Tag Archives: speech recognition

Are EMR/EHR Really Cutting Down Transcription Cost/Jobs?? (SLIDESHOW)

Interesting discussions have always caught our eye at Acroseas. As our research process, we came across this animated discussion on Linkedin talking about the confusion that are EMR/EHR Really Cutting Down Transcription Cost/Jobs??

The answers were intelligent and made us excited to share it with our industry with the power of a visual presentation embedded below:

We hope to take this discussion forward to a new audience of health-care professionals at Linked: Healthcare (#1 Healthcare Group) on Linkedin.

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Process Of Medical Transcrption In Simple Pointers

The process of medical transcription is pretty simple. Almost all MT service-providers follow more or less the same method with slight variations.

The process of medical transcription can be outlined as below:-

Dictation :- Patient information is recorded by medical practitioners into a recording device. Choosing a superior voice quality device lends clarity, quality and accuracy to the dictations. Sometimes, sophisticated software modules are installed in the doctor’s PC that allow dictating and transmitting the voice files to the medical center’s server an easy process.

Transmission of Voice Files :- The digitally recorded dictations are transmitted from the medical practitioners’ PCs to the main server by making use of a memory card. From the server, these voice files are accessed by medical transcriptionist for transcribing. If medical transcription service is been outsourced, the voice files are routed/uploaded to the Medical Transcription Service Organization secure, encrypted server via the Internet, for transcription.

Transcribing :- Transcribers type the dictation word-to-word (except for making changes to grammar or usage errors) and convert the voice files into text format. Files are flagged off for the physician’s comments if the transcriptionist faces any clarity or inconsistency issues with them.

Quality assurance :- There are multiple levels of QA (Quality Assurance) in medical transcription and good service-providers offer a three-tiered quality assurance process.
In the initial stage, editing is done; the next stage involves proofreading of the entire transcribed word files to check for omissions and errors. In the final stage, medical editors do a thorough review of the completed files.

Sending back reports :- The completed medical records are sent as zipped email attachments or uploaded into the hospital’s server from where they can be accessed anytime by the doctor or the concerned staff for their respective use.

Speech Recognition – Boon or Bane?

Proponents of the technology say clinical documentation or the EHR’S via speech recognition builds a more complete patient record and help drive EHR adoption but there’s a flipside to this coin as well.

Problem of EHR’S

In general, most physicians love EHR systems (Electronic Health Records) for their ability to present information in an easy-to-access format. However, the idea of accumulation of patient information, being turned into data entry doesn’t fit too well for some. Another reason frequently given for poor EHR adoption rates are the templates and drop-down menus drive the patient interaction rather than serve as tools. Physicians report that the pre-structured responses and choices actually change or limit how they question patients. Their behavior portrays the technology rather than having it flow naturally to capture valuable action for diagnosis and treatment purposes.

Potential Solutions
To, effectively deal with these problems, some consider speech recognition technology because it enables physicians to interview patients in their customary manner and then dictate reports in free-form narrative. Two basic types of speech recognition technology are available: real-time (front-end) and background (back-end) systems.

Front-End Speech Recognition

Front-end speech recognition occurs in real time during the documentation process. The physician logs into the EHR system or opens a Microsoft Word document and dictates into a microphone or a headset. As he or she is speaking, the words the speech recognizer hears appear on the screen instantaneously. When the dictation is finished, the physician reviews the words on the screen, makes any corrections, signs it, and files it in the EHR.

Errors can occur when physicians don’t talk directly into the microphone, don’t pay attention to what they’re saying, or just don’t talk clearly. Transcriptionists identify the errors and return the document to the physician to correct and sign off. Corrections are then made by the physician in the electronic health record.

Speech recognition is so accurate that some physicians can dictate 30 to 40 charts with only one or two errors. The technology is ready for prime time, say proponents

Efficiency of speech recognition

The efficiency of speech recognition can be further enhanced through the use of macros, or subroutines within the software that extract information from the EHR. Using macros, one can reinstate dictation with the patient’s medical history, social history, family history, and the like.

