Guardian Radiology to modernize workflow and reporting with AI
March 29, 2021
To achieve productivity, efficiency, and quality improvements, Guardian Radiology plans to modernize its workflow with a suite of AI-powered technologies from Nuance. Together, the new technologies will automate and augment the radiology reporting workflow with speech recognition and natural language processing capabilities.
This practice will become the first in Canada to deploy both PowerScribe One and PowerScribe Workflow Orchestration.
“We want to spend as much time as possible on what’s most important in radiology – looking at the images. That’s where our referring physicians and patients benefit most, and that’s where the Nuance solutions will help us most,” said Dr. Casey Young, medical director, Guardian Radiology.
A community-based radiology provider with locations throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan, Guardian Radiology provides both onsite and teleradiology services to meet the needs of the providers and communities they serve.
Until recently, the practice had relied on a traditional dictation-based reporting system in conjunction with their RIS/PACS. In the fall of 2020, however, they were ready to move to a new RIS/PACS solution.
Concurrently, they wanted best of breed technologies that incorporated speech recognition and addressed overall workflow and communication processes to support their radiologists’ need for enhanced productivity, faster turnaround times, and more robust workflow distribution management.
Guardian Radiology expects the new solutions from Nuance – PowerScribe One, PowerScribe Workflow Orchestration, and PowerConnect Communicator – to deliver the quality, efficiency, and accuracy improvements they’re looking for.
Introduced in the U.S. in 2019, PowerScribe One harnesses modern, user-centric design principles coupled with AI-driven clinical intelligence to automate and augment radiology reporting.
This spring, the cloud-based PowerScribe One platform will become available in Canada, and Guardian Radiology will become the first practice to deploy this solution.
“Canadian healthcare organizations continue to innovate and transform their technology strategies in ways that enable a multi-disciplinary, integrated team approach to patient care. We are honored to partner with Guardian Radiology in this endeavor and thrilled to be able to bring PowerScribe One to Canada,” said Ben Hebb, national director, healthcare diagnostics, at Nuance.
“We provide a broad array of services here, and so we strive to implement new technologies and imaging techniques for all of our locations in a synergistic way. PowerScribe One will integrate our applications so we can be more efficient and effective,” commented Dr. Young.
PowerScribe One uses continuous learning and “context-aware language understanding technology” to automatically convert the radiologist’s unstructured text into structured data.
A voice-enabled workflow control turns free-form dictation into organized, structured reports, making it easier for radiologists to create accurate, comprehensive, and consistent imaging reports that communicate a patient’s radiology findings.
“Efficiency comes in many forms, but when it comes to caring for patients, it can’t just be about how fast you can get things done,” said Karen Holzberger, senior vice president and general manager of diagnostics at Nuance Communications. “You need platforms with real-time intelligence, decision support, and automation that are capable of balancing efficiency with effectiveness – all while connecting people and applications. That’s what PowerScribe One is becoming for Guardian Radiology.”
For Guardian Radiology, patients are at the centre of their philosophy, and so, increasing access to imaging services, decreasing wait-times, and building a flexible practice are paramount.
“When radiologists can collaborate and communicate in real-time while amplifying their potential with the power of AI, we can create the care pathways that are essential to quality patient outcomes,” Hebb noted. He explained that this doesn’t just mean taking waste out of the workflow to create efficiencies, but it also means connecting all stakeholders in ways that eliminate rework – whether that means revising reports, managing denied claims, or even re-imaging patients.
That viewpoint is part of what contributed to Guardian Radiology’s selection of PowerConnect Communicator. If a radiologist wants to consult with a colleague, this solution enables them to collaborate in real-time and within the normal radiology workflow.
“In-context messaging allows the consulting radiologist to launch the study, view the specific image in question, and respond right within the integrated chat window. It’s not only more convenient, but helps to better manage disruptions, which can really weigh you down in the day-to-day,” said Dr. Young.
In addition to PowerScribe One and PowerConnect Communicator, radiologists at Guardian Radiology will soon take advantage of Nuance’s workflow orchestration solution. PowerScribe Workflow Orchestration applies artificial intelligence to automatically distribute exams to the right clinical resource at the right time.
Once fully implemented, the team at Guardian Radiology will be able to focus on reading images, rather than managing their worklists. If an emergent case arises, the solution will automatically match the case with the appropriate radiologist, and dynamically adjust their worklist.
“The less time we can spend managing workloads, assigning and prioritizing cases, and making sure things get communicated correctly, the better,” said Dr. Young.
Further, PowerScribe Workflow Orchestration fully optimizes integration with Guardian Radiology’s RIS/PACS environments for a more streamlined, comprehensive and synchronized experience for the radiologist.
With critical patient information at their fingertips and robust interruption workflow, radiologists can work seamlessly between multiple exams, and all apps on the desktop will remain in sync, so there’s no risk of dictating on the wrong exam.
“At the end of the day, the combination of Nuance solutions will allow for the real-time intelligence and collaboration we need to position our practice for growth and expansion well into the future,” explained Dr. Young.