Speech Recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. Speech Recognition software was first introduced to the healthcare space in the mid-1990s. Instead of using a keyboard to enter text, the user (a physician) would talk to a computer and the program would type the text, the user would then edit that text as needed for the final report.

In the early stages the speech recognition application faced many challenges; computer systems were slow and very expensive, and applications had limited medical vocabularies and they all relied on the physician training and correcting the Speech Recognition software.

The advances in technology and innovations in the marketplace have changed significantly since then. One of the reasons Speech Recognition is now so successful is that the medical transcriptionist (MT) is the one training the software when correcting the document, not the physician.

Today's healthcare executives are moving towards cutting-edge technologies and innovations in Speech Recognition to provide cost effective savings, improved quality and tighter integration with the EHR for compliance of clinical documentation. Speech Understanding technology is one such example of this.

How Speech Understanding technology improves upon speech recognition

Speech Understanding technology differs from the Speech Recognition applications of the past. This technology adds a new layer of contextual understanding that allows physicians to capture their narrative through “natural language”. With Speech Understanding, doctors have finally found a technology that actually makes their work more efficient. Without requiring any changes in the physician's documentation routine, Clinically Actionable Data (CAD) are created which automatically encodes the clinical data and organize the content into sections and lists defined by best practices and make records of medications, dosages, test results, etc. meaningful and actionable.

Administrators have found a way to capture the patient story and see the doctor narrative as a rich source of unstructured clinical data that can now be easily created, captured and analyzed to improve the continuity of patient care within your operating environment while improving internal processes, such as reimbursements.

When you enable EMRs (Electronic Medical Records) or EHRs (Electronic Health Records) with advanced Speech Understanding technology, it becomes simple and intuitive for doctors to dictate, review and electronically sign their reports in a single pass.

Speech Understanding is basically a combination of two technologies: speech recognition and Natural Language Understanding (NLU). The two technologies work together in one unified process to not just recognize individual words but to understand the actual meaning and syntax of the dictation. That means doctors can dictate in a more normal, “conversational” mode without having to use particular speech patterns to cue the engine.

Some of the benefits of Speech Understanding include:

Higher quality documentation
Transcription cost savings
Increased physician satisfaction
Increased productivity
Promotes EMR / EHR adoption
Helps meet Meaningful Use criteria

Implementing the latest technology is only one part of the clinical documentation process. Fast Chart offers end-to-end clinical documentation solutions that make your practice or hospital more efficient, more productive, and more secure.