The Shift From Medical Transcription to Voice Recognition
Time marches steadily onward, and with it comes experience and progress. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the medical profession. Each technological shift in the wider market results in a new watershed moment for the healthcare industry.
Advances in surgical techniques, pharmacological interventions, and methods of patient care have all improved the quality of our collective lives with each step forward along the continuum of progress, but there’s more to running a healthcare practice than just hands-on care. There is an entire administrative dimension behind the scenes, one that often serves as a drain on the provider’s time and resources.
Medical speech recognition technology, also known as SRT, serves as an important tool to help streamline your practice’s operations while simultaneously improving patient outcomes.
Medical Transcription Services: The Old Modality
There is an old saying in healthcare: “If it’s not charted, it didn’t happen.”
Every episode of care, from the most mundane checkup to a referral for surgery, requires a written justification to make it compliant with Department of Health (DOH) standards. Each patient’s chart serves not only as a record of their evolving health needs, but also a record of accountability for your practice.
For years, the dominant method was charting by hand or calling a transcription service by phone and dictating your note to a paid medical transcriptionist. Both methods were incredibly time-consuming, especially in the increasingly busy sphere of healthcare. Manual charting and medical transcription are a profound waste of resources for providers who are already stretched dangerously thin. Transcription services in particular carry an added risk of inaccuracy, and there is often a delay between the initial transcriptions and the progress note’s insertion into the chart. In today’s healthcare environment, manual charting and transcription mean lost productivity, lost patients, and a loss in overall revenue for your practice.
Over the last decade, however, providers have begun to dictate into the chart directly using medical speech recognition, medical speech to text, and other medical dictation solutions thus restoring their time, sanity, and productivity.
What is Medical Speech Recognition Technology?
Medical speech recognition technology is better described as a class of technological solutions rather than a single, unified technology. SRT refers to a device that’s enabled to respond to a person’s voice commands. The roots of the technology can be traced back to interactive voice response systems (IVR) embedded in a call center’s inbound phone lines. Over time, however, SRT has evolved in both sophistication and usefulness.
SRT technology harnesses concepts like AI and machine learning in order to hone its responsiveness to the user’s voice. The technology officially came to maturity through voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google as found on cell phones, tablets, and laptops. For many people, their introduction to SRT came via navigation apps like Google Maps. Through its marriage of mobility and functionality, however, medical speech recognition has become the perfect tool for medical transcription on the go.
SRT has had such a startling impact on medical dictation that the overall industry is seeing near-universal adoption of medical voice recognition services. An NCBI study from 2018 found that 90% of hospitals and providers had either already adopted —or planned to adopt— medical speech to text as part of their facility’s operational practices. In fact, SRT use has become so ingrained in modern medicine that it is now a $1.32 billion industry.
Medical Speech Recognition Technology and The EHR
The main impetus behind the adoption of medical speech recognition software coincides with the rise of the electronic health record (EHR). Under the federal rules that collectively guide our respective practices, the EHR serves as the formal record of your patient interactions. It holds sensitive information about their diagnosis and healthcare history, as well as their plan of care.
Before the advent of the EHR, healthcare providers were awash in a sea of physical paperwork. Documenting directly into an electronic medical record serves to reduce wasteful paper consumption while simultaneously lending clarity and structure to your practice’s internal operations, all under the auspices of DOH compliance.
As the EHR gained in popularity, reaching a staggering 96% adoption rate among state and local hospitals by 2016, medical voice recognition has become increasingly necessary. The two technologies have formed a synergistic effect with one another. Most SRT programs are designed to integrate directly with the electronic medical record, making medical transcription direct to chart easy to use and hassle-free. In turn, this has had a cascading effect on not only the provider’s role, but by extension, the patient’s experience as well. Physicians and other providers who’ve successfully adopted —and integrated— medical speech recognition into the electronic chart have enjoyed an 81% reduction in medical transcription costs per month, not to mention the increased time they get to spend one-on-one with patients.
Other Key Advantages to Medical Speech Recognition Technology Adoption
Adopting medical speech recognition technology, software, and apps into your practice is more than just finding a convenient shortcut for your day-to-day responsibilities. It comes with a host of other advantages that make it an end-to-end solution.
We already know that medical voice recognition returns time to the over-burdened clinician; it also increases their potential level of productivity. Instead of wasting time with manual charting, providers can spend time directly interacting with their patients or engaging in continuing education focused on their scope of practice.
Speech-to-text solutions, such as Chartnote, also increase the accuracy of your dictations while actively reducing errors. Third-party medical transcription services have to decode what you intended to say in your recorded dictations. However, software like Chartnote excels at translating your voice with a high level of accuracy. Chartnote’s next generation AI voice recognition powered by Augnito has a 99% accuracy out-of-the-box.
Medical speech recognition also helps your practice to remain compliant. Our software offers dot phrases and templates, which are user-defined shorthand speech snippets that translate into longer, pre-formatted progress notes. By using standard formatting and phraseology, your practice will remain in much closer adherence to DOH policy.
While quality care is any provider’s main concern, the solvency of the practice is a close second. Medical speech-to-text will lower your costs, but it will also increase your billable services by painting a clearer picture of the care provided for the purposes of insurance, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.
Chartnote understands the breakneck pace at which the healthcare industry moves. Providers at even the smallest of practices often find themselves stretched beyond their means. Our medical speech recognition software gives you the gift of time and productivity. To get started with your free account please visit us online today.
Did you ever use the old medical transcription service over the phone and now dictate your notes? Share your experience by commenting below.
Chartnote is revolutionizing medical documentation one note at a time by making voice-recognition and thousands of templates available to any clinician. We know first-hand that completing notes while treating patients is time-consuming and an epic challenge. Chartnote was developed as a complementary EHR solution to write your SOAP notes faster. Focus on what matters most. Sign up for a free account: chartnote.comPosted on: June 11, 2021, by : Gerardo Guerra Bonilla