The introduction of voice recognition technology has changed the way hospitals and other healthcare facilities function. However, the technology comes with its own challenges that must be countered before it can be utilized to its full potential.
While voice recognition has been making steady inroads in the healthcare sector, it is not absolutely flawless. There are many challenges and issues that it has to overcome before it can be universally adopted by just about every healthcare facility in the country.
For example, it has to deal with software and hardware compatibility issues. Not all devices are fully compatible with the various software suits that proliferate in this sector. Using the wrong voice recognition software with the improper dictation equipment that does not recognize it properly will lead to glitches and errors in transcription. If these continue for long, they can put paid to the whole exercise.
Apart from that, the sheer pace of technology is also creating challenges. While innovation is all well and good, it is not always feasible for hospitals to change their voice recognition hardware and software every few days.
These needs run both ways. Not only the end-users have to be properly trained to use this technology, but the speech recognition software also has to be ‘trained’ to understand a user’s tone of voice, diction, and accent. Once this training is complete (it can last from minutes to days), the software can be used to transcribe speech to text.
However, new software upgrades may require fresh training sessions. And doctors and their support staff cannot afford to spend so much time on this task. It doesn’t make sense as they initially started using this voice recognition software to save time in the first place.
For many people in the medical sector, the age-old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” holds as true today as it did before. Since work is being done the old fashioned way and doctors can transcribe their important notes to their assistants for onward processing, why should they trust this technology?
From a purely psychological point of view, it makes sense because most people love routine and medical practitioners are no exception to this rule. If they are comfortable with a specific way of doing things, then that is what they will always want to do.
The whole facility can be held hostage in case the system is hacked by unscrupulous elements. It is possible for an outsider to alter words and text and thereby destroy the authenticity of the document. Apart from that, power outages can also wipe out any text that is in the process of being transcribed.
While voice recognition technology and associated dictation software have tremendous advantages, that does not mean that the adaptation of this technology will always be a smooth and seamless exercise. There are many challenges that it has to overcome before it achieves universal acceptance.