Can voice-driven AI speech recognition ease the impact of understaffing in radiology?

AUGNITO Radiology Reporting

9 May 2022 – Augnito’s five-point guide for those healthcare organisations looking for an optimal radiology SR solution to improve workplace efficiency, morale and staff retention.

The Royal College of Radiology (RCR) reports unprecedented shortages across diagnostic radiologists – those who enable accurate treatment – and interventional radiologists who treat via non-invasive procedures. By RCR estimates, approximately 2,000 more consultants will be needed just to keep up with pre-pandemic demand for scans and surgery. According to Scribetech (UK) Ltd, a clinical voice-AI solution and disruptive technology provider, this shortfall shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. In fact, it’s expected to grow to 44% by 2025. It’s a concerning situation and the number of demoralised radiologists looking to work less and leave the NHS is even more worrying.

Shiraz Austin, Co-Founder and Managing Director for Augnito, stated: “Without staff, patients face longer waits for radiology services and treatment, missing out on crucial early diagnoses and life-saving image-guided surgery. While the pandemic exacerbated the problem, the radiology shortage isn’t new or unique to radiology.”

“To address staff shortages, new ways of working are critical. Without more consultants in training, improved staff retention and recruitment, expanding budgets and better staff support, the way things are done needs to change.”

Scribetech has developed a five-point ‘product’ checklist for radiologists looking for an effective SR solution to halt the decline in staff retention while boosting productivity:

  • • Accuracy: to avoid mistakes and errors in data entry – a solution that understands radiology vocabulary, even when spoken with the strongest of accents.
  • • Efficiency: to allow reports to be compiled easily and instantly.
  • • Simplicity: to enable the user to ‘speak and report’ – a solution that works securely out of the box, without the need for typing, copying parts of documents, or sending files for transcription. And a solution that is cloud-based to keep the IT burden low.
  • • Costs: that provide scalability and flexibility – a solution that works within departmental budgets without high investment in user training, hardware, software, or infrastructure.
  • • Time: to create instant reports, invest in patient care, and invest in the future of radiology – without having to spend hours searching patient records and notes, or contacting technical support to assist with system downtime and workflow issues.

“Ensuring that diagnosis and reporting are both as accurate and timely as possible is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, we are left with the growing alternative – delays that create a rapid decline in patient care standards. This impacts treatment outcomes and lives, which in turn creates a domino effect of impacts,” continued Shiraz.

Technology is not a cure for the NHS and radiology, but it can help. AI-powered clinical speech recognition solutions empower practitioners and save time. Cloud-based applications let radiologists, clinicians and healthcare staff report and enter patient data whenever and wherever it’s needed. The right technology helps staff do more in less time, more accurately, and without the location and connectivity constraints of older legacy systems.

Shiraz continued: “Speech recognition technology is not new to radiologists. But not everyone has access to the latest benefits that cloud, and AI voice-driven clinical SR solutions deliver. Speech recognition has changed in the last 15 years and continues to evolve. Today’s solutions equip radiologists to tackle the heavy lifting of reporting – and address backlogs – while mitigating the increase in reporting demand.”

Augnito provides a speech-enabled reporting solution that bolsters the capabilities of radiology teams and lets them be deployed where they are needed the most. Instead of restructuring specialists to cover radiographer or reporting tasks, Augnito allows radiologists to diagnose and report on patient cases directly. This means faster reporting, enriched patient data, and reduced clinical risk.

“Radiology staff should feel confident in the technology that is available to support them, so they can deal with the demands of their day-to-day as easily and efficiently as possible. Secure cloud-based speech recognition is the key – and Augnito is a good start,” concluded Shiraz.