Voice Recognition vs Medical Transcription

One of the greatest time vacuums for today’s physician is documentation. However, medical dictation and accurate medical records are necessary for reimbursement for services provided.  Particularly with respect to workers compensation, proper documentation is essential in court; if a procedure isn’t documented, it isn’t considered performed and will not get paid.

Over the years many methods have been used to capture and retain pertinent medical information for maintaining medical records, from professional transcriptionists to online forms with check-boxes for the most common medical scenarios. Voice recognition is the process of taking the spoken word as an input to a computer program. This process allows doctors to dictate notes allowing the user’s hands to remain free and VR technology interprets and dictates on the computer these notes.  Voice recognition has been a developing technology since before the advent of the computer.  In the past 50 years improvements have been made to voice recognition in vocabulary size, the ability to handle natural language as opposed to single word recognition, recognition accuracy, and integration with telephony and other technologies.

With Voice Recognition, the physician interacts with the voice-recognition software on their PC until the report is accurate. The report is generated, the clinician signs off on the report, and the process is complete. The advantage of this scenario is the quick turn around; the physician works with the system in real time to correct recognition errors (typically in the 2% to 10% range), and the report is ready for signing as soon as it’s printed.  Because the process is hands on, the doctor dictates how fast the report is produced.  The limitations of this approach are that it demands much more time from physicians than transcription services or dictating into a telephone or a recorder.  Many clinicians argue that the opportunity cost is not as good as squeezing in another patient into their schedule  vs spending the time it would take to edit a dozen reports.  Their time is more valuable seeing patients than dictating reports.

One solution is to dictate into a recorder, have an assistant input recording into VR software and then have an assistant “babysit”  the transcription process and make changes on the PC before report generation. A common scenario is to have trained transcriptions work with the raw documents, making corrections by listening to the dictated audio while reading the electronic report. This approach can save money because transcriptions spend their time editing, not typing reports from scratch, but you still would need a resident transcription which is much more costly than transcription services.

Voice recognition may be an effective solution for small medical practices with relatively small report volumes. However, it’s much more demanding on the clinician than traditional transcription. If you’re considering voice recognition as an option, try picking up an inexpensive general-purpose voice-recognition package from your local microcomputer center and work with it for a week.  Use it for 50% of your reports while simultaneously utilizing AcuTrans Solutions for  50% of your reports and compare your experiences.  AcuTrans Solutions offers a free one week trial with absolutely no obligation so there is no investment to try our services out to compare with VR.  We have a 12 hour turn around, competitive pricing and a 99% accuracy rate.  See which solution is right for you at a minimal cost before making larger time and financial investments in VR technology.

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