Success story—Secure, cloud-based speech recognition assists Mackay Base Hospital digital strategy

Mackay Base Hospital boosts digitisation and releases clinician time to care

Dragon Medical One delivers 30% reduction in documentation time (evidenced through EMR data).

Committing to leading‑edge care

Dragon Medical One helps improve the quality of the medical notes captured for Mackay Hospital and Health Services. Read how Nuance is saving clinicians time, bettering patient care, and reducing stress while increasing job satisfaction.


  • Reduce time required to create documentation in ieMR
  • Release time to see patients
  • Send clinical information to intended recipients as quickly as possible
  • Improve staff satisfaction


  • Dragon Medical One
  • Nuance PowerMic
  • PowerMic Mobile


  • 30% reduction in time spent on documentation in the ieMR—enabling clinicians to spend more time with patients and junior doctors
  • More complete documentation added to the medical record to support accurate handover and improve patient safety
  • Increase in clinician satisfaction as clinical documentation is created 3 to 4 times faster versus typing, enabling clinicians to leave work on time and have a better work/life balance

Improving patient flow and care, and the well‑being of its staff

Mackay Base Hospital is part of Queensland’s Mackay Hospital and Health Service (Mackay HHS). Located about 1,000 km north from Brisbane, Mackay Base Hospital is the referral hospital for the region and its Emergency Department (ED) is its “heartbeat”. The ED is divided into different areas including the acute, streamline and short stay, and is responsible for treating paediatric and adult medical and trauma emergencies. The ED deals with about 62,000 cases per annum. Mackay Base Hospital is one of the most modern healthcare facilities in the state, and the first fully digital hospital in Queensland. Determined to continue to service patients in a timely manner, the ED trialed Nuance’s Dragon Medical One (DMO), and after experiencing significant patient and clinician benefits rolled out the voice‑to‑text software across the hospital.

According to Dr Pieter Nel, Chief Digital Director of Medical Services—Mackay HHS, the hospital explores new technology as part of its commitment to improving patient servicing and maintaining a leading‑edge facility.

“We trialed the DMO software because on the face of it, it promised to help us service our patients more efficiently by accurately capturing our medical notes in real‑time for each patient.

By the end of the pilot program we realised that not only was DMO allowing us to promptly capture medical notes, it was also helping us improve the quality of our notes, saving clinicians time, bettering patient care, and reducing our stress while increasing job satisfaction.”

—Dr Pieter Nel, Chief Digital Director of Medical Services, Mackay HHS

View case study

Dragon Medical One gives you time back

Nuance Dragon Medical One is a secure, cloud‑based speech platform used by clinicians around the world to help boost their efficiency and productivity. It delivers fast and accurate dictation and streamlines documentation processes by allowing clinicians to create and edit notes and documents directly into EMR systems and other applications by simply using their voice.

DMO is also compatible across solutions, platforms and devices, meaning that clinicians can use the software from anywhere, at any time.

“DMO lets you record your patient’s medical notes in real‑time, which means critical information is immediately available to those who need it. Using Nuance’s PowerMic you can dictate notes directly into [Queensland Health’s statewide medical record system] ieMR easily and accurately at the end of the patient visit. In fact, by the time the patient gets back to their car or into a taxi, the discharge summary or handover notes have been done and admin can pick this up and email it to the patient’s GP. The GP then has the required data to implement the next steps. If the patient has to stay in the hospital, staff know exactly what needs to be done because your dictated management plan has been captured instantly,” said Dr Nel.

DMO also helps improve the quality of the medical notes captured, which enhances patient care and flow explains Dr Nel.

“When you record information in real-time, you remember the finer details, and you capture this data in a structured way. This allows you to create notes that are far more comprehensive and accurate, which is very important for patient handover and safety, as well as patient flow and the operational efficiency of your hospital. The more detailed information lets the GP, hospital doctor and nursing staff know precisely what has occurred and needs to be done, so there is little room for error. This also lets you increase the revenue of your hospital because everything flows much smoother.”

—Dr Pieter Nel, Chief Digital Director of Medical Services, Mackay HHS

The software is also fast, which allows clinicians to save time. “We used Cerner’s reporting tools (Lights On) to help us track and assess the impact of DMO on our work, and we found that without DMO we would type about 30 words per minute with a lot of mistakes when making notes. With DMO we are dictating about 170 words per minute, so it’s very fast. DMO gives you time back. Every clinician gets at least two minutes back per patient, which is a 30 per cent reduction in the time spent on creating documentation. It’s a considerable amount of time saved,” said Dr Nel.

The clinicians also make use of DMO’s autotext funtionality. This feature allows doctors to assign a block of text to a simple voice command. When the voice command is spoken the text instantly appears and can be left as is or edited accordingly. This further increased the pace at which the clinicians could create high‑quality notes.

With the time saved, the hospital’s clinicians are able to see to patients faster and discharge them quicker. Where greater patient care is required, the doctors now have the extra time to allocate to these patients. The time saved also allows Dr Nel to check on the well‑being of his RMOs and provide them with greater mentoring and support in a very busy emergency department. Plus, it also lets him connect easier with the nursing team to understand their challenges and improve the patient flow.

More from Dragon Medical One users

View the ‘Best Presentation’ from the Queensland Clinical Excellence Showcase

Presentation by: Dr Andrew Brier
FACEM, MBBS, Staff Specialist, Emergency Physician

More information

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