Doctors and health care professionals across the country have a universal complaint when using electronic health records (EHRs).  They report that they become so immersed in research, data input and typing that they neglect making eye contact with their patients and providing them with the personal attention they deserve.  New developments in EHR speech recognition are promising physicians an answer to this problem through voice recognition that alleviates some of the arduous tasks performed by providers.

Physicians agree that spending time searching through pertinent data and research takes time away from patient attention.  EHR programs can be cumbersome and extremely time consuming.  There is no point and click methods to entering patient data in any department of the hospital.  For example, an ER doctor stares at his or her EHR screen for minutes before engaging with the patient, when they should be providing them with the eye contact they deserve and oftentimes require.

Advantages and Benefits to Speech Recognition

There are a wide number of advantages and benefits to voice or speech recognition.  This form of input is a natural progression for most physicians and health care professionals because it is a platform they have used for decades.  Doctors have used analog recorders that later moved to digital recorders in order to manage patient history and record tedious notes and hard-to-read reports.   Speech recognition seems to be the most natural progression in EHR and doctors agree.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits that speech recognition provides is the fact that the patient-doctor relationship is enhanced.  The doctor spends less time inputting data into the computer, and in most cases, the laptop is removed as the focal point between doctor and patient.
Reducing errors is another benefit of speech recognition.  The doctor will have the freedom to input information through voice, relieving transcription or editor costs.  Time is money in the health care industry, and through speech recognition, the time is reduced when the transcription process is eliminated.  No longer will reports need to be sent off for transcription, saving both time and money.

Improved Quality of Care

While some may argue that speech recognition is not the miracle doctors may be looking for to solve the quality of care problem, it does offer value in terms of the doctor and patient relationship.  More time is spent engaging in the patient’s needs, rather than inputting information into a computer.  As previously discussed, more eye contact is made with the patient – leaving the patient feeling attended to.  The cold approach to medical care is eliminated as doctors are able to focus personal attention to each patient.

While speech recognition in EHR may not solve world hunger, physicians agree that it is a huge step in the right direction of improving the point-and-click method of record taking and keeping.  Gone are the days of cumbersome patient history input with the new system that just makes sense to doctors. Both patients and doctors will be happier and the quality of care will undoubtedly improve.