More Implementation Tips

Implementation Fairy The Best-Practice Fairy is back with a fascinating article by Jeff Kelly on successful speech recognition implementation. No doubt that Mr. Kelly knows what he is talking about: before joining Inland Imaging, a 60-member private radiology group in Spokane, WA, as director of clinical applications, he used to perform RIS market analysis and consulting work for MedQuist on voice recognition implementation. As Kelly puts it in a 2007 AuntMinnie article, one question – “What’s in it for me?” – is the key to a speech recognition project’s success. His article sheds the most promising light on the implementation brain-teaser. Here are a few soothing extracts:

Strong support and leadership

Consider pulling in this diverse group of representatives into a VR task force that can meet at defined intervals to address issues and help break down barriers to success. Then use this task force to educate its members on voice recognition — keeping in mind that this is usually new technology for 90% of those involved. This task force can also function as the decision-making body behind the implementation.

Maximize benefit, minimize effort

A typical radiologist statement that must be addressed is, “I am not a transcriptionist.” You can respond to this statement on three levels. First, stress the improvement in patient care when the radiologists are able to review and edit the report at the same time as reviewing the films. No longer do they need to recall whether it was a left or a right shoulder MRI. The accuracy of the report immediately increases.

Second, by editing at the time of the report, they eliminate the time-consuming process of logging into the RIS/HIS at a later time and reviewing the report. Third, the ability to send to transcription still exists if they so desire.

Provide sufficient internal support

At Inland Imaging, an in-house trainer was designated to be with each radiologist for the first three days when they began using the technology. This level of support tapered to half of every day for the next three days, then reached a point in which only a phone call was necessary to check in on each radiologist. Keep in mind that each radiologist will be unique — some needing more support and some needing less.

Set realistic expectations

As stated before, the radiologists are going from a traditional bicycle they’ve ridden their entire life to a shiny new two-seater that they are going to share with a friend. This is no easy task. It’s important to be frank and honest with staff and radiologists about the implementation process. There will be application bugs. There will be times when the application or workstation stops responding. There will be days when they love the system, and days when they feel like throwing the whole thing out the window. Set these expectations up front, then address them as quickly as possible when they arise.

Making change last

Finally, maintain the health of the system. Continue to refresh hardware as necessary to optimize both client- and server-side performance. Maintain error logs and database optimization jobs. Continue to accept version upgrades. Don’t allow neglect of system maintenance responsibilities to have a damaging impact upon the workflow of its users.

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