Using voice recognition software and transcriptionists together improves accuracy
In many of our previous Typewritings articles, we’ve recommended using a combination of speech recognition and transcription to improve the speed and accuracy of clinical encounter documentation. An article in a recent For the Record edition made, essentially, the same recommendations.
When speech recognition software made its debut in the 1980s, some experts predicted it would replace transcriptionists within five years, according to the article. Though speech recognition has made dramatic advances since that time, it’s transcriptionists who are helping bridge the gaps in the technology and ensuring clinical documents are accurate.
“There was the naïve expectation that this was the solution for documentation,” Claudia Tessier, an HIM educator, told For the Record magazine. “But it’s neither quick nor easy. Documentation is more than spoken and written words. The whole record needs to be accurate and complete regardless of how it’s done.”
So why is it that today’s speech recognition technology, after about 30 years of use, is imperfect? At the core of the problem are audio files that are inaudible or difficult to understand. Background noise, low quality recordings, or ungrammatical sentences can all contribute to an incomplete and inaccurate record. And one block of missing dictation or one incorrect character can change the meaning of a document.
Integrating transcriptionists into the voice recognition process can be highly effective. Transcriptionists are able to draw on their experience in health care to identify gaps or errors in documentation, helping organizations get a higher return on their investment in their software application. Integrating transcriptionists into the process also ensures that patients’ clinical documents are accurate and minimizes administrative tasks from physician workflow.
Health care consultant Karen Davis told For the Record recently that educating physicians about speech recognition’s capabilities is important.
“From the physicians’ standpoint, they believe they can buy speech recognition software and that’s all they need to do to have an accurate record. They underestimate what transcriptionists do,” she said. “They buy a package and don’t evaluate how it enhances their workflow.”
That’s why for years we’ve recommended using voice recognition software with the help of our transcriptionists. After our voice recognition software auto-transcribes a doctor’s notes, our transcriptionists edit and finalize the document. When providers use our Silent Type Automated Records System (STARS), their clinical encounter documentation can be easily accessed and incorporated into an EMR. The result is consistently accurate clinical documentation.