The Next Evolution
Speech recognition delivers significant productivity improvements and eliminates the problem of forcing physicians to think and question patients according to EHR templates and drop-down menus. However, the technology faces one major hurdle. It cannot convert the free-form narrative produced by clinicians into structured information that can be data mined and queried by clinical systems. This also means coding and billing cannot be done automatically. Coders and billers have to review and code charts in the traditional way.

That’s where speech understanding comes in. It not only listens and transcribes, but it actually understands what the physician or clinician is saying and converts it into a structured document. It attaches semantically interoperable tags and values to the information so that computers can read it without human intervention.

Do’s and don’ts’ on Sound Input Devices
Speech recognition technologies have the potential to provide huge savings in transcription costs, but cutting corners on microphones will decrease reliability and negate some of those benefits. To take full advantage of today’s accurate speech recognizers, experts say it is wise to invest in high-quality sound input devices.

Acroseas view

We believe that speech recognition is not as evolved or advanced as many doctors would like it to be. The output of the speech recognition software has to be proofread by an MT or a doctor himself. Now that 32 million more Americans are going to come under the umbrella of health insurance, we can take it for granted that the workload of the doctors is going to increase. Doctors do not want to waste their time proofreading documents generated by speech recognition programs. The doctors want to spend as much time with the patients as possible, as this is their job. Thus human MTs are not going anywhere, and by extension, outsourcing medical transcription work to cheaper offshore locations is also not going away anytime soon.

Health Care Bill Simplified On The Back Of A Napkin (SLIDESHOW ANALYSIS)

Interesting concepts are always welcomed, specially when they arise out of globalization and internet connectivity, a colourful representation says with us for long. Dan Roam and Anthony Jones came up with this visual creation to throw light on the sensitive topic of health and portrayed it very effectively.

Check out our analysis of the slideshow below:

#1 – Healthcare in America is a BUSINESS!!

Napkin one states that most of the money in America comes from the health care. It further states that there is a close relations between the patient, doctor and the insurance guys.

But in the last couple of years, the insurance providers have taken the place of decision makers. This happened because health care has two aspects- doctors and insurance. Where one gives health, the other pays for it. The money and health is now in the hands of the consumer due to heavy competition.

Payment of insurance on time helps in the long run. With insurance one can cover many costs like doctors, medicines, products and services. This gives us a sense of security.

However much the insurance guys and doctors hate each other, they eventually have to admit the fact that they themselves are the source of income and business for each other. That’s the irony. Sometimes between these rivals, the consumer pays the price as he/she has to accommodate both the parties.

It is in times like these that the government comes into picture and most of the changes made are towards the insurance providers. The doctors in such cases go usually untouched.

#2 – What is Healthcare Reform all about?

When government makes changes, the reform is not that of the health care initiative but that of the insurance. Insurance companies also have to pay the share holders.

Their suffering shows when the world is blooming. Most insurance companies did well in those times when others jobs were at stake in the year 2008 (recession period).

Insurance providers complain that when a reform takes place, they are the ones who have to go through more hardships because these companies are made to adjust the most. They argue that they are to be paid for the reforms that do not benefit them as much.

#3 – What are the plans on the table?

The word care displays humanity, but not in the case of insurance companies. Health care in America is anything but charitable. It has turned extremely commercial and will show more profit oriented intentions in the years to come.

The public insurance holds the first place followed by private insurances which is then followed by restrictive private insurances. Insurance companies face a problem when the prices go up because insuring everyone means their costs go up. This in turn results in a competition with the co-operatives. It thus results in decreased in the numbers of customers who were willing to pay.

This also leads to government interfering.

Napkin #4 – Politics aside, what do the options me to ME?

The common man has to pay more even if presently employed and insured. So why reform? Because if we do nothing, it’s going to cost even more. People are concerned that reforms will bankrupt the USA. They need to recognize that health costs are already bankrupting us.

In the end, how we each decide to support reform will be guided by 3 questions: Should health be Change is coming; Will I be better a profit-driven how do I want to off shouting or business? pay for it? thinking?

Acroseas’ View

A very clear and concise description and explaination of how the Healthcare Industry functions in the US. Anyone doing business in this industry, even if they are experienced would do well to go through this very simple, yet surprisingly effective, presentation. Its worth your while.