Dr. Brian Yeaman sees voice recognition as one way of making logging notes in electronic health records less of a hassle and more of a productive tool. "The further I can get away from a keyboard and a mouse, the better."
Yeaman is a family medicine physician and hospitalist, as well as chief medical informatics officer for the Norman Regional Health System in Oklahoma. Using the Dragon Dictate voice recognition software from Nuance Communications, Norman Regional has found it can minimize a key physician complaint about electronic health records and save the money that previously went to transcription services. The net savings after the cost of the software last year came to about $1.8 million, Yeaman said.
The Dragon software is currently being used mostly in the emergency department in combination with Nuance's Powermic, a noise-canceling microphone capable of working amid chaos -- proving its value even during a crisis. When a tornado wiped out a school and most of the town of Moore, Okla., in May, it also destroyed the Norman Regional medical center in that town. Casualties and displaced patients poured into the main campus in Norman. "We had patients in every room and lined up down the hall," he said, but even then "we never abandoned the technology."
-- David F Carr
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