Nuance’s Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System Significantly Reduces Medical Transcription Costs and Improves Clinical Documentation Turnaround Time

Enterprise-wide On-Premise Transcription Solution Grows to More Than 100 Customers in Less Than 12 Months; Version 7.5 is Available Today

BURLINGTON, MA — December 15, 2008 — Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN), a leading supplier of speech solutions, announced today that more than 100 healthcare customers are using background speech recognition with Nuance’s on-premise Dictaphone® Enterprise Speech System. These customers are consistently realizing dramatic medical transcription (MT) staff productivity increases within the first two months of deployment that in turn are driving significant cost reductions.

The top 25 Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System customers are processing 86 percent of their transcription volume with speech recognition and are realizing productivity rates that are 98 percent above the industry average. Additionally, top performing MTs at Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System sites are producing 180 percent beyond industry standards.

Available now, the Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System Version 7.5 is designed for on-premise transcription, enterprise-wide, multi-specialty use and allows physicians to dictate in the traditional way, while speech recognition technology translates their dictation into a highly accurate, formatted draft document for transcriptionist review and edit. This approach avoids the more time-consuming and costly process of transcribing reports from scratch.

Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System 7.5 introduces an enhanced transcription software application that further improves MT productivity and makes the transition from typing to editing easy and fast. Additional updates include new support for Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Vista operating system and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. The new solution has been tested and qualified for use in a virtualized environment running VMware, to enable customers to more effectively deploy and support Nuance’s Dictaphone Enterprise Speech Systems within their IT infrastructure.

Customer feedback has been extremely positive from the more than 100 customers that have deployed the Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System. Results from a sampling of hospital and medical center customers show:

  • The average monthly transcription rate with background speech transcription is 347 lines per hour – 98 percent above the industry average of 175 lines per hour. The top medical transcriptionists are producing at a rate of 493 lines per hour.
  • 85 percent of the work that is being produced at customer sites is being processed through background speech recognition, eliminating traditional MT processes and costs.
  • Eight surveyed facilities reported a combined annual savings of more than $1.9 million in the first year of use.
  • Documentation turnaround time improved; eight surveyed facilities decreased the average time it took for “non stat” medical reports to be completed by 53 percent from 42 hours to 20 hours.

St. Elizabeth Medical Center is a 600-bed, multi-facility hospital located in Edgewood, Kentucky. Since 2002, the hospital has relied on both background (Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System) and front-end (PowerScribe® for Radiology) speech solutions from Nuance to help process the more than 350,000 medical reports created each year. In February 2008, St. Elizabeth Medical Center upgraded to the newest version of the Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System and in less than two months experienced a marked increase in overall transcription productivity.

“The ease with which our medical transcriptionists so quickly incorporated the Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System into their work process surpassed expectations; staff were proficient within hours of their training,” said Pauletta Burchett, operations manager for transcription at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. “Productivity gains from using the new speech system has allowed our overall department to produce at an average rate of 258 lines per hour with speech, the time in which we are turning around finalized medical reports has been shortened and, most importantly, the team likes the system. The biggest functionality value is that this system remembers edits and corrections via its Smart Rewrite feature, eliminating the need to make the same corrections over and over again. We process about 3.9 million lines per year, with almost 85 percent going through the speech system, and are operating more efficiently than ever.”

Mercy Memorial Hospital, a Michigan-based, 238-bed, full-service community hospital, which is part of the Mercy Memorial Hospital System, upgraded to the Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System from its previous version in January 2008. Within two weeks, the facility transitioned from 23 doctors who were using background speech recognition to 36. Since January, Mercy Memorial Hospital has achieved 95 percent physician speech recognition utilization and has fully transitioned its team of transcriptionists from typing reports from scratch to editing speech-recognized draft medical records.

“Just prior to the Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System upgrade we experienced an unrelated decrease to our transcription team; we went from a team of 13 to eight. We were unsure of what the new system, in combination with a transcription team cut by 40 percent of its original size, would do to report turnaround time, which is something we were already struggling with,” said Nancy Tanguay, transcription supervisor, health information management at Mercy Memorial Hospital System. “The reality was shocking. With the new system we were able to increase productivity to 354 lines per hour with speech which is steadily increasing to make up for the reduction in staff. We’ve been able to speed our report creation process without changing our physicians’ dictation behavior and are now at about 95 percent speech utilization. The transition to this new system was extremely seamless and productivity results have come quickly.”

“With our new Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System, healthcare organizations are significantly lowering their clinical documentation costs and enhancing transcription staff productivity which is critical in these challenging economic times,” said Peter Durlach, senior vice president, marketing and product strategy, Nuance Healthcare. “Whether our on-premise Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System is part of an upgrade, replaces another vendor’s solution or is deployed at a healthcare site that is new to speech recognition, our customers’ data shows that significant financial savings start occurring within the first 60 days after deployment.”

Nuance Healthcare offers two proven options for healthcare organizations looking to implement background speech recognition. These include the on-premise Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System for customers looking to deploy an on-site solution, and the eScription on-demand platform for computer aided medical transcription for customers looking for a hosted ASP solution. Both solutions enable healthcare organizations to shorten turnaround time, improve processes, and achieve substantial cost savings in medical transcription. Nuance’s sales team can help determine which solution is best suited for use depending on a healthcare organization’s size, existing infrastructure and preferred deployment model. For more information on Nuance’s entire healthcare product portfolio please visit: http://www.nuance.com/healthcare/

Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System 7.5 is available today. For additional information on features, pricing, and upgrades, please visit http://www.nuance.com/healthcare.

Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com.

Nuance, the Nuance logo and Dragon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other company names or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

The statements in this press release, relating to future plans or future events or services, are forward-looking statements which are subject to specific risks and uncertainties. These could involve particular market trends, competition factors and other risks described in the documents submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The actual results, events and services may vary significantly from the forecasts. The reader is warned not to rely on these forward-looking statements without reservation, since these are simply reflections of the current situation.

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