EMR Voice Recognition
June 3, 2015
Physicians who are considering whether to use an EMR voice recognition solution should not only weigh strictly financial reasons but many other factors as well.
In most cases, the primary financial reason for using an EMR voice recognition system is to eliminate the need for the transcription staff and/or a transcription outsourcing company. Transcription services usually charge between 10 and 12 cents per transcribed line, so the savings are substantial when this expense isn’t needed.
manufacturers practically all promote the use of voice recognition solutions by
emphasizing the time it saves a physician when interfaced with their EMR.
Time savings through the use of an EMR voice recognition system can become significant and are dependent upon a few factors, including:
- Recognition rate
- Usage of templates
- Usage of macros
The recognition rate (which should be in the low to mid 90 percentile) is somewhat dependent upon the physician’s initial investment in terms of adding unrecognized words to the vocabulary. In some systems the physician is responsible for doing all the corrections in the reports. Fortunately, other systems like iScribe Healthcare handle this for the physicians.
The use of templates are potentially a significant source of time savings to the physician as well when working within an EMR. In numerous cases, you can import medical templates that are already being used in a practice so this is a very simple process that results in a positive impact on a physician’s productivity because fewer words must be trained, recognized and spoken.
Macros or word expanders are another way in which voice recognition enables a physician to save time when documenting with an EMR. With macros, a physician can have single words expand into phrases and/or paragraphs of information so the more a physician utilizes this capability the greater the time savings and productivity become. In most systems macros are very easy to implement and can be done by the physician or practically anyone one designates in the organization. These can even be added on-the-fly in most EMR voice recognition systems on the market today.
Workflow is another area that a number of physicians or administrators do not consider when looking at an EMR voice recognition solution. If you look at the entire life of a report, then voice recognition is even capable of providing more savings in terms of physician’s time. For example, without utilizing speech recognition, a physician would do a traditional dictation of a report and when completed this would be sent to transcription. Once the report has been transcribed it would then need to be sent back (either electronically or physically) to the physician for his/her review and corrections either within the EMR or just within the report outside of an EMR. In situations where a report has been corrected outside of an EMR, one must go into the EMR and make the corrections before the report is completed.
workflow scenarios are more time consuming than using an EMR voice recognition
solution given that the physician would dictate the report at approximately a 90%
recognition rate or greater. Only appropriate corrections need to be made
within the EMR. A that point, the report is completed with time savings that
can support profitability.
One additional benefit of EMR voice recognition systems involves their ability to assist with achieving meaningful use, thus bringing in additional funds to the practice through proper documentation. Stage 1 criteria for meaningful use includes the capture of health information in an electronically coded format, which most voice recognition systems can accomplish.
In conclusion, EMR voice recognition solutions have numerous capabilities that enable a physician or medical practice to increase their productivity when working with an EMR system. EMR voice recognition not only allows for increased productivity but also the ability to document reports the way the physician desires. Combining some of the capabilities mentioned earlier along with free text narrative (if desired) can provide the physician with the ultimate in terms of flexibility in report creation.