Advantages and Disadvantages of Speech Recognition for EHRs

Now is the best time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of speech recognition for EHRs to determine whether speech recognition is right for your team. Speech recognition has become quite popular in the healthcare industry, and for good reason. Speech recognition offers a nearly hands-free way for clinicians to enter data and fill out a patient’s electronic chart.

These are the most prevalent pros and cons of speech recognition systems in healthcare, specifically for use with your electronic health record.

Potential Disadvantages of Speech Recognition

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

  1. Configuration — some solutions don’t easily integrate with existing EHR
  2. Hardware — some operating systems (namely Macs) and devices have less support for speech recognition
  3. Customization — some solutions don’t have many customization options
  4. Training — without good training, the benefits of speech recognition won’t be as immediately realized
  5. Clinician Preference – some clinicians may have difficulty adopting new technology

Inefficient EHR technologiesIf the technology isn’t easy and efficient, healthcare providers simply won’t use it. They can only benefit from speech recognition software if they use it, and they won’t use it unless they can see a payoff.

One of the drawbacks of speech recognition is that it does require a change in how providers interact with their EHR. This is why it’s so important to choose the right software for your facility’s EHR – because this new way of interacting can save upwards of 2 hours per day on documentation.

Some technologies are designed specifically to overcome these obstacles. Dolbey’s cloud-based speech recognition solution, 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 get the most out of it. The high success rate is also due to the ease of implementation.

Fusion Narrate also natively integrates with all EHR applications, making it very easy to implement. Click to see a full list.

Top 3 Advantages of Speech Recognition

1. Solves Inefficiencies and Reduces Wasted Time

One of the most prominent advantages of speech recognition software is increased productivity.

In a Yale Medicine study, clinicians utilized a speech recognition solution to complete and close encounters with their voice. This method was far quicker than manual entry. With the widespread adoption of speech recognition systems in recent years, there have been many reports of physicians improving efficiencies and saving time.

A 2018 report by KLAS showed that overall, productivity increased due to speech recognition adoption. Clinicians were able to spend less time completing reports while using speech recognition tools allowing them to focus more on their patients.


2. Clinics and Hospitals Can Save Money

Many organizations find that speech recognition systems can help them reduce costs. With speech recognition, it may be possible to reduce overtime hours for transcriptionists and/or stop outsourcing clinician dictation to outside firms.

It is more efficient for everyone, saving money in the process.


3. Clinician Satisfaction

When a clinician is able to complete their 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.

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 speech recognition features:

EHR inefficiencies were making physicians unhappy and adding extra work hours, including taking work home 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. Speech-recognition software has reduced the time it takes clinicians 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 speech recognition solutions were able to significantly shave hours of time off physicians’ workweek, thus enabling them to spend more time doing what they want to be doing instead of struggling with documentation.

And, according to the 2018 KLAS report mentioned above, “Respondents report that those who use [speech 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.

Searching for speech recognition software?

Start recording your dictations accurately with our easy-to-use platform, Fusion Narrate.

Implementing Speech Recognition

After evaluating the pros and cons of voice recognition, you’ll also need to determine how best to implement speech recognition at your organization.

In some cases, that might mean an on-premise system, cloud-based software, or speech recognition native to your EHR. One of the most cost-effective, flexible options is Fusion Narrate.

Fusion Narrate works within any EHR and most desktop applications – you can see if your current healthcare application has already been tested and has a native integration with Fusion Narrate by viewing this EHR Compatibility List.

Fusion Narrate includes many features, designed for ease of use for clinicians and IT departments alike:

  • 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 customizable Shortcut Builder tool for voice-enabled shortcuts
  • Transcription support
  • Centralized administration

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

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