Exploring Speech Recognition Challenges

The Challenges of Speech Recognition in Health Care

Many doctors remain hesitant of this technology, concerned about the possibility of speech recognition challenges.

However, there are many large hospital systems that believe Dragon Medical One is the wave of the future. And that is precisely why so many hospitals today are actively researching this solution.

Unfortunately, adaptability is not as fast as it should be among the end users. Primarily due to the higher rate of resistance from many senior doctors who have spent a lifetime jotting down notes. Then subsequently having them typed by their assistants.

In fact, such skeptical end users are widely considered to be the main reason where there is still any resistance to this technology. However, there is no doubt that once they upgrade to this technology, the benefits will become overwhelming.

Speech Recognition Challenges

First, let’s look at the top 3 challenges that are easily overcome:

1. Background Noise

This is by far and wide, one of the single biggest challenges when it comes to speech recognition technology. Hospitals as well as other health care facilities tend to be intrinsically noisy places. The more sensitive the recording device, the easier it is to pick up background noise and include it into the documentation. But, this can easily be overcome by using a high quality dictation microphone and moving to a quiet room.

2. Speaking Voice

Current iterations of medical speech recognition software tend to be very sensitive towards the accent of the speaker. However, with the release of newer solutions, this is quickly getting better.

3. Power Outage

Though rare, it can happen. If the user is documenting and there is a power outage, chances are that the data might be cut off. Luckily newer solutions are cloud-based so you won’t necessarily lose information. It will just take some time to find where you left off.

Speech Recognition Benefits

Second, let’s look at the top 3 benefits:

1. Great Returns

Some of the best returns were:

  • Far more complete and comprehensive patient narratives.
  • An overall reduction in transcription costs
  • A significant reduction in documentation time

But again, these are holistic benefits that are more known to hospital administrations and clerical staff.

2. Change Can Be Good

The end users, that is, many of the doctors themselves, see this as a significant change in their overall workflow and they are resistant to the change. Because it goes against their usual practices that have been done for years. In fact, one of the challenges of speech recognition in healthcare is that many such doctors see this as an inherently frustrating exercise. Feeling that they are actually made to do the work of clerical staff.

However, nothing can be further from the truth since speech recognition can both significantly improve as well as enhance clinical documentation. This holds even more true in today’s world with its emphasis on more and more documentation for every single patent and doctor interaction.

3. Valuable Contribution

This is where speech recognition can make a very valuable contribution. Once the reservations of the doctors are overcome, they will quickly understand that this technology actually frees up their time quite significantly. And not only that, but the usual errors that are part of a typical manual dictation method can safely be eliminated. This will lead to greater accuracy overall and thus more reliable reports in the long run.