Advantages and Disadvantages of Speech Recognition for EHRs

Is your hospital or clinic considering the advantages and disadvantages of speech recognition for EHRs? Voice recognition systems are becoming quite popular in the healthcare industry, and for good reason. It is a nearly hands-free way for doctors to enter data and fill out a patient’s electronic chart. Here are some of the pros and cons of implementing a speech recognition or voice recognition feature as a part of your electronic health record system.

Some Potential Disadvantages of Speech Recognition for EHRs

Despite its benefits, there are sometimes internal barriers that prevent the easy adoption of EHR voice recognition in hospitals and clinics. There may be problems with:

  • Configuration—some solutions don’t easily integrate with existing EHRs
  • Hardware—some computers, tablets and other devices make voice recognition a challenge
  • Customization—depending on the solution used, customization may be difficult
  • Training—without good training, it can be hard for physicians to adopt new technology.

If technology isn’t easy and efficient enough to use, then physicians simply won’t use it. They can only benefit from voice recognition software if they use it, and they won’t use it unless they can see a payoff. This is why it’s so important to choose the right voice recognition platform for your facility’s EHR system.

Some technologies are designed specifically to overcome these obstacles. Dolbey’s voice recognition platform for EHRs, Fusion Narrate, has a high adoption rate with clinicians. This is due in part to an emphasis on good training practices at the beginning. Training helps users optimize efficiency and stay satisfied because they feel comfortable with the software and are able to use it to its best advantage. The high success rate is also due to the ease of implementation. Fusion Narrate natively interoperates with nearly all EHR applications, making it very easy to get started.

Top 3 Advantages of Speech Recognition for EHRs

1. Solves Inefficiencies and Reduces Wasted Time

In a Yale Medicine study, physicians tested out a more efficient EHR system that had an integrated speech recognition software. With this software, doctors could use their voice to complete and close encounters far more quickly than before. With the widespread adoption of voice recognition systems in recent years, there have been many reports of physicians saving time.

A 2018 report by KLAS showed that overall, productivity increased due to speech recognition adoption. Doctors were able to spend less time completing reports while using speech recognition tools.

2. Clinics and Hospitals Can Save Money

Many organizations find that speech recognition systems can help them reduce costs. With voice recognition, it may be possible to reduce overtime hours for transcriptionists and/or stop outsourcing physician dictation to outside firms. It is more efficient for everyone, saving money in the process.

3. Physicians May Be More Satisfied

When a physician is able to complete his or her work in a shorter amount of time, they’ll feel more satisfied with their job overall. They will spend less time sitting at their desk completing documentation while spending more time with their patients during office hours. They can also focus on their life outside of work because they won’t be finishing up documentation during evenings or weekends.

According to a 2018 HealthDay News report, EHRs can be made more efficient and user-friendly by adding in voice recognition features:

EHR inefficiencies were making physicians unhappy and adding extra work hours, including bringing homework at night and on weekends. A series of discussions with leadership led to the implementation of information technology (IT) solutions that would address physician burnout and improve the user experience with EHRs… Yale Medicine implemented speech recognition for physicians. Voice-recognition software that connects directly to EHRs has reduced the time it takes physicians to complete and close encounters by 50 percent. The average time to close an encounter is down by eight hours a week

This Yale Medicine study showed that EHRs with voice recognition were able to significantly shave hours of time off physicians’ workweeks, thus enabling them to spend more time doing what they want to be doing instead of struggling with documentation.

And, according to the KLAS report mentioned before, “Respondents report that those who use [voice recognition solutions] nearly universally have a favorable experience and are quick to share that the tools have positively impacted other areas, such as costs and productivity, and respondents can readily cite specifics as to why this is.”
Based on these reports, it seems that speech recognition for EHRs is a beneficial technology to invest in.

Interested in Implementing EHR Voice Recognition?

Click here to find out whether Fusion Narrate will natively interoperate with your current healthcare application. If your EHR application is on the compatibility list, this means you won’t have to undergo an extensive integration process—Fusion will work within your EHR with no problems.

Fusion Narrate includes many features: a HIPAA-compliant mobile keyboard app, the ability to use a mobile phone as a wireless microphone, the ability to operate on an unlimited number of devices, a shortcut builder, a transcription support option, centralized administration and more. It is designed for ease of use for physicians and IT departments alike.

You can also find more in-depth information about speech recognition and EHR systems in this article, and you can explore the features of Fusion Narrate here.

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