How voice dictation can ease ICD-10, meaningful use burdens

Speech RecognitionToday, I’d like to relay this article from the Medical Practice Insider about speech recognition as a productivity booster and a way to curb the frustration caused byt the “unnatural documentation methods required by EHR systems.”

Cheers from the pit, The Equalizer

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Physicians have historically relied on their voice, namely through dictation, to create comprehensive, patient-specific notes in a fraction of the time of typing or tapping on a screen. While it may seem old-fashioned, that enhanced level of individualized detail is needed now more than ever so practices can comply with meaningful use’s Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) requirements as well as the ICD-10 code set — both of which demand more data capture and reporting.

These regulations have driven many practices to discover the recent technological advances in digital voice technology. Physicians have found that such tools, including digital dictation and speech recognition software, can help them improve data quality, while streamlining workflows for providers and administrators, particularly when the tools integrate directly with existing EHRs.

Legacy of dictation

From the first magnetic tape cassette-based dictation machines produced 60 years ago to today’s digital handheld recorders and smartphone recorder apps, physicians have relied on dictation and transcription to improve their productivity and efficiency.

This legacy of dictation exists because, as research has shown, dictation is much faster than typing and many physicians still prefer it to this day. A 2014 survey of physicians from a large academic medical center, in fact, found that nearly 45 percent of participating doctors rated dictation to be “important” or “critical” for creating documentation. Another study found physicians who had been using typical EHR documentation methods returned to dictation and handwriting after less than a year.

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