How Front-End Speech Can Assist the Pathology Workflow

Chad Hiner, RN, MS, Executive Director, Healthcare Developer, Healthcare, Partner 1 Comment

The pathology landscape is quickly changing…regulatory constraint of tests, reduced reimbursements, and bundled payments have forced pathology labs to change the way they operate. Gone are the days where the clinician / pathologist determined what tests and diagnostic studies to perform for a patient.

Now, regulated Medicare reimbursement levels have drastically reduced the reimbursable testing to just a few items per patient. This gives providers far less discretion than in the past. For labs to stay in the black, they must complete reimbursable tests much more quickly, while handling even higher volumes of cases per day.

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Chad Hiner, RN, MS, Executive Director, Healthcare

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Therefore, pathology labs are now very focused on workflow efficiency, as well as medical outcomes. Accordingly, Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) vendors are in the process of updating their software to address these needs, but that won’t happen overnight.

In the meantime, LIS vendors are hearing that their software requires too many clicks to complete a case/specimen. In an effort to track all required data for a case or specimen, pathologists are required to navigate multiple screens and populate many discrete data fields using keyboard and mouse, which can be very time intensive.

This is where SayIt can be of assistance. By bundling multiple LIS workflow actions into a single voice command and providing automated completion of common workflow steps, SayIt reduces the amount of mouse clicks associated with the processing and diagnosing of a specimen. Utilizing voice enabled grossing templates in a hands-free workflow environment is one solution that is gaining popularity.

Pathology Assistants (PA) are able to quickly document their findings into an LIS, in a structured format, without having to touch a keyboard. Likewise, Pathologists are able to view slides and dictate their reports without having to hunt, point and click. The accuracy of real-time speech recognition, combined with an efficiently mapped out workflow process allows PA’s to process more specimens and Pathologists to document more findings.

Therefore, SayIt improves workflow efficiency, allowing the lab to pursue reimbursements more quickly.

The other “reality” for labs today is the rapid movement from traditional transcription to front-end speech. Transcription services are very expensive to operate, and their required Turnaround Times (TAT) slow down revenue reimbursement. Whereas, front-end or real-time speech recognition is instantaneous, the clinician’s audio is captured, converted to text and placed directly into the LIS.

Some additional benefits for SayIt front-end speech recognition are:

• Higher quality documentation.
• Improve timeliness, accuracy and consistency of clinical documentation.
• Reduce errors while entering data at more than 3-4 times the speed of typing.

Going forward, clinical labs and pathology groups will need to align their diagnostic services to meet the new “bundled care” approach. Improving workflow efficiency, from the grossing station to the pathologist, is an affordable way to improve productivity.

Contact us for more information on how SayIt can improve can improve your Pathology Workflow: sales@nvoq.com or call 720-562-4500.