Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust partners with BigHand to transform clinical correspondence


BigHand solution to drive efficiencies in clinical correspondence, empower staff and help improve the patient experience

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with BigHand to increase the efficiency and productivity of its administrative operations.

The trust, which comprises one inpatient hospital, two outpatient facilities and adult community services, has completed its rollout of BigHand to overcome long-standing issues with usability, licensing and reliability it had experienced with its previous digital dictation system.

“The Dudley Group has developed a reputation for being one of the most technologically-advanced NHS trusts in the country, but we realised that our old digital dictation solution had become outdated and was no longer fit for purpose in a busy modern hospital environment,” explains Roz Geary, IT project manager at the trust.

“We were encountering significant difficulties with usability which was creating an uncomfortable backlog of secretarial work. Moreover, the incumbent licensing arrangement meant some users were being locked out, perpetuating the backlog and increasing inefficiency. With the cost of new barcode scanners and the potential cost of additional licenses prohibitive, we recognised that the old system had become too expensive – both in terms of cost and its impact on productivity.

“The move to BigHand will undoubtedly transform our operations and deliver significant efficiencies. The new system includes a unique Clinic Builder feature that eradicates the need for barcode scanners and, with more than 800 users, this aspect alone promises huge potential savings. But, perhaps more importantly, Clinic Builder will enable us to prioritise work more effectively and accelerate the processing of key clinical correspondence back to clinicians and patients. In addition, the system gives us increased visibility of workflow and robust reporting capabilities to ensure that our administrative resources are managed optimally.”

The trustwide implementation of BigHand, which is now complete, is used by staff across the entire trust – with consultants, junior doctors, rotational doctors, registrars, SHOs, typists and medical secretaries all benefiting from the new technology.

Now complete, the implementation provides a strong platform for the further development of clinical correspondence processes at the Foundation Trust. In the future, the Dudley Group hopes to extend functionality to include M*Modal speech recognition capabilities for users.

“We are confident that not only will staff feel empowered by the technology, but that patients themselves will recognise the improvements as part of our ongoing commitment to provide the highest standards of patient care,” said Geary.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

Clinic Builder is a BigHand module which presents fully-customisable clinic and appointment data to clinicians by generating a list of clinics with which a clinician can create dictations against specific patients and those dictations will be automatically titled and profiled with the correct information. BigHand then integrates with the trust’s PAS or EPR system to automatically populate document templates with demographic data, significantly reducing administrative input and allows the subsequent export of completed documents onto downstream storage or transmission technologies.