The invention of speech recognition software is time saving healthcare technology that is well used by many around the globe. This technology has come a long way since the beginning. Advances have been made the technology a true time saver over the years. The learning capabilities of the programs have drastically improved, and healthcare facilities are slowly – but surely – looking to speech recognition as a viable solution for saving time and resources.
Initially, the primary users of the software were only doctors. However, some healthcare facilities are now getting their nurses to start using the technology as well.
Hudson Valley Heart Center
The Hudson Valley Heart Center is just one example. The lead nurse at the center and some colleagues started to use speech recognition for creating patient records. These records are created in real time in the electronic health record system.
The Heart Center is integrated with the Nuvance Health system, a family of hospitals and medical practices located throughout New York’s Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut. Nuvance had made speech recognition available for its doctors as a replacement for traditional transcription in order to improve their documentation.
Not Just For Doctors
Now, this technology is being made available for nurses and additional staff. The medical voice recognition software being used has been developed by Nuance Communications, creators of Dragon Medical and one of the leading companies at the forefront of medical speech recognition technology.
The nurse has begun to use the program for a wide range of activities such as making progress notes, patient histories, discharge summaries, admissions and physical exam results. Prior to the introduction of the system, she used to make her progress notes on paper. She claims that the software is capable of rendering her speech into text more rapidly than typing, without compromising accuracy. Furthermore, the typographical errors are eliminated when a dictation system is being used. The hospital’s EHR is updated right after she finishes.
Increasing Demand of US Healthcare Facilities
The need for improving efficiency is paramount keeping in mind the ever increasing demand for healthcare from baby boomers along with an expected dearth of nursing staff. In the next seven years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a demand for 1.1 million new nurses. Around 550,000 of those would be required to fill in the positions of the retired nurses by 2020. 575,000 new vacancies are expected to arise, which the remaining half will fill. The supply is made even more limited owing to a lack of faculty that has graduated from a nursing school.
How Speech Recognition Has Helped
Speech recognition represents a major development for nurses as most of their time is spent on documentation. According to a study in Permanente Journal, nurses spent lesser time attending to patients as compared to documentation. This finding was based on the study of 700 nurses in 36 different hospitals.
HealthQuest’s decision to implement speech recognition represents a gradually changing mindset of the healthcare industry in the US. The evolution of speech recognition has now reached a point where its use is yielding tangible benefits for medical practitioners. And given the expectation of a demand supply gap in healthcare facilities, it is surely one of the answers towards bridging that gap.