A recent meeting of Pathologists held at the Royal Chemistry Society, London and hosted by Nuance & Talking Point highlighted how pathologists are rising to the challenges of a worldwide shortage of pathologists and growing demand for their services with investments in new technology.

The challenge for today´s pathologists
‘We’re working in an era where, worldwide, there is a shortage of qualified pathologists and in the UK we are also facing austerity’ challenged Dr Fred Mayall, Consultant Histopathologist at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust when speaking to a group of NHS pathologists who had come together at the invitation of Nuance partner Talking Point to share their experience of digitizing their departments. His colleague Dr Pedro Oliveira Consultant Histopathologist at The Christe NHS Foundation Trust also struck a warning note describing the increasing demand and workload for pathologists as a result of having to process more specimens, more samples, more tests

Dr Mayall and Dr Oliveira went on to describe how they are developing and using technology solutions, including speech recognition embedded into pathology workflow to improve the quality of reporting, increase throughput and regain work-life balance.

5 things busy pathologists love about speech recognition
Dr Mayall and Dr Oliveira describe how the use of speech recognition embedded in their digital pathology workflow changes their working lives for the better

1. Speed – ‘Speech Recognition is so good it is faster even than canned reports’ declared Dr Mayall. ‘I dictate whilst I am viewing a specimen. I’ve found that for me this is faster even than calling up a standard template’

2. Adaptability – ‘You don’t need to say stuff very clearly.’ Once you’ve set up your individual voice profile the speech recognition software will learn the way you speak and adapt to your accent and dictation style’

3. Accuracy – ‘The speech recognition software just doesn’t make mistakes. Once you’ve said a regular phrase a couple of times the software will never get it wrong’ A dictionary of medical words, terms and body system normals from over 60 specialties ensures complex medical terms are always accurately and completely captured.

4. Simplicity – ‘A single voice command cuts out the need to use the keyboard and the multiple clicks and keystrokes required to move between screens and between the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and my pathology system’ – Standard and customised voice commands are built into speech recognition

5. Quality – ‘The combined effect of faster, easier capture of the notes combined with greater accuracy enables me to focus on reporting the sample or specimen rather than the admin’

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