Speech recognition technology faces many problems in the health care sector. These issues range from a lack of acceptability amongst senior staff members to problems in the software itself.
The health care sector suffers from many compliance issues with regard to patient information and health records. Over time, these regulatory requirements end up consuming a lot of time and this, in turn, has a direct effect on the average number of patients that a doctor treats in a day. Of course, the more time he spends taking care of the paperwork, the less time he can dedicate to looking after his patients. The same also applies to the support staff as well.
Voice recognition software has helped to a great extent, but the system has its own issues to contend with. Let us take a quick look at a few of the problems that are currently being faced by speech recognition software, especially as far as the health care sector is concerned:
Junior doctors are pretty comfortable with using voice recognition technology to update their patients’ medical records. However, many of their senior counterparts in hospitals all over the country tend to have a traditional outlook. They believe that such ‘new-fangled’ technology is not for them and prefer to manually write down their notes for their attendants to type into the system. Since these seniors have considerable power in the administration of the healthcare facilities they work for, they can easily create many hurdles for the successful implementation of speech recognition systems in their workplace.
Creating patient health records is an extremely delicate task that requires a lot of concentration. Should the software pick up ambient background noise or mistake a word or phrase, then it can be downright dangerous for the patient since his treatment will be directly affected. Unfortunately, many types of voice recognition systems are not able to distinguish between background static and actual words being spoken. And, of course, we have to vector in the different dialects, subtle nuances of tone and inflection.
While cutting-edge speech recognition technology is helping us make progress in the healthcare industry, mistakes do occur, and they have to be rectified before the data enters the system. This also takes up valuable time and resources. In order to ensure a ‘zero mistake’ environment, many clinicians and their attendant staff have to check and double check their work, which again takes a lot of time.
It is evident that speech recognition technology is not the absolute solution for recording patient records, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. With the passage of time, technology is continuously evolving and improving and in time, all such issues will be resolved completely.