… how speech recognition can enhance pathology and the wider patient journey
Pathology as a critical department on the path to diagnosis and treatment, has a vital role to play in simplifying and improving the patient journey – but with structured reporting, restrictive workflows, and legacy technology, unlocking mobility, efficiency and accuracy is a significant challenge.
Patient journeys across healthcare are, in some ways, unavoidably complex. Successful diagnosis and treatment require numerous departments to work together, sharing information and data, often under significant pressure and time constraints. Restrictive technology makes this task needlessly difficult for departments like pathology and, more importantly, it negatively impacts the patient experience and, ultimately, outcomes.
Like radiology, pathology must evolve to meet rising demand, considerable backlogs, and waiting lists that remain at record levels. Flexible, accurate speech recognition has the potential to deliver this evolution.
The challenges for pathology
The health of patients depends on a healthy, high-performing healthcare system. However, like radiology and many other departments, pathologists face considerable challenges in coping with the number of samples and analyses required to address NHS backlogs. These challenges are the main contributing factor to stress, burnout and poor work-life balance, more so than quantity of workload alone.
In August 2022, the number of people on NHS waiting lists reached 7 million. This landmark figure, in the height of summer, paints the picture of a difficult winter. For departments like pathology, it’s an issue that is perpetual.
In part, these difficulties are the product of high demand from patients and little to no transformation in how pathologists record and report on their work. Many departments are tied to deeply embedded, often antiquated workflows. With a need for structured reporting and a lot of complex detail, changing these workflows is seen as a significant risk.
At the same time, the pressure to change is immense. In 2015, the National Advisory Group on Health Information Technology in England found that pathology was key to diagnostic support outcomes and should be at the forefront of NHS digitisation. Since then, funding for AI and digital pathology services has been forthcoming and the NHS has begun to introduce new information standards for pathologist reporting.
However, transforming pathology and improving the patient journey also means rethinking how pathologists work day-to-day.
Investing in core clinical workflows and pathology efficiency
Unlike radiology, pathology is not traditionally an early adopter of new technology. Many pathologists find themselves using outdated, legacy systems every day as part of their routine. It’s in these ever-present, often limiting systems that Trusts can achieve the biggest return on investment.
Technology like voice-AI powered speech recognition allowing all too needed handsfree dictation now help to accelerate the pathology reporting workflow directly into the LIMS, enhancing and making them significantly easier for pathologists. Standalone or integrated into an EPR, EMR or LIMS, intuitive and contextual speech recognition gives pathologists a more efficient way to work, creating measurable time savings and improved reporting speed.
Ultimately, this influences the patient journey, waiting lists, and outcomes. Speech recognition enables a faster, more agile department, delivering a quick return on investment that empowers the radiologists and pathologists, to support the Trusts and patients alike.
At the same time, closer integration across pathology and radiology is a necessity. A study published in BMC Medicine identified this opportunity to bring diagnostic reporting systems together, improving clinical efficiency, research, innovation and, ultimately, patient care.
How Augnito is transforming pathology and patient care
Pathology is chronically underfunded and dependant on legacy technology, often unseen in depths of a hospital campus. Across complex workflows from macroscopic and microscopic analyses to final diagnosis, pathologists need best-in-class, hands-free technology to stay on top of rising workloads and play their important role in the patient journey.
Augnito is a cloud-hosted, AI-powered speech recognition solution, that can now enable pathologists to create those structured reports using their voice to describe the biological make up and structure in precise detail. This provides seamless follow-on specialities with an easy, fast way to decipher the diagnostic next steps. Crucially, it’s the innovative and disruptive technology solution built in partnership with healthcare professionals, accounting for the reporting language specifics and complexity of every department across the patient journey.
Augnito delivers beyond 99% accuracy on any device, in any accent, with no need for voice profile training or a long onboarding process. The solution also includes a specific histopathology language modelling, capable of handling the complex detail and unique terms of pathology.
It fits effortlessly into pathology workflows, any new technology especially when it needs to be completely mobile. Augnito is available on any device, anytime, anywhere, wherever and whenever it is needed.
Augnito includes a flexible API & SDK, “Augnito Voice Services”. This can be used to integrate the best-in-class medical speech recognition with the LIMS, enabling pathologists to work better, more accurately, more efficiently, and crucially within the existing workflow structure.
Finally, a cloud-hosted speech recognition like Augnito is available quickly with no complex changes to infrastructure. Departments can start using Augnito on any scale, especially where budgets are strained. By delivering measurable improvements to pathology workflows in days, not months, Augnito delivers a fast return on investment and soon pays for itself many times over.
Challenge Augnito – try it. Partner with Augnito
Try the Augnito App or request an evaluation version. Challenge it with the longest most complex medical terminology in a noisy environment and let us know what you think! Talk to us about reselling Augnito, or about its easy integration capabilities. Talk to the growing UK list of Augnito Partners to find out how their customers successfully transferred from legacy SR products to benefiting from this next-gen voice-AI driven speech recognition solution.