Physician using medical dictation software

Moving to the future

How Panama City Surgery Center saved time and money with speech recognition

Client snapshot

  • Hospital

    Panama City Surgery Center

    Located in Panama City, Fla.

    • Partner of Surgical Care Affiliates®
    • Physician-owned facility
    • 4 operating rooms
    • 2 procedure rooms
    • 45 physicians
    • 800-900 patients per month


As an ambulatory surgery facility that sees a high volume of patients, Panama City Surgery Center sought to revamp its clinical documentation workflows to ensure complete and accurate medical records were submitted as quickly as possible. The organization turned to speech recognition technology with three goals in mind:

  • Medical chart

    Ensure medical records are completed in a timely manner

  • Time savings

    Decrease turnaround time to submit documentation for coding

  • Cost savings

    Reduce costs associated with transcription

The first product the surgery center tried didn’t yield the results the team had hoped it would. The speech recognition wasn’t accurate enough, and physicians were getting frustrated.


After hearing positive feedback from a local hospital, Panama City Surgery Center contacted 3M and made the switch. Within a month, the center was up and running with 3M™ M*Modal Fluency Direct – and workflows changed for the better.

  • Without medical dictation software
    Before speech recognition
    • Physician called transcription service to dictate
    • Dictation transcribed and returned the next day
    • Physician signed operative report (at surgery center or faxed to physician’s office)
  • With medical dictation software
    With speech recognition
    • Physician dictates directly in the electronic health record (EHR)
    • Physician signs operative report in real time

According to Kellee Manning, organizational management officer at Panama City Surgery Center, implementation and adoption of 3M Fluency Direct were smooth overall thanks to:

  • Out-of-the-box accuracy that accounts for accents and dialects
  • Convenience, including quick and simple account setup
  • Flexibility, with the option to dictate at a computer or on the go using the free mobile app 3M™ M*Modal Fluency Mobile

  • Voice recognition adoption suggestion
    Top tip

    Are you considering making the switch to speech recognition? To support greater physician adoption, Manning recommends that organizational management teams start with a small group of physicians with whom you have good rapport and who are open to new technology. If you’re a physician-owned center, consider approaching those who have a stake in cost savings. Test the technology with a select group and then expand once you know it works well.


By speech enabling the EHR, most operative reports are now ready on the same day – without delay. Prior to implementing 3M Fluency Direct, in an average month Panama City Surgery Center had five operative reports outstanding for more than 30 days. Now, the organization fluctuates between zero to two.

Along with improving the timeliness of operative reports, the center also saves on transcription costs because most physicians now use the 3M M*Modal speech recognition solution. Instead of spending $2,500-3,000 per month on transcription, Panama City Surgery Center now spends about $1,000 per month on average – which adds up to $18,000-24,000 in cost savings per year.

  • ✓ Projected annual savings on transcription: $18,000-$24,000

  • ✓ Real time report creation avoids transcription delays

  • ✓ Out-of-the-box accuracy has led to greater physician adoption

  • Voice recognition software

    Why make the change to speech recognition?

    “It’s moving us to the future. It makes everyone more self-sufficient. Not having to send notes for transcription brings us time savings, cost savings and performance improvement.”

    – Kellee Manning
    Organizational management officer
    Panama City Surgery Center

Want to dig deeper?

Get the facts about 3M Fluency Direct or download a copy of this case study (PDF, 102 KB).

This case study was initially presented as part of our 3M Virtual Pulse Webinar Series, which are live, interactive discussions that explore hot topics and critical issues. Visit to subscribe to the series or watch past webinars.

As with any case study, results, outcomes and/or financial improvements should not be interpreted as a guarantee or warranty of similar results. Individual results may vary depending on a facility’s circumstances.

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