New Technology Drastically Reduces Time Needed to Produce Imaging Reports

Organization: Service: Story Topics:
Imaging & Radiology
Imaging Department CHLB

The once lengthy process of producing a report for a standard radiology procedure has been reduced from days, to minutes, with the acquisition of the new PowerScribe voice recognition software at Community Hospital Long Beach.

PowerScribe Voice Recognition Software 

The imaging department at Community Hospital Long Beach recently incorporated the PowerScribe voice recognition software into its daily practices. This new software aids in the department’s report writing efforts, which has greatly improved productivity and increased physician satisfaction. PowerScribe works with the hospital’s existing Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) to produce reports right away rather than going through a lengthy transcription process.

Before PowerScribe was introduced, composing an imaging report was tedious. Once a test was done, and the images were received by a physician, physicians would use either a digital recording device or a tape to record their report. That reading then had to be transferred to a transcription station outside of the hospital. At the transcription station, the information on the recording would be documented on an actual report that was then faxed back to the imaging department. Then the report was edited and faxed back to the physician for approval. The entire process could take anywhere from 24 hours to a few days before a report was completed and added to the patient’s file. Patients had to wait days for their reports to be processed, and this meant that their care was put on hold during this time.

Saving Time

Using the PowerScribe software, the imaging department is now able to cut the time it takes for report production to be minutes rather than days. With this new voice recognition software, physicians are able to sit down and dictate their report to a computer that automatically transcribes their report into a file on the PACS software. Physicians are able to edit their reports at will, without having to go through a lengthy process. Once they are done editing, they can immediately sign-off on it, and have it available for them when they pull up that image again.

“The transcription process before the introduction of PowerScribe wan not only untimely, it also ran a huge risk for delaying important patient care,” says Fred Lizarraga, manager, imaging, Community Hospital Long Beach. “With PowerScribe we are minimizing that risk considerably by improving outcomes and getting the reports into our doctor’s hands quickly so that they can proceed with treatment.”

Though this technology is new to Community Hospital Long Beach an upgrade is already in the works. The imaging department plans to incorporate the PowerScribe 360 software in mid-November which will give them improved administrate control, and utilizes a more sophisticated voice recognition software that is capable of transcribing different dialects and accents without the need for extra editing on the physicians part.

Along with the increased productivity that PowerScribe has provided, the quality of equipment in the imaging department will soon improve as well. An upgrade to the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and adding a digital portable x-ray to the list of machines available to the imaging department also are in the works.