A key member of a hospital’s leadership team, Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) are responsible for the capital health of the organisation. However, their financial choices, planning and budgeting also affect the health of individuals and the wider population.

In a typical hospital, CFOs strive for financial stability through effective planning, reporting, and strategic decision making. From cashflow to contract negotiations, CFOs ensure that financial resources are used effectively to deliver the best possible levels of care and seamless patient journeys.

In recent years, the financial pressure on hospitals and NHS Trusts has intensified. Rising demand, increasing costs, an ageing population, and funding shortfalls all create new challenges for CFOs everywhere. The Health Foundation expects these factors to worsen over time. In this context, CFOs must constantly balance competing priorities—and invest in new technology in a way that delivers the best possible return.

Solving major pain points (for Chief Finance Officers)

Efficiency is an overarching priority for CFOs. Driven by robust cash releasing efficiency targets from the Government, every CFO needs to improve processes, meaningfully reduce operating costs, and still maintain the highest standards of quality and care. This all needs to be achieved while ensuring healthcare professionals feel supported, both financially and in terms of workflow. The cost of 2023’s NHS strikes is an estimated £1.5 billion and the impact on operating costs and patients is hard to measure in financial terms.

While there is no single solution for a hospital’s complex operational needs, we’re confident that investment in clinical speech recognition delivers measurable value to staff and patients —without restricting the agility and financial clarity CFOs need in order to keep pace with a changing market.

Reducing overheads and increasing efficiency

At the most fundamental level, highly accurate clinical speech recognition is more affordable than manual transcription services or adding headcount to keep up with medical administration demand. When healthcare professionals can capture accurate patient notes and reports faster and more intuitively, they can work more efficiently—in short, the same number of ‘heads’ can complete a larger number of reports in the same amount of time.

Equally, cloud-based medical speech recognition like Augnito Spectra helps keep costs down by removing the need to overhaul IT infrastructures, spend capital for on-premise hardware, or employ IT teams to conduct application maintenance and upgrades.

Leveraging the investments in legacy technology already made

New technology including clinical speech recognition can also help CFOs drive even more value from the investments they’ve already made in digitisation. With an exhaustive SDK and API, Augnito’s AI platform can be easily and seamlessly integrated into any clinical system, including Electronic Patient Records (EPR). This allows 99.9% accurate speech recognition to be embedded into existing workflows, making even older software faster, easier, and more intuitive to use. Augnito can bridge legacy technology with new functionality now, without the cost of replacement—and continue to integrate with new technology when the Trust is financially and operationally ready to adopt it.

Making investments now to deliver lasting value

Amid widespread economic uncertainty, it’s difficult for CFOs to support strategic investments in new technology unless they can validate the likelihood of long-term value. A cloud hosted speech recognition platform like Augnito Spectra is scalable by design, ensuring its time-saving benefits can easily be extended to new individuals, new teams, and any location. Augnito has the flexibility to support site-wide expansion over time.

Augnito also delivers continuous improvement through machine learning, resulting in a solution that perpetually improves, even as new medical vocabulary comes into use. With a self-improving cloud solution, there’s no need to rethink, replace, and reinvest in something new in a few years.

Improving organisational agility

Finally, the only effective way to navigate economic uncertainty and unpredictable spikes in demand is with agility and flexibility. CFOs know that long-term financial commitments only diminish their ability to flex in order to meet the market, the needs of the workforce, government priorities, and population health requirements.

Augnito enables agility in an individual sense—by making speech recognition available anywhere, on any device—but also in an organisational sense, with simple recurring costs, no need to spend your capital, and options to shrink or grow your usage as required. Augnito is designed to accommodate fluctuations in staffing levels with localised user license administration for full control and options to recycle licenses for new users.

Learn more about Augnito

See how Augnito Spectra creates lasting value for hospital CFOs. Request a demo, to see the benefits for yourself.

Playing a critical role in overseeing day-to-day operations in healthcare, Chief Operating Officers (COOs) need to balance competing priorities and a diverse number of responsibilities. Operations, strategy and administrative tasks all need attention—but digitisation can help across the board.

In part, a hospital COO needs to be an active collaborator at the leadership level. CEOs and CMOs count on the COO to support strategic planning, sharing insights up the chain and implementing their strategies on a more tactical level. At the same time, COOs must be able to shift focus from the ‘big picture’ to the smallest details of how a hospital environment is working, from the way departments collaborate to emergency preparedness and patient data workflow optimisation.

