For younger physicians who’ve been typing since middle school, adjusting to EHRs and achieving meaningful use is no biggie. That is, when you compare many of their experiences to those of physicians who can’t type more than 30 or 40 words per minute.
Thus, as the market for EHRs has grown, so has the market for voice dictation technology. In turn, the increasing popularity of the iPhone and other smartphones has pushed mobile technology to the forefront in medical offices: Doctors use apps throughout the day, check their e-mail, and can even navigate their EHRs with a phone.
So it’s only natural that the market for digital voice dictation smartphone applications would also grow.
“We’re seeing growth [at practices],” Peter Sorrento, director of sales, North America, for Philips Speech Processing, a manufacturer of mobile and stationary dictation systems, told Physicians Practice. “As there’s more of a need to move toward electronic medical records, there’s more of a demand for doctors to get their notes into electronic form.”
Digital voice dictation apps allow physicians to speak and record their practice notes and create a secure, encrypted file that can be e-mailed to a transcriptionist (or to the physician’s secure message account) for transcribing at a later time into an EHR. The end result: Physicians who aren’t the best typers — or those who are always on the go — save a lot of time.
Ron Thiessen, practice administrator for Central Minnesota Neurosciences, single-specialty clinic that uses a digital voice dictation smartphone app, told Physicians Practice it is “very liberating to not be tethered to a PC or a download station.” And that’s just the first benefit. Overhead cost savings is another.
“The voice quality is excellent and the software has been working flawlessly for several months now,” Thiessen said. “As an input device, the iPhone paired with the Philips enterprise system offers the same quality as the traditional handheld but is cost effective because it eliminates the need for purchase and maintenance of handhelds and their associated licenses. It is convenient because it can be used anywhere.”