Trinity Health implemented voice recognition software in its Emergency Trauma Center in September after working on its with consultants over the summer months.
The new Dragon NaturallySpeaking software allows physicians to enter their notes into a patient's electronic medical record by voice instead of by typing them out, using the electronic medical record's templates. The software takes the physician's spoken words and converts them into text.
"The electronic medical record was beneficial in that it streamlined the documentation in the ER," said Dr. Scott Knutson, emergency medicine physician for Trinity's Emergency Trauma Center. "But we found it was lacking something in the quality of the note. It didn't convey well what we wanted to say."
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Dr. Scott Knutson, emergency medicine physician for Trinity Health, dictates using voice recognition software.
Knutson explained that the electronic medical record templates provided some prebuilt descriptors for physicians' notes, but Trinity's emergency medicine physicians felt that they were losing something in the text, and they were finding it difficult to convey good information.
The voice recognition software seems to be a good solution. The software is able to "understand" medical language and common medical terms, has no difficulty recognizing the English language spoken with an accent, and has good recognition potential, Knutson said.
Each physician builds their own voice recognition profile, which is saved on a central server. Physicians can "train" the program to recognize certain words, such as names of towns and names of physicians.
"If you've added words, it stays saved to your profile," Knutson said. "With added words, like providers' names, for example, you can build a macro that is a substitute for a word. You can build shortcuts that way. You can also add multiple regional names. As a word comes up in daily use, it's added to the vocabulary."
The program also can recognize when a physician stumbles on a word, and will put the words in context to come up with the correct word.
"With it, you can build in entire physical exams, with breaks," Knutson said. "It can speed up your workflow ... (and) it's easily edited you can do it with voice."
The voice-recognition software will be made available to physicians in other departments at Trinity as well.
"It's (voice recognition software) helped us tremendously with getting a quality note in a timely manner," Knutson said.