TalkingPoint completes all-remote installation at Royal Gwent Hospital

With social distancing restrictions in place, TalkingPoint has completed a rapid ‘all-remote’ deployment of the TalkingPoint Pathology speech-enabled histopathology reporting workflow at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

To date, six consultant pathologists have received one-to-one remote training and are now all using TalkingPoint to report 100% of cases. Additional users, due to receive training in the coming weeks, include a further four consultant pathologists, one reporting biomedical scientist and biomedical scientists at the cut-up bench.

Consultant pathologist Dr James Harrison commented: “We have wanted speech recognition for a long time in this department as we thought it could deliver time-saving benefits and enable staff to be redeployed to help better manage the workload.


“With each of us reporting approximately 3500 cases a year, we had previously used digital dictation in the department and had tried speech recognition without success.  When I became involved in looking at digital pathology and other supporting technology, through the Efficiency in Technology Fund for Pathology, we saw TalkingPoint present their Pathology workflow in Cardiff. We were very interested, and I have been in close contact with Dr Aslam, the Head of Department at The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) Cellular Pathology Service, as they already use TalkingPoint for histopathology reporting and cut up. A site visit there helped us confirm that TalkingPoint was the best solution from the laboratory point of view as well as reporting.”

In just a few short weeks since deploying TalkingPoint, the department has reassigned staff in preparation for the anticipated upsurge in surgical caseloads that will follow as social distancing measures are relaxed. Elaine Pilley, Business Support Officer, commented: “There was a lot of entry into day books that was really slowing us down and there were six secretaries typing cases onto LIMS before switching to TalkingPoint. We have been able to free much of the secretaries’ time to participate in cancer services work such as MDTs and referrals. Once the biomedical scientist training at cut-up is completed, the laboratory should benefit from additional workforce as the cut-up assistant can be released for other laboratory duties.”

TalkingPoint for Pathology is now being rolled out on to some of the consultants’ laptops, providing them with the facility to report remotely and giving the team greater flexibility around managing their reporting workload versus meeting attendance and other commitments. Workforce flexibility, and the ability to share workloads,

Dr Harrison concluded: “Pathology is in a precarious position due to national staff shortages. The only way to increase resilience will be to share work across borders and work in a more collegiate way. I think this is the endpoint that everyone working in pathology in Wales is aiming for – moving forward together to deliver local healthcare that is networked in order to provide the best possible service to patients. Innovations like digital pathology and TalkingPoint will enable us to do that.”