Give your medical staff more time with dictation.
What is Medical Dictation
Saving lives is what Doctors do. That drive to improve the wellbeing and health of their patients is what drives health care providers on a day to day basis.
The cornerstone of providing effective care is information. Knowing exactly what is happening with a patient is often not simple to determine. It can take multiple appointments, scans, tests, specialists and diagnoses before a conclusion can be reached.
It is documentation that draws together all these strands of information. Each interaction is recorded in detail so as to give the fullest picture of the outcomes and conclusions.
Medical documentation is critical to care. But Doctors & Clinical staff can’t be spending all their time on documents. Dictation allows staff to move the workload of producing documents away from expensive front line staff.
How Dictation Works In A Medical Setting
On the surface, dictation has a simple process. A doctor or clinician dictates into a device, that audio is sent to a transcriptionist who then types that into a document. The clinician can then review the document, sign it and authorise it to be sent.
Many dictation workflows call the audio creator the Author and the transcriptionist a Typist.
All the effort of formatting, typing and editing the document is taken away from the Doctor. The Doctor simply needs to produce the initial dictation file.
What You Need For Medical Dictation
Dictation needs at the most basic level 3 things. Firstly an author, secondly a typist and finally a method of connecting the audio produced by the doctor with the typist.
Authors in medical dictation are clinicians and Doctors. Getting used to dictating is not always easy. You need to speak clearly and eliminate as much as possible the small sounds that happen in normal conversation (umm, err, mmm, etc). But even with a small amount of training, dictation is many times faster than writing the document by hand.
Typists are the backbone of the dictation system. In some instances it may be enough to simply have an audio file on record - but in a medical setting a dictated audio file is hard to use and can’t tell another user at glance what they need to know. Typists, like clinicians need some training and experience to perform as efficiently as possible. Typists need familiarisation with the dictation files, with the patterns of speech and with some of the nuance that each clinician might have with the way they work.
Finally a dictation system is needed. Something that can collect the dictation from authors and connect typists to do the transcription. In years gone past this has often been done with audio tapes. Digital dictation is now much more popular. Digital dictation systems generally include an input device like a Dictaphone or a mobile phone and a software to manage the files. Depending on your requirements for data security your system may need a server solution - although more and more organisations are turning to the cloud in that regard.
Why Choose Dictation
Imagine a doctor sitting at a desk typing a letter to a specialist. Now imagine how many patients that doctor could see in that time. A clinician who is typing their own notes is bound to their computer. Most dictation systems allow authors to be out in their hospitals or clinics dictating on the spot.
Dictating allows a more natural expression of thought than an Electronic Medical Record system such as those becoming the mainstay of U.S healthcare. Speaking creates a comprehensive record that can be rich in detail yet easy to produce.
Some doctors choose to record their visits in real time with their patients in the room. This extends the patient visit, gives the patient a feeling of being overlooked and detracts from the medical diagnosis.
So we have productivity, mobility and care as clear benefits of dictation. Maybe not all of these will apply in all situations but for the majority of users they should hold true.
The last, but not the least of the benefits of dictation is the additional tools available to authors and document typists. Templated documents, automated information insertion and integration with schedules or calendars take much of the burden away from staff, ensuring greater accuracy.
Dictation Is A Door To Greater Medical Productivity
Moving away from Doctor produced documents frees up the time of your clinicians to be doing what is most important - seeing patients.
When dictation is being used throughout a medical organisation it opens other opportunities for improving the productivity and cost effectiveness of document production.
Speech recognition and outsourced transcription are the best examples of this. Working together, speech recognition takes dictation files and processes them into a text file automatically. Modern speech recognition uses local dictionaries with medical terminology, meaning that dictations can be more accurately transformed into documents.
Outsourced transcription is another addition worth considering for dictation. Safely & securely sending audio files for transcription to a specialist transcription provider is becoming more prevalent in medical document production. Outsourcing transcription in the long term can be much more cost effective than in house transcription and frees up the time of your internal staff for other administrative staff. Outsourcing transcription in peak times for short periods can help relieve backlogs and speed up the pace of patient treatments.
Read More About Medical Dictation
Medical Dictation Case Studies
Medical Dictation Software