One key priority is meeting the expectations of the Government, including the adoption of Electronic Medical Records. Under NHS England’s plan to digitise services, hospitals and trusts are expected to achieve HIMSS EMRAM Stage 5 by the end of 2025. Part of the globally accepted model for electronic record adoption, this stage will involve effective data integration, and new digital workflows will be key.

With this in mind, COOs often find themselves trying to solve multiple challenges at once—addressing short-term issues while strategically improving organisational operations for the future. Adopting speech recognition – voice driven, AI powered speech-to-text digital dictation – has the potential to address many of these challenges with one investment that provides high returns within months, not years.

Solving major pain points for Chief Operating Officers

By definition, a COO is responsible for the way a hospital operates. That includes just about every facet of day-to-day service delivery, from overall patient experience to resource management, budgets, and even facility management. With so many areas of the hospital competing for attention (and resources), it can be difficult for COOs to know where to start—and where the biggest impact could be delivered.

How can we make the most of limited resources for technology?

Hospital COOs understand the urgent need for transformation more than most. Post-pandemic, it has become clear that stretched resources and overworked healthcare professionals create unnecessary risk. One sudden surge in patient demand could be devastating. In this context, COOs want to invest in technology that delivers widespread improvements—not just for a single department, but across the entire patient journey. Cloud-based speech recognition like Augnito Spectra allows COOs to invest on a small scale in new ways of working, then grow this sustainably and affordably over time. As a result, the time-saving benefits of speech recognition can be incrementally unlocked and these efficiency gains can have an immediate impact across the entire hospital.

How can we eliminate bottlenecks and improve patient throughput?

Process optimisation is a key responsibility for COOs. One way to eliminate delays on the patient journey is to improve workloads, giving teams new ways to work efficiently without compromising on quality and accuracy. Speech recognition and what some call voice driven (AI powered) digital transcription, or voice recognition, helps with this by enabling faster, more accurate and detailed patient data capture, without the need to wait for manual transcription and without the added risk of transcribed errors.

When users can complete clinical reports in less time, they get more done—and get the time and space they need to drive quality and constant improvement in care pathways. This has a positive knock-on effect on hospital resources, treatment waiting lists, transfer processes, and patient journeys.

How can we build a more confident, capable internal culture?

Many hospital COOs face the challenge of improving care-staff relations and fostering a collaborative working environment. The foundation of a good working environment is transparency and clear communication—and speech recognition can help eliminate confusion and ensure everyone can access the information they need.

Integrated into an EPR or other clinical systems, Augnito Spectra doesn’t just make capturing patient and clinical notes easier—it ensures that accurate, timely information is always reflected in the day-to-day systems clinicians depend on. In this way, Augnito strengthens the way teams collaborate, share information, and make informed care decisions.

How can we improve our resilience and agility?

With responsibility for emergency preparedness and facility management, COOs understand the need to build redundancy into ways of working across a hospital. When people are tied to cumbersome on-premise technology, they’re simply unable to respond to change in a way that supports organisational resilience.

Augnito Spectra was designed to go wherever its users go, rather than restricting how they can work. As a cloud-hosted solution, Augnito can be accessed from anywhere, including mobile apps, enabling clinicians to work securely and confidently, even in the event of a disaster, or sudden location changes.

Learn more about Augnito

See how Augnito Spectra delivers measurable benefits now, while future-proofing the way you capture patient data. Request a demo, to see the benefits for yourself.

Continuing our look at the role and responsibilities of Trust and hospital CEOs—and how speech recognition can help—we’re turning our attention to The Triple Aim: three key healthcare priorities that must be carefully balanced to ensure the best possible outcomes.

The past few years have seen the continued evolution and transformation of healthcare, not just in terms of new challenges, but also new models of care and systemic changes. The move away from CCGs to Integrated Care Systems and ICBs is strengthening the connectivity between organisations—but CEOs still face the challenge of bringing everyone together over shared goals and values.

The Triple Aim is one such set of goals: a renewed focus on the vital outcomes that successful healthcare systems deliver.

