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Case study: Accuracy. Time savings. Radiologists’ satisfaction. See how Flagler Health achieved all of these.

Flagler Health
St. Augustine, Fla.

Snapshot of Flagler Health radiology department

  • Challenge:

    Improve the clinical documentation experience for radiologists to reduce burnout and maintain competitive advantage for growth in the region

  • 3M products used:

    3M™ M*Modal Fluency for Imaging - A speech and AI-powered complete radiology reporting and workflow management solution

    3M™ M*Modal Scout - An advanced AI-enabled business intelligence and analytics solution that supports administrators charged with improving patient throughput, compliance and cost control

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"3M Fluency for Imaging has the absolute best accuracy that I’ve seen in any product out there in the entire market."

—  Dr. Arif S. Kidwai, chief of radiology at Flagler Health

Hospital radiology teams see a high volume of patients referred to them each day, so their reporting method must allow them to be quick, thorough and, most importantly, accurate. Radiology teams must keep track of comprehensive patient information that can impact patient care across the health care continuum – and they must do this efficiently.

Many radiologists continue to use traditional dictation and transcription methods because that’s what they are used to. They expect dictations to be transcribed without any errors, which often leads to longer turnaround time – something that does not work well in an active hospital setting like that at Flagler Health in St. Augustine, Fla.

Before 2013, Flagler Health’s radiology department took a traditional approach with transcription – using 100 percent human power. The radiology team experienced long turnaround times with traditional medical transcriptionists – anywhere from three to 10 hours – for transcribing dictation and notifying referring physicians about results. In a busy hospital that includes a bustling emergency department, this posed challenges for hospital clinicians to deliver the best patient care possible.

“There’s no way that a physician could wait eight hours or so in the emergency room for a report,” said Dr. Arif S Kidwai, chief of radiology at Flagler Health. “So, we would do handwritten reports that we would then fax to the emergency room. You can imagine if you’re doing this hundreds of times a day, it is a major disruption.”

Encouragement from hospital leadership and his use of speech recognition technology in previous roles led Kidwai and his radiology team along a path to find the best speech-enabled reporting solution to meet their needs.

Flagler’s approach to speech recognition

When the Flagler radiology team began exploring speech recognition options and reviewing vendors, they wanted to be deliberate and intentional with their decision. The team needed a partner that understood its plan to achieve 80 percent real time speech recognition and 20 percent human transcription over 12 months.

Flagler had three specific criteria in mind when it came to adopting a speech recognition solution.

The solution must:

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    have the highest accuracy possible
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    be easy to use
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    seamlessly integrate with workflows to improve turnaround time

The hospital’s chief medical information officer (CMIO) worked with Kidwai and the team to explore speech recognition solutions. They decided to take a look at 3M™ M*Modal Fluency for Imaging after the CMIO heard rave reviews about it from peers. They found 3M Fluency for Imaging met and exceeded what they were looking for in speech recognition technology.

Exceptional accuracy, time savings and satisfaction

With 3M Fluency for imaging, Flagler Health achieved:

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    Within three months, 100% of radiology reports were completed using 3M real time speech recognition
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    Significantly reduced report turnaround time
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    Increased satisfaction among radiologists and clinicians
  • After going live with 3M Fluency for imaging, the radiology department experienced a significant improvement in turnaround times with their reporting. Documentation and editing happened instantly with the radiologists themselves. They no longer had to wait on transcriptionists and extended turnaround times, providing more time for Flagler clinicians to deliver patient care.

    “Gone are the days of having to do handwritten reports and make phone calls to physicians,” said Kidwai.


    According to Kidwai, within two days of implementation, 95 percent of the reports completed by Flagler radiologists were dictated using 3M real time speech technology and self-edited by the radiologist directly.

    That number increased to 97 percent after the first week and 99 percent one month after implementation.

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    Within three months, 100 percent of all radiology reports were completed with 3M Fluency for Imaging, eliminating the cost and delay of transcription. This far exceeded the team’s initial 80/20 plan over 12 months.

  • As with all change, there was some initial resistance among members of the radiology team. They felt it would impair workflow and take a lot more time than their traditional transcription experience.

    “We had one individual who was adamant he was not going to adopt new technology and was against it from the start,” said Kidwai. After two weeks, he ran into the CMIO and told him, “If you offered to take 3M Fluency for Imaging away, I would never let it happen.”

    Flagler radiologists said their new workflow was better and faster, especially since it eliminated many manual processes. No longer did they wait up to 10 hours to receive a report back. A team of five radiologists, still completing 400 cases a day, were able to save a tremendous amount of time by being able to dictate the report directly into the electronic health record (EHR) and make edits right away.

    “3M Fluency for Imaging has the absolute best accuracy that I’ve seen in any product out there in the entire market,” said Kidwai. “It has been a huge success in Flagler hospital, and our radiologists say they would never go back to the way they used to dictate. They want to stay with what they’ve got."

A solution to meet Flagler’s needs

3M Fluency for Imaging is a comprehensive, speech and AI-powered radiology reporting and workflow management solution that delivers quality without sacrificing productivity. It blends advanced front-end speech recognition technology with integrated tools to create higher quality diagnostic interpretations.

Built-in computer-assisted physician documentation (CAPD) delivers proactive nudges to clinicians, helping them create more complete and compliant documentation within their normal reporting workflow. This real time feedback helps prevent documentation issues and gaps in care. Identifying and correcting documentation discrepancies and deficiencies on the front end avoids later rework for radiologists and supports compliance and quality reporting downstream.

With 3M Fluency for Imaging, Flagler radiologists use real time speech recognition that eliminates the need for traditional transcribing. As soon as the radiologist finishes reading an image, it is instantly available and accessible within the hospital’s EHR for referring physicians and other necessary parties to access. This improves patient care and medical communication.

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3M Fluency for Imaging has been a huge success in Flagler hospital, and our radiologists say they would never go back to the way they used to dictate.

Dr. Arif S. Kidwai, chief of radiology at Flagler Health

Partnership for the future

  • Over the years, Flagler has witnessed 3M Fluency for Imaging’s evolution and development, taking advantage of new features and functionalities to improve the imaging team’s documentation experience.

    “We’ve had so much excitement since we started to use 3M Fluency for Imaging,” said Kidwai. “Speech recognition has gotten better and better. At one point, I just needed to change one or two words, but now, it’s often just a simple review with no corrections, and then we move on to the next case. The CAPD functionality has further improved my accuracy.”

    The team’s efforts now focus on exploring additional 3M solutions, features and benefits to continue optimizing their operations.

    “As an end-user, I am delighted with our 3M solutions,” said Kidwai. They’ve made my life easier in so many ways. 3M’s dedication to excellence has
    direct benefits to care and quality that make patient outcomes better. For that, I am deeply appreciative.”

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