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Behind the scenes of myVCH Projects: Decreasing transcription turnaround time for patient reports


Above photo: Clerical Supervisor Aureece Einfeld.

Ever wonder how our staff are making Vancouver Coastal Health a better place?

What gave you the idea for this project?

I work at the Access and Assessment Centre (AAC), an urgent care clinic which deals with non-life-threatening mental health and substance use issues. Our manager wanted to decrease transcription turnaround time. We are such a fast-paced clinic, and it's very important that these reports get out as soon as possible. Faster transcription means that information is relayed faster, and our clients receive the services they need sooner.

We have transcription coverage seven days a week, but we weren't meeting our turnover quota. Our program is still quite new and has been growing exponentially -- more and more clients means more and more transcription.

What solution did you and your team develop?

At first we thought it might be possible to decrease transcription turnover time by switching to voice-to-text. So instead of the physician speaking into the phone, having it recorded and then relayed to a transcriptionist to type, they would speak into a device which would type in front of them immediately.

However, after extensive research, we determined this wouldn't be right for our program. Psychiatric reports are so robust and long – they're the story of someone's life versus more simple medical reports. The voice-to-text software was struggling with the language our physicians were using. It would regularly transcribe the dictations incorrectly, which meant that the doctors would take longer to complete their reports and resort to dictating more simple reports to try to avoid all the editing they would have to do after the fact.

Our clients deserve full-length assessments which have been transcribed professionally and edited professionally, and so we decided to try a different approach. As soon as the dictations started piling up we would bring in more people to type. We ended up hiring a temporary, part-time transcriptionist to offset the hours of our morning transcriptionist, and that has worked out quite well in keeping the transcription under control. Almost too well, as our full-time weekday transcriptionist is finding that she was running out of work to do. We are still working on finding the perfect balance in that regard, but the short of it is that our transcription turnaround time is much faster.

How did using the new myVCH Projects pathway affect your project outcome?

The Projects Approach was really helpful, and the software it uses is beautiful and relatively straightforward. It keeps you on track, and moving in the right direction.

What advice would you give to someone using the new approach for the first time?

Do your research. Ask questions. Before you embark on your project make sure it's something you're going to be able to move with and that it has some meat on it you can actually work with.

How did it feel when your project was implemented?

It felt really good. I think it's an excellent decision on the side of VCH to do this. Personally, I feel so much more involved and like I can help implement change. I feel like I have a voice. It's a very positive thing, and it's helping to empower people.

Project Name: Immediate Transcription

Initiative Owner: Aureece Einfeld, Clerical Supervisor 

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SOURCE: Behind the scenes of myVCH Projects: Decreasing transcription turnaround time for patient reports ( )
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