Philips SpeechMagic used throughout Belgian AZ Sint-Jan Hospital and at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Australia

Vienna 21 August 2007Royal Philips Electronics' industrial grade speech recognition technology SpeechMagic has been implemented facility-wide at AZ Sint-Jan Hospital in Brugge, Belgium. As an integral part of the reporting solution MediSpeech by G2 Speech, SpeechMagic interfaces with the hospital's electronic health record (EHR) system to turn spoken information into clinical data. Physicians are provided with a reliable, accurate and timely source of patient information. The same solution has also been successfully deployed at the Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW), New South Wales, Australia. Here, the technology has helped the radiology and nuclear medicine departments to boost their efficiency, thus moving from a two-week reporting backlog to same-day reporting. With speech recognition powered reporting, physicians are now able to focus on getting the children out of the hospital faster, as treatment delays from missing documentation have been eliminated.


At AZ Sint-Jan Hospital, SpeechMagic identifies section headings in a dictated text to structure the data in the hospital-wide EHR system. This helps provide every department only with relevant information, which streamlines work flows and protects sensitive patient data. Reports are efficiently distributed to the General Practitioner (GP) via the hospital's Extranet or Belgium's dedicated virtual private network for health care organisations. As a result, waiting time for reports has been reduced by 60 percent.

"A proper letter delivered within a few days is better for the safety of the patient and for collaboration with the GP", stated Dr. Van den Bruel, endocrinologist at AZ Sint-Jan Hospital. "The visibility of the dictated text on my screen has increased the level of detail provided in the conclusion of my reports. I also receive fewer calls as GPs are provided with trustworthy information enabling them to quickly continue the treatment of their patients."

Driven by the Radiology and the Pathology departments, the 900-bed hospital has deployed the reporting solution MediSpeech powered by SpeechMagic across specialities, including Cardiology, Gynaecology and Orthopaedics. Dr. William de Groote, head of Orthopaedic Surgery and president of the Catholic University College of Brugge-Ostend, stated: "I use speech recognition after every consultation and after every operation. We dictate directly into the eDossier of the patient. Our morning shift can find all information from the night shift in the eDossier, and vice versa, meaning we don't have to search for x-rays and reports anymore."

Speech recognition-based transcription has proven twice as fast as a manual transcription from a digital recording. Simon Nowé, IT project manager at AZ Sint-Jan Hospital, commented: "Speech recognition makes our entire work flow faster, easier and adds significant value for the physicians. It enables us to provide clinicians and GPs with better information, faster."

The radiology and nuclear medicine departments of the 340-bed Children's Hospital at Westmead produce some 55.000 reports each year. Before implementing SpeechMagic, they had been suffering from a distinct backlog of information that could delay the availability of medical information up to two weeks.

K.C. Fan, chief radiographer at CHW, stated: "Now all reports are finalized at the end of the same day on which they were created. Our two week backlog vanished and the accuracy of our reports has increased, as the secretaries can now spend more time on each report and improve the quality of their work. This provides obvious benefits for the children in our care."

The Children's Hospital at Westmead is using background speech recognition which means that the clinicians record their dictations on a PC and the recorded audio file is transferred from there to the SpeechMagic engine. The automatically generated text is then sent to transcriptionists, who review it and correct recognition errors if needed.

"It is a small investment compared to other infrastructural measures, but it makes an enormous improvement to the performance of a department. It makes our entire work flow faster, easier and adds significant value for the physicians", stated K.C. Fan.

Other departments in the hospital have now started to investigate how they could benefit from the implementation of speech recognition as well. Project Speech, the SpeechMagic integration partner for the Australasian region, advised on and implemented speech recognition at CHW.

Philips' industrial grade documentation technology SpeechMagic is installed at more than 8000 professional sites in 45 nations, including the world's largest health care speech recognition site. More company news is available in this month's VMW issue's article Philips awarded state-wide telehealth equipment GPO contract by the California Association for Health Services at Home.

Leslie Versweyveld

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