October 24, 2017
According to a 2017 study from the Wisconsin Medical School, doctors spend over 50% of their time typing on computers (www.telecareaware.com). That adds up to over 1500 work hours every year, hours that could be spent further developing patient relationships or simply taking a five-minute breather. Fortunately, technology offers a simple and accessible solution: voice recognition software. But what is doctor dictation? This tech has numerous advantages over typing that include increased accuracy, time efficiency, and freedom from tracking mounds of paperwork. Let’s explore what transitioning to voice recognition software can do for a physician’s office.
Physicians devote so much time from the day taking patient notes because it’s an invaluable step in treatment. If symptoms, plans for treatment, and other observations aren’t recorded, then many doctors simply can’t do their jobs. Even though it might save time and headaches on the front end, doctors cannot reduce taking essential notes on patients. Rather, the medium of their documentation should be streamlined.
Voice dictation is a major time-saver. Whether typing or writing by hand, speaking aloud is far quicker and less prone to error. As NPR reported in 2016, a team of researchers found that voice recognition software makes 20% fewer errors than human typists. In the 21st century, typing has reached its efficiency limit. Whereas the average typist clocks in at around 40 words per minute (WPM), voice dictation software can top 200 WPM, according to a study from Hauptmann and Rudnicky at Carnegie Mellon University (Hauptmann and Rudnicky). To save even more time, many types of software offer customizable macros and shortcuts that can reduce long, commonly used phrases to one keyword. For example, instead of verbalizing the many symptoms of diabetes, a physician could state the keywords “diabetes symptoms” and automatically input the same information.
“To put this into perspective, the above paragraph took a little over 3 minutes to type if I were averaging 40 WPM. If I dictated this instead of typing, it would have only taken about 40 seconds…”
The potential efficiency boost for physicians is a clear advantage, but that’s only the beginning. ModernHealthCare.com reported on a 2008 study from the Permanente Journal that found nurses, like doctors, spend far more time typing than they do treating patients (ModernHealthCare.com). Allowing for the entire medical team to convert to voice-to-text will save countless hours on typing, tracking lost files, printing documents, and organizing mounds of paperwork. But efficiently using technology hinges on user trust in the programs. That’s where artificial intelligence can shine.
Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) in the past decade have created shockwaves in numerous industries, and voice recognition is no exception. After defeating the masters of timeless games like Chess, deep learning software is enabling AI to actually outperform humans at recognizing voices, according to a report from TechNewsWorld.com. This astounding improvement will only increase in pace and efficiency in the coming years. That progress means even fewer errors and even higher WPM, all with the latest download.
Integrating voice-to-text software is as straightforward as it is efficient. ChartLogic offers powerful voice recognition integrated into our EHR software. With invaluable macros, templates, and thorough archives of vocabularies, each unique to certain specialties, our voice dictation tools can free up hours from a nurse or physician’s workday. There are numerous customization options that allow for the completion of a totally unique patient record in under ninety seconds. Used in tandem with other ChartLogic programs, like Practice Management and Connect Patient Portal, an office can go from a stressed workplace to prioritizing connecting with patients and fostering an enjoyable and effective patient experience.