Published on August 20, 2014
By Aine Cryts
It mattered to Rich Maskowsky’s radiology practice that a speech recognition solution would work with their PACS-driven workflow—and that the vendor had worked well with their PACS and RIS provider. Midstate Radiology Associates, which maintains two imaging centers and reads multimodality studies on-site, chose IDS’ Voice2Dox as their speech recognition solution. Maskowsky, radiology IS manager at the practice, which is located in Meriden, Conn, says that not only have the practice’s radiologists embraced Voice2Dox, usage of the technology has allowed the practice to save $100,000 since November 2013.
The practice’s radiologists and some of the transcriptionists on the team served as the key decision makers for this important purchase. Maskowsky’s advice to others considering implementing a new solution is twofold: Get radiologists’ buy-in and ensure that the vendor can cater to radiologists’ workflow—mostly because radiologists aren’t going to change their workflow to suit any software solution, he says.
As part of their due diligence, Maskowsky and his team talked to end users of the various voice recognition solutions available. Midstate Radiology Associates discovered pretty quickly that both Sectra and IDS work well together and are both “very nimble companies.”
From a technology standpoint, Maskowsky notes that IDS’ cloud technology was key, as was the company’s ability to provide technical support to his team, which doesn’t have the support of a strong IT team in-house. Most relevant for his practice’s radiologists was their ability to continue to read exams, given Midstate Radiology Associates’ complex workflow, which includes reading worklists that are dynamically updated across locations. This is addressed by the combined IDS Voice2Dox/Sectra PACS solution, says Maskowsky.
“After conducting an in-depth search of competing systems, we selected Voice2Dox because it provided a full range of advanced features and turnkey implementation and management in the cloud,” said Gary Dee, MD, Midstate Radiology Associates’ medical director. “IDS also offered a robust range of complementary technologies that made the company an excellent strategic business partner for future expansion.”
Today, referring physicians are seeing dramatically improved report turnaround times. They typically receive nonstat reports within 2 hours. Maskowsky notes that referring physicians had come to rely on Midstate Radiology Associates for quick turnaround on stat reports even before the practice’s use of Voice2Dox.
While the practice had tried twice previously to implement a speech recognition solution for their 11 radiologists, Maskowsky found that the third time was the charm with IDS. Kicked off in November 2013, the Voice2Dox implementation took about 8 weeks and involved on-site training with IDS staff for the practice’s radiologists. Since that initial training, Maskowsky hasn’t needed to tap IDS again, though he says he gets a steady flow of documentation from the company that helps him to support the practice’s radiologists.
According to Maskowsky, Voice2Dox has “far exceeded our expectations.” Initially, the practice had looked forward to transitioning from in-house transcription to 50% automated, digital reporting within a year. Maskowsky says that, after just 30 days, the practice was 70% digital and, within 4 months, 85% digital. “Midstate radiologists can launch Voice2Dox with a single keystroke from within their PACS. They may choose among immediate speech recognition, template-based reporting, and transmission to a medical transcriptionist on-the-fly based on their needs,” according to an IDS spokesperson.
In addition, Midstate Radiology Associates has implemented the IDS Referring Physician Portal to enable doctors to view patient diagnostic images and download accompanying reports over the Internet across multiple platforms and devices. Further, the practice is preparing to go live with IDS’ automated Critical Findings Reporting, which provides an integrated solution that caters to several workflows, according to IDS.
“Technology, particularly cloud technology, is crucial to the success of any radiology practice in today’s challenging healthcare environment. Based on IDS’ superior voice recognition solution, we absolutely see IDS as a strategic partner to help lead us into the future,” said Maskowsky.