Not only is VoiceOver PRO improving the ease of Aultman's pathology workflows, the efficiency improvements are massive.
“We finish our workload about 30 to 45 minutes earlier, on average,” Dr. Ravichandran says. “This is due to instant report creation by dictation and immediate sign out. Previously we had to wait until the end of the day to let the transcriptionists finish their work and then sign out the reports in the late evening. At the end of a busy day, that time savings is a huge difference maker for us.”
The moment Dr. Ravichandran completes a report, he sees the report transferred over into Cerner, verifies that it looks good, and immediately releases the report. “Getting a report out faster, even a few hours per case, can make a big difference in patient care. Typically our doctors prefer to do their rounds on the floors and the wards in the morning,” he says. “With PRO, as soon as you complete the diagnosis of the cancer or a biopsy specimen, the results are instantly released into Cerner. When they do the rounding at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning, the clinicians already have the complete result on their screens.”
In January, the lab was once again short-staffed and the volume of cases ramped up. So Dr. Ravichandran came to work on a Saturday morning and was able to dictate in his office, with no disruption, and finish all the cases. He says that flexibility would not have been possible if they did not have PRO. “With PRO, you could come late in the day or at a convenient time and take a break, come back to the slides and do a careful review and dictate at your own pace and control your own workflow.”
The efficiency gains were so significant that Aultman Hospital was able to eliminate two transcription positions in the lab and automate the process completely with PRO. “That’s huge, because with staffing shortages we were able to take those positions and transition them elsewhere,” says lab director Blake. “We didn't get rid of the transcriptionists, but we're now using them for something else in a different area of the department. With case volumes going up and for some of our technologically-advanced positions, being able to use these lower-level positions to really help with the workload is great.”
PRO's CAP checklists and custom templates have made the lab's reporting processes faster. Dr. Ravichandran anticipates even more time will be saved as they go forward, due to reduced need for correcting reports caused by missing CAP data elements.
Although their LIS (Cerner) is capable of allowing them to create templates, Aultman’s IT department did not give the pathologists the freedom to instantly create their own templates inside of Cerner. Instead, the process involved putting in a formal IT request for a template. Because the IT department is also facing staff shortages and a tremendous amount of workload, they would get to it when they could, and it took a lot of time and expense for them to complete a request to create templates as quickly as the lab needed them. “So when we set up PRO, I was amazed that we could create our own custom templates in PRO and they are shareable,” Dr. Ravichandran says. “We've already created some templates. And in addition to cancer, we are now creating templates on non-cancer reports that have multiple data elements. I think this freedom to create templates on PRO and move them over to Cerner is enormously helpful for us to further improve the process.”
When Aultman worked with Voicebrook on the customization process, pathology staff requested specific formatting elements like indentation and bolding in their reports in order to improve consistency.
Aultman’s cancer center coordinators have told the pathology department that they very much appreciate the consistent formatting, compared to previously where all three pathologists' cancer checklists were all slightly different. Now the reports have standardized formatting, resulting in a uniform flow of information from top to bottom in the report. Clinicians know exactly where to look when they're seeking an essential piece of data.
Remember those formatting errors that plagued Aultman with their cancer center certification? No longer a concern. “Those inspectors go line-by-line, saying ‘this is essential’ and ‘your report is missing this item’,” Dr. Ravichandran recalls. “They randomly review 20 or 30 percent of our reports, so if an incomplete report gets into their hands, you will hear about that in the summation meeting. But now, PRO prevents those errors. We like that when you try to move a report over to Cerner without completing an important element, PRO tells us that we are missing certain elements and prompts us to correct them. That automatic check helps us.”
Dr. Ravichandran used to worry and wonder if he was using the correct and up-to-date CAP electronic Cancer Protocols (eCP). “That worry is now gone. I can now be assured that what always passes through to me from PRO is going to be the latest updated version. That concern is not there anymore.”
Want to enjoy the same results as Aultman Hospital? Schedule your free VoiceOver PRO demo today!