Understanding The Triple Aim and its expectations

Beyond the day-to-day health of a hospital or organisation, CEOs need a longer-term perspective that considers the bigger picture—beyond waiting times and routine metrics to larger, overarching outcomes.

Developed by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, an independent body that strives to improve healthcare capability, The Triple Aim is an initiative that was first launched in 2007. In 2021, the UK Health and Care Bill directly referenced this initiative, highlighting a shared duty to ‘have regard to the wider effect of decisions.’

Specifically, The Triple Aim identifies three areas that CEOs and other stakeholders must consider in their decision making:
1. The health and wellbeing of people and populations, leading to the outcome of ‘better health’
2. The quality of services provided or arranged, leading to the outcome of ‘better care’
3. The efficient use of resources and budgets, leading to the outcome of ‘better value’.

Of course, these three areas are involved in a complex relationship. At times they align—better care should lead, in most cases, to better health. In other instances, they compete—the need for better care tends to make better value more difficult to achieve.

By design, Integrated Care Systems support this shared set of ambitions and development effective care, that reaches the entire community, at the best possible value, takes close collaboration between stakeholders. However, CEOs have an important role to play in setting the overall direction for their hospital, Trust or ICS—and the right strategy for innovation and technology can help significantly.

Technology, speech recognition and The Triple Aim

The shared priorities identified in The Triple Aim are designed to ripple through everything a CEO does and every decision taken. Outcomes, equality, efficiency and value are to be perpetual priorities, steering both micro and macro decisions as well as underpinning collaboration with other health and social care organisations.

This mindset also applies to technology. Any new platform or workflow needs to support these outcomes—while also delivering quality and value in its own right. In the words of membership organisation NHS Providers: “Digital technology can be a powerful hook and catalyst for change” but leaders must be “rigorous in ensuring the technologies they are adopting are making a positive difference.”

Speech recognition like Augnito promises to embed into organisations and deliver measurable value with a tangible impact on efficiency and care quality. When healthcare professionals can significantly reduce their admin and reporting time—without compromising on quality—organisations can move faster, respond with more precision, and remove a major barrier to positive outcomes and seamless journeys.

Augnito also integrates into existing technologies and EPR systems, adding the advantage of speech recognition into vital platforms for collaboration and quality assurance. While no technology is an all-encompassing answer to the challenges faced in healthcare, the potential for speech to support CEOs as they strive to deliver on The Triple Aim is huge.

Learn more about Augnito

See how Augnito Spectra aligns with The Triple Aim to improve care and patient journeys while controlling costs and maximising ROI Request a demo, or try Augnito Spectra and see the benefits for yourself.

With the ultimate responsibility for everything that happens across an NHS Trust, CEOs are under pressure to lead their organisations to success. Innovations in how healthcare is delivered—and how healthcare professionals are supported—are vital.

Day-to-day, CEOs need to navigate endless complexity and balance the often-competing demands of patients, employees, the wider NHS, and central government. Any efforts to digitalise and innovate will only deliver value if they affect the experience of all these groups—and enable CEOs to deliver a focused yet flexible strategy.

Continuing our look at how speech recognition supports various leaders across NHS Trusts, here’s how CEOs can overcome major pain points and challenges with a cloud-based, AI-driven solution like Augnito.

Empowering CEOs to address short, medium and long-term challenges

One of the most significant complexities facing NHS Trust CEOs is the inherent conflicts between short-term strategies and the long-term vision. As Trusts strive to address pressing issues like long waiting lists, overworked healthcare professionals, and demand that outstrips capacity, it becomes more difficult to consider the bigger picture and plan for the future.

This longer-term planning is key in alignment with wider NHS and government initiatives, including the ‘Triple Aim’. First outlined in the Health and Care Bill in 2021, this overarching ambition for the NHS and government is to create:
• Better health on an individual and population level
• Better care in terms of quality of services
• Better value and the sustainable, efficient use of resources

We’ll be covering the Triple Aim in more depth in a blog post in March but, for now, it’s clear that achieving these aims will be a process of continuous improvement—one that’s made harder if CEOs are busily addressing more overt, immediate challenges in workload and productivity.

Speech recognition can enable people to work faster, more flexibly and more accurately now—and puts Trusts on a path of innovation, data-driven decisions, and increased employee and patient satisfaction.

