missed days due to stress or, worse, having to find someone new when people reach their limit and leave healthcare, Augnito is a significant saving.
For a few pounds per day, Trusts can empower their clinical professionals to work at their best. And that ultimately enables better healthcare outcomes for clinicians and medical staff and for patients – the most valuable output of all.
A speech recognition solution designed to create value
£2.22 per user, per day. That’s less than a pack of Nurofen (and other brands) to fend off the headache of slow, time-consuming reporting. It’s even less than a box of plasters to patch over the workload problem until people leave the healthcare sector.
Augnito Spectra also goes further to create value for your clinical staff and organisation. Designed to go wherever your people do, it includes:
• Mobile speech recognition on iOS or Android devices
• Seamless cloud-based notes, available on any device
• MacOS, Windows and web browser access
• Support for remote workers and sharing reports with different clinical systems
Learn more about Augnito
See how Augnito Spectra is already delivering transformational benefits – and measurable value – for medical professionals across the UK. Request a demo to try Augnito Spectra for 7 days and see the benefits for yourself.
[London, 24 August 2022] – Augnito’s latest blog addresses the current challenges within radiology and poses efficiency solutions to manage the backlogs with direct improvements on patient care.
Understaffing is a real challenge across the NHS, however within radiology this is nothing new, the pandemic only compounding an existing problem which continues to await solution. At this time, radiology continues to be severely understaffed, resulting in scan backlogs, while falling below safe staffing quotas making it impossible to keep up with demand. Those in post are at risk of burn out, with staff morale affected and many planning to cut their hours or leave the NHS. The Royal College of Radiologists’ estimates today’s consultant capacity at just a third of the required workforce. Without intervention, that shortfall is expected to hit 44% by 2025.1
Shiraz Austin, Managing Director at Scribetech (UK) Ltd and Co-Founder of Augnito, stated: “We are at a critical point across the NHS with unprecedented staff shortages and resulting backlogs. Not only is this alarming for healthcare professionals working to mitigate the risks, but for patients, particularly within radiology where early diagnosis can quite literally save lives. Without appropriate staffing resources, patient care is delayed, therefore diagnosis takes longer, as does resulting treatment. Every day that passes without a solution only adds to the workload, scan backlogs and staff pressure.
Until there are more consultants in training and protection of existing staff on the front-line an immediate solution is required, a new way of working needs to be implemented to aid backlogs, give visual results and offer well needed support.”
Scribetech offers expert health-tech and speech recognition (SR) advice to mitigate risks; the latest blog tackles individual efficiency, support for radiologists to deliver exceptional care to patients and the long-term effect of efficient reporting using the company’s SR solution, Augnito.
Austin continued: “Technology is ever evolving and providing access to the latest AI voice driven clinical speech recognition solution will support the backlogs whilst mitigating the increase in reporting demand. The right technology helps staff do more in less time, more accurately, and more flexibly supporting today’s workstyle.”
Augnito AI-driven speech recognition accurately generates reports. Available in the cloud with no need for additional hardware or software, Augnito gives every radiologist a much faster and more flexible way of working – one that helps accurate diagnoses happen sooner.
Today, accurate speech recognition can lessen the burden on radiologists, improve workloads, and increase wellbeing and workforce retention. So perhaps the real question is ‘why the delay, what are you waiting for?’
For further information, interview opportunities or accompanying graphics please contact: Georgina Pavelin, Mixed Media – [email protected]
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.
Created by Scribetech, Augnito is its secure, cloud-based, AI-driven clinical speech recognition product suite. It offers fast, easy ways to capture live clinical data on any device with 99% 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.