Voice-Recognition technology brings healthy changes to Medical Transcription

Medical records are an important component to health care, and while the contents of those records receive a great deal of attention, the process by which the information arrives there is often taken for granted. However, recent technology advancements have brought the process of medical transcription into the spotlight, and Dakota County Technical College is sharing that spotlight by being one of the first in the nation to train students to use it.

Over the last decade, voice-recognition technology underwent major advancements that largely benefited the medical industry. This technology enables a computer to process speech and transcribe the words into a document, and the most recent advancements have allowed the individual dictating to speak at a more natural rate than ever before and increased word-recognition accuracy.

One of the most important benefits of the voice-recognition technology is the increase in efficiency it gives a medical transcriptionist. According to Nuance Communications, Inc., a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions, medical transcriptionists are able to transcribe an average of 30% more quickly through the use of the technology.

“One minute of dictation used to take four minutes to transcribe. With this technology, I have seen people work up to 60% faster. It is incredible,” said Evelyn Newman of Nuance Communications, Inc.
With such high efficiency rates, more and more hospitals are beginning to use voice-recognition technology to speed the transcription process.

Keen to such medical industry trends, DCTC instructor Susan Johanson knew that individuals who were trained in the voice-recognition technology would be needed and took on the task of bringing the training to her classroom.

In late April, students in Johanson’s Medical Transcription classes put voice-recognition training to the test through the use of Dictaphone Enterprise Express Speech software, a product of Nuance licensed by Correction Client. Nuance worked closely with Johanson and the DCTC IT department to install the software and get the training underway.

“We are very excited about DCTC providing this training opportunity to the students. It definitely makes the college very unique,” said Newman.

According to Newman, Allina Hospitals, Health East and Regents have all begun using the technology, and more are expected to follow suite. That being said, Johanson’s students will be hot prospective employees for those medical centers who are using it.

“There are some who think that this will reduce or eliminate the demand for medical transcriptionists, but the change is simply in the skill set. Transcription is only a part of being a medical transcriptionist. Skills like editing will simply get more focus,” said Newman.

Those interested in developing the skills necessary for a career as a medical transcriptionist can learn more at www.dctc.edu or by calling 651-423-8301. The voice-recognition training will be offered again during the fall semester, with classes beginning August 21.