How can we innovate amid rising costs and financial pressure?
CEOs need to oversee the financial health of the hospital, but budgetary constraints often become barriers to innovation and digitalisation. Crucially, any new technology must deliver measurable value for healthcare professionals and patients. Speech recognition delivered in the cloud strikes a good balance between productivity-enhancing, available-anywhere technology and a simple recurring fee per user with no need for significant capital expenditure.

How can we improve patient and physician satisfaction?
CEOs understand the intrinsic links between the experience of patients and the experience of physicians. If physicians can report faster without sacrificing accuracy, they can keep up with their workloads, become more collaborative, and begin to address backlogs. In this way, accurate speech that saves hours each week directly influences the patient journey and outcomes.

How can we act strategically when demands and market pressures change fast?
One of the biggest challenges for hospital CEOs is the need to take a long-term view and plan strategically in a space that’s difficult to predict. Changing government and NHS priorities, intensifying regulatory compliance, and major healthcare incidents like COVID-19 can happen at a moment’s notice. Cloud-based speech recognition is a practical investment for Trusts because it is flexible by design, can be used in many ways—from desktops to mobile devices—and can be scaled up or down to match demand.

How can we evolve patient records into electronic patient records?
The changing nature of patient records and an increased emphasis on patient access have been priorities for the NHS for several years. CEOs have an important role to play in safeguarding the success of Electronic Patient Record (EPR) projects—not just giving the go-ahead for implementation, but actively supporting other leaders to drive adoption. Integrating speech at the outset of an EPR project is a powerful way to remove complexity and make adopting the EPR as easy as speaking. Designed for integration and interoperability, Augnito can become a central part of how people interact with your EPR—and increase the likelihood of a successful project.

Learn more about Augnito

See how Augnito Spectra delivers measurable benefits now while future-proofing the way you capture patient data. Request a demo and try Augnito Spectra to see the benefits for yourself.

Above all else, healthcare is about people—the patients we care for and the people who deliver that care, from frontline staff to the senior leadership within an NHS Trust. Any technology is only as impactful as it is useful to those people on a day-to-day basis.

As we kick off a new year, NHS Trusts continue to face the same pressures that have been mounting since the pandemic and, in many cases, even earlier. There is continued pressure for NHS Trusts to meet government plans around patient outcomes, digitalisation, and innovation, but technology can often become an additional burden and a source of complexity.

As a mature technology now enriched by the power of artificial intelligence, smart speech recognition and transcription address the very real pain points felt by leaders across the NHS. Beginning a new series of posts on these roles and pain points, let’s look at some major questions, challenges and priorities faced by Chief Information Officers (CIO), Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIO) and Chief Nursing Informatics Officers (CNIO)—and how speech can help.

Shared questions, pain points and benefits for technical leaders

While CIO, CCIO and CNIO roles are vastly different in practice, they share similar challenges when it comes to aligning workflows with new technology to enhance employee experience and patient care. Their roles depend on not just bringing in new technology, but also ensuring that technology is tailored to the realities of healthcare, targeted to addressing key pain points, and practical for healthcare professionals to use as part of their daily workflows.

How does technology actually support clinical decisions?

Patient safety and positive outcomes are key to CIOs, CNIOs and CCIOs—any technology must enable more timely or more accurate clinical decisions at the point of care. Highly accurate speech recognition like Augnito is objectively faster and more flexible than slow manual typing or waiting for outsourced transcription, enabling the flow of patient data and enriching decisions with more accurate, complete notes and reports.

How can speech work alongside other systems?

Interoperability between different health IT systems is a key responsibility for CCIOs and CIOs, particularly around integration with often outdated legacy systems. Cloud-based speech recognition can integrate easily with existing Hospital Information Systems (HIS), Electronic Health Records (EHR), and other applications. Crucially, a robust cloud platform like Augnito also offers continuous updates, ensuring interoperability with new systems and applications as they emerge and adoption increases.

Where should a limited budget be focused?

One of the most acute pain points for CIOs, CCIOs and CNIOs—and, indeed, the entire NHS—is a limited IT budget that seems almost contradictory to the governmental pressure to make healthcare more digital. Balancing the need for innovation with financial constraints is a delicate task, but one that a pay-as-you-go cloud-based solution can help with. Significantly, Augnito allows Trusts to scale their usage up and down to meet their requirements and doesn’t require costly changes to your on-premise IT infrastructure. Beyond protecting capital, Augnito also removes the ongoing expense of burdensome management, maintenance, and updates.

