Speech recognition technology has been around for a long time, but it wasn’t always accurate enough to be practical in high-stakes real-world environments like medical clinics. But times have changed, and advanced voice-to-text technology now offers a high degree of accuracy necessary to make it a valuable tool in a variety of fields, including healthcare. As a result, it’s being adopted by clinics and hospitals all over the country as a tool to help augment traditional text entry mediums like written notes and word processing. The value it offers includes universal benefits like the reduction of costs and wasted time, but it also has some features specifically beneficial to the medical field, not the least of which is the ability to capture a higher degree of detail in patient interactions, resulting in improved care delivery.
The Importance of Capturing Detail
The detail is incredibly important when delivering patient care, but, unfortunately, it can also be extremely easy to lose track of. That’s especially true in cases where care delivery is an ongoing process over weeks, months, or even years. The information mentioned by the patient early on in the process may seem trivial or unimportant at the time, only for it to emerge later that it was, in fact, very pertinent. If not recorded in a way that is both accurate and easy to lookup or recall, that information could potentially be lost, resulting in a detrimental impact on the overall treatment process, either in lost time or in actual care delivered. As a result, it’s extremely important for clinicians to capture as much detail as they possibly can in each and every interaction with the patient, and throughout every step of care delivery. Doing so ensures that there will never be a case in which information lost due to low-fidelity note-taking has a chance to undermine the efficacy of care.
Speech Recognition as a Note-Taking Tool
Speech recognition is the ultimate tool to provide that unparalleled level of detail capture because it moves note-taking from an unnatural mode – writing – to a completely natural one – speaking. For even the most gifted writer, translating our thoughts into the written word is never as natural a process as translating them into the spoken word. One of the biggest factors involved is speed, as it simply isn’t generally possible to write or type out thoughts with the flow, speed, or accuracy of speech. That means that, in order to keep up, a certain level of detail has to be omitted. Doctors use shorthand to help get around that issue, but shorthand itself is an incomplete language tool, meaning that, even though it is faster, detail must necessarily be lost based on the nature of the medium.
Speech recognition completely eliminates that bottleneck by enabling doctors to simply speak their thoughts into reality, thanks to the AI-driven voice-to-text software’s ability to quickly and accurately transcribe speech even on initial use before it’s had a chance to train itself. The result is noted that is truly complete, with no detail, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant sacrificed in the name of speed. That can have huge impacts on a doctor’s ability to maintain a complete picture of a patient’s care situation, especially in cases where going back to review notes from months or years in the past is necessary.
Additionally, because advanced speech recognition software can perform transcription to a high degree of accuracy even when exposed to a brand new voice, doctors can even use voice-to-text to transcribe patients’ own descriptions of their problems in real-time, providing an exact account of symptoms and relevant medical history right from the proverbial horse’s mouth.
Speech Recognition as an Administrative Tool
Voice-to-text technology doesn’t only improve care delivery and note-taking. It also offers significant benefits to clinic administrative tasks, thanks to its ability to integrate with essentially any text entry medium. That means doctors and admin staff alike can utilize speech recognition technology to handle everything from drafting emails or letters to filling in forms, to creating or modifying documents and patient records. That brings the same speed improvements to almost every text-based task that goes on in a clinic on a day-to-day basis – a huge benefit in an industry so awash in paperwork.
Reduction in workload and time spent on administrative tasks is especially notable when speech recognition software is utilized through an advanced customer resource management tool like MedicalCRM. Since MedicalCRM covers all aspects of administration, from document handling to scheduling to communications to marketing, and beyond, admin staff and doctors can access the voice-to-text technology without ever having to leave the same platform they use for essentially all of their other tasks. That represents huge savings in time, as well as the elimination of the headaches associated with having to manage multiple pieces of software or to jump back and forth between logins and accounts.
Speech Recognition is a Cost Reduction Tool
Speech recognition technology also represents a potential cost reduction tool for clinics on two fronts. The first is its ability to streamline both administration and care delivery since improved efficiency always has a positive impact on cost control. The second is the elimination of short-hand note transcription – an expensive process that fuels an entire cottage industry. Because shorthand is essentially gibberish to anyone but doctors and medical professionals, to be useful for essentially anything, shorthand notes have to be transcribed. That process is generally outsourced to professionals, or, in some cases, is handled internally by doctors or admin staff, wasting an enormous amount of valuable time.
Adopting speech recognition technology eliminates the need for shorthand note transcription because it eliminates the need for shorthand altogether. That not only offers significant savings for clinics that outsource their notes, it also eliminates the security risks associated with sending out notes – a form of protected health information under HIPAA.
MedicalCRM, the healthcare industry’s leading clinic management tool, includes an advanced speech-to-text tool build right in, at no additional cost. MedicalCRM’s voice-to-text technology is AI-driven and learns and improves with each additional exposure to the user’s voice. But even without that user training, the technology is accurate enough to provide useful transcription right out of the box, making it a valuable part of what MedicalCRM brings to the table. For more information on MedicalCRM’s speech recognition system, or any of the platform’s advanced productivity and care-delivery features, schedule a guided demonstration today.