There is a great debate about whether voice recognition and medical transcription technology a good or bad thing in the field of medicine. While there are definite benefits, there are also clear problems related to privacy. Keep reading to learn five major ways that voice recognition in healthcare is affecting medicine.
The Hospitals of the Future
According to the Hospitals and Health Networks (HHN) website, great things are in store for hospitals. One of the projected uses of voice recognition technology in hospitals is the creation of customized patient rooms that offer unique technology and services. For example, experts believe that future hospitals will start using touch screen monitors with voice recognition software in every patient room. These will act as paperless patient charts and allow the health care professional to quickly access patient information with simple voice commands. For example, a nurse assistant can easily update the patient’s vital signs with this technology. In addition to this, webcams would mean that the patient could be remotely monitored and that specialty physicians in different locations could easily provide a digital face-to-face consultation.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), speech-recognition technology should be adopted by every health care organization because there are excellent benefits. However, proper employee training and implementation is necessary for success. Still, the NIH clearly states that voice recognition technology improves patient care through increasing timely access to information and documentation legibility and accuracy. However, the NIH cautions that the initial implementation and installation costs can be quite expensive. For example, it can cost up to $1,000 per each speech file. However, the results are accurate and almost equal to the costs of transcription services.
While there hasn’t been any major news articles over voice recognition privacy, this technology has created quite a storm with home electronics. Samsung’s infamous Smart TV’s records conversations and transmit them to third-parties. Any organization that deals with health care related information must abide by HIPPA privacy laws. Health care organizations are motivated to protect privacy because they are liable to consumer complaints and lawsuits. However, newer technology is still vulnerable to hackers and criminals that want to steal personal data. Therefore, health care companies should maintain the highest software security standards with voice recognition technology.
Speed Recognition Saves Money
Speech recognition technology empowers health care employees to conveniently dictate notes and information. This means that health care records and documentation is quickly and efficiently processed. It also reduces the amount of time needed for doctors to dictate their notes. Therefore, not all doctors are happy about fast speed recognition technology that reduces their billable activities. A doctor that types slow will naturally charge higher amounts for their time. However, this is good news for patients because speed recognition technology will help reduce costly health care related bills
Emergency Department Upgrades
Emergency departments are the busiest and most chaotic places in a hospital. There is always a patient waitlist with not enough health care staff available. However, one hospital has been able to improve their efficiency and quality of patient care through speech-recognition technology. This helps the hospital because doctors can simply interact with patients and then later dictate their notes afterwards. This means that the patient can enjoy a genuine face-to-face interaction as opposed to a doctor who is multitasking with typing, listening and trying to talk with the patient. In addition to this, all notes and other dictated health information are automatically uploaded into the patient’s electronic health record (EHR). This results in the patient being able to immediately access and review their information through their online health insurance portal. In the end, emergency care speed and efficiency is increased, which are the most important priorities for emergency departments.
To sum up, voice recognition technology is making great strides in the field of medicine. Voice recognition technology increases accuracy, saves time and improves patient care. However, there are privacy and installation cost concerns.