How can we drive adoption—and maximise the impact?

CIOs, CCIOs and CNIOs all face huge resistance to new technology, new ways of working, and adoption. Nursing staff may resist adoption new technology due to concerns about disruption; entire organisations may ignore a new tool if they can’t clearly see the benefits for themselves. That’s why we developed Augnito with a relentless focus on ease of use and real-time results. It’s easy to try Augnito on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, and instantly see the potential of 99.3% accurate speech-to-text. And this simplicity and flexibility creates a positive feedback loop where adoption by some leads to adoption by all—and ultimately a faster return on your investment.

Learn more about Augnito

See how Augnito Spectra delivers measurable benefits now while future-proofing the way you capture patient data. Request a demo or try Augnito Spectra for 7 days and see the benefits for yourself.

As we look back on 2023, we are reflecting on the topics that have been front of mind for every healthcare professional. For many, 2023 was another year of intense pressure, limited resources, and searching for ways to work more efficiently and improve the patient journey.

Throughout the year, we have considered many of the most significant, complex issues facing the NHS today. From Delayed Transfers of Care to understanding the real cost—and value—of new technology, we have discussed how AI-powered speech recognition can dramatically improve workloads and, ultimately, patient outcomes.

But how much has changed since we first discussed these important topics? And how can speech continue to deliver measurable value to healthcare professionals across every discipline and specialism?

The continued pressure of bed shortages

Back in January 2023, we wrote about the relationship between dwindling bed stocks, high occupancy rates, and Delayed Transfers of Care. Initiatives like the Urgent and Emergency Care Plan laid the foundation for improvement over time, but almost 12 months later, the number of available beds across the NHS remains low.

In December 2023, the NHS Confederation was reportedly ‘worried’ about the continued lack of beds, particularly in Yorkshire and north-east England. With occupancy hitting heights of 95%, Trusts are left exposed to surging flu rates and seasonal illnesses. At the same time, high occupancy also drives infection risk, potentially worsening an already fraught situation.

Speech recognition solutions like Augnito Spectra have a role to play in accelerating safe discharge by reducing internal delays. When clinical workfllows and reporting are fast, flexible and accurate, patients can be safely transferred outside of the NHS, freeing up vital bed space for someone else.

A national emergency for mental healthcare

We also discussed the current state of mental health services in the UK, describing a flashpoint where the available resources need to be rapidly expanded to keep up with surging demand. Sadly, more recent news articles suggest a system that’s perpetually struggling to keep up.

According to The Guardian, the NHS Confederation described mental healthcare in England as a ‘national emergency’ in October 2023. Many NHS leaders observe that mental health has ‘slipped down the government’s set of priorities’, with patients suffering as a result. The situation is similar across the wider UK—in Scotland’s December 2023 budget, mental health funding was cut by almost £30 million.

For mental health professionals (MHPs), new ways of working can enable manual tasks to be completed faster and more flexibly. Crucially, a speech recognition platform, like Augnito, enables MHPs to capture notes in a way that’s natural and intuitive, so more attention can be paid to important patient interactions and those personal, often difficult and emotional conversations.

The continued evolution of patient data

Finally, we looked at patient data in its various formats across 2023. We discussed the importance of interoperability, sharing patient data securely to enable collaboration across multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs). We also tracked the evolution of patient data, including the changing nature of patient records and the heightened importance of accuracy and clarity.

Despite some controversy around privacy, 2024 will undoubtedly see new changes in the way patient data is stored, captured, shared and processed.

Augnito Voice Services and Augnito Spectra will continue to deliver wide-reaching benefits across healthcare with 99.3% accurate, AI-powered transcription that’s available anywhere, on any device. Our aim in 2024 will focus even more on how Augnito modernises the way healthcare professionals report, so, in turn, patient journeys and experiences can be modernised too. All in a single cloud-hosted platform that can be integrated into your EPR system for secure sharing.

Increasingly, patient journeys are becoming digital journeys—and the quality of the data you hold is key.

Learn more about Augnito

See how Augnito Spectra delivers measurable benefits now while future-proofing the way you capture patient data. Request a demo or try Augnito Spectra for 7 days and see the benefits for yourself.