Why Healthcare Institutions Should Evaluate the Total Cost of Ownership with Voice Recognition Solutions
September 28, 2015 l By Richard Jovanovich
I do not believe that many
healthcare organizations take the time or are able to truly investigate the
success or failure of their investment in premise based speech recognition
solutions. As a result,
they do not really have a good understanding of its Total Cost of Ownership
(TCO) when utilizing a premise
There are several areas that contribute to the ongoing cost of ownership, including: technical support, hardware requirements, software support, and interface costs. One of the more substantial costs of premise based speech recognition is technical support. Technical support is required in most every case as every speech recognition solution runs on hardware that is shared with multiple other applications with the primary application being the EHR/EMR.
Since the EHR/EMR is vitally important, any disruptions are treated as a priority and very obtrusive. In many cases the IT staff (whether in house or third party) is required to resolve whatever the issue is as soon as possible. These issues can happen fairly often because most speech recognition systems take up a substantial amount of computer resources. Consequently, that can cause the EHR/EMR to be slowed significantly or possibly locked up, leading to reboot at a minimum. These issues can be ongoing as they may only show up intermittently, which means it may sometimes be hard to troubleshoot. The problem also requires a more in depth look at the computer, which can take up a significant amount of time that can cause further disruption to the physician. In addition to the physician being slowed, this disruption can cause billing delays, which is a major issue at any healthcare organization. Lastly, keep in mind the required travel if you are supporting multiple locations for this application as this could add to costs and impact productivity as well.
Going hand in hand with the above is the fact that workstation hardware often must be updated prior to even implementing a speech recognition solution to at least meet the basic specifications of the manufacturer. In some cases, this is a significant cost as it may require all users of the speech recognition system to get totally new workstations. If that happens, speech recognition implementation can turn into a prolonged project. Additionally, if the hardware is not updated properly, then the speech recognition system will not yield the results expected and thus fail.
Thirdly, all premise based speech recognition solutions require software support, which costs an average of 15% to 20% of the list price of the initial sale. This is a significant expense as this is a cost for each and every year of use. If you look at this expense it is basically the cost of buying an entirely new system after five years. Also, updates must be scheduled, which may possibly interrupt the medical staff. Hardware must also be supported at a cost whether you use internal staff or a third party.
Interfacing with either EHRs or EMRs is also both costly and time-consuming as your IT department should know. These interfaces also require support. If any changes are requested by the healthcare organization they will typically have to provide the EHR or EMR vendor a very specifically detailed explanation for their request so that a scope of work can be done to justify the cost for this particular request. Once a cost is established and approved by the customer, a schedule can then be put together. It’s a fairly lengthy and time consuming process for both parties.
With a number of premise based speech recognition solutions, you have no way to really monitor what level of success that you are having. It’s basically is like driving at night without your lights on. In other words, they offer you no way of tracking progress with some sort of management application to track recognition rates of each user. Others have no ability to review the recognized text that was dictated within the EMR/EHR for auditing purposes and recognition verification.
The alternative to a premise based medical speech recognition solution is a hosted or cloud based solution like iScribe Healthcare’s Speech Doctor, which eliminates all the above concerns and issues that come with a premise based solution. Cloud Based solutions make it possible for your staff to manage user profiles, reporting, recognition auditing, and user profile configurations.
Speech Doctor also includes a
browser based management module that can easily manage user profiles,
shortcut/macros, profile building, and account tracking that makes it more
efficient when managing a number of end users for your technical staff.
Most other speech solutions must manage each individual user workstation. Additionally, Speech Doctor is now speaker independent. There is no need for any voice training meaning that it can rolled out to hundreds of users with the simple task of giving them their user IDs and passwords. Once this is done, physicians can begin producing live reports from anywhere that they can get Internet access – a tremendous offering that should be extremely successful when working with any EMR/EHR on the market today.