Success story— Dragon Medical One is supporting dentists

Harnessing the power of speech recognition at Europe’s largest dental school

Before speech recognition, the process was manual

Guy’s and St Thomas’ dental department has around 180 clinicians and support staff, and sends out hundreds of letters to patients every week. Historically, these were written by manually typing from dictations made by clinicians, a time-consuming and inefficient process. Very often, specific administration staff even had to be assigned to particular clinicians when only they could recognise exactly what they were saying.


Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s dental services required a new way of streamlining their existing process of writing letters to patients from clinical notes. It needed to overhaul an inefficient system of manual dictation to communicate information quickly and accurately.


AI-powered speech recognition software was adopted by the majority of the organisation’s 180 dental clinicians and support staff to create accurate and detailed information to relay to patients.


The average turnaround time for clinical letters went from four weeks to just five days once Dragon Medical One had been adopted and embedded across the Trust’s dental department.


Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s dental services are ranked number one in the UK. The largest dental school in Europe and a world leader in research, as part of the King’s College London Dental Institute, the Trust provides comprehensive training for both dental students and dental care professionals.

There is a lot of noise in our Trust’s dental department from drilling and people walking up and down the corridor. Even in this setting, Dragon Medical One has proved reliable and helped us to quickly improve the turnaround times of our patient letters

— Richard Manthorpe,

Dental Assistant General Manager,
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Embracing technology to improve efficiency and patient outcomes

This all changed when Richard Manthorpe, Dental Assistant General Manager, investigated new ways of working, and the department became an early adopter of Dragon Medical One at the Trust. This secure, cloud-based speech recognition solution allows clinicians to document the complete patient story using voice.

“We made our decision quite quickly once we saw what the capabilities of the solution were,” says Richard. The software operates with 99% accuracy levels and delivers the benefits of cloud-hosted functionality.

“Dragon is reliable and efficient. The Trust’s dental hospital is set up in a U-shape, with six open-plan bays with lots of noise from dental drilling, as well as people walking up and down the corridor, meaning a lot of noise daily. Even in this setting, the solution quickly proved it was reliable and helped us to quickly improve the turnaround times of our letters to patients. There are also several clinicians who are using the mobile app which allows them to use their mobile phone as a microphone, wherever there is good WiFi connection.”

Dragon Medical One has been revolutionary for our dental department. The accuracy is excellent, even when writing long letters with complex clinical text and instructions.

—Richard Manthorpe,

Dental Assistant General Manager,
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust


of dental clinicians use Dragon Medical One


patient letters a week created


average letter turnaround times reduced from 4 weeks to 5 days

Working with the Trust to improve dialogue with patients

With Nuance as its technology partner, a dedicated team was able to help Guy’s and St Thomas’ dental team with the implementation, advisory and training support of the new system and ironing out any problems with the uptake of the solution.

Richard says: “Nuance created a how-to guide and online training videos which we signpost people to, but we have also developed our own internal training to get our staff members up and running with Dragon Medical One.

“The uptake of speech recognition has allowed us to become more flexible with our workforce and helped increase the turnaround of our letters. The quality of our documentation, both internally and externally, has improved significantly.”

Clinicians are also embracing the power of the software to authorise information from consultations with patients, again further cutting down the time it takes to communicate effectively with patients. Over 90% of all staff across the Trust’s dental department are now using Dragon Medical One.

Learn how to improve your clinical documentation with Dragon Medical One.