December 24, 2008 — Northwestern Health Sciences University recently received a donation of voice recognition software that will help streamline the process of documenting patient notes for Northwestern practitioners. The donation of software, along with training, is valued at $50,000.
The software was donated by Judy Richard, president of JR Consulting, who has been working with the technology for about 10 years. The program will enable Northwestern to replace the practitioner’s hand-written note with an electronic version, as part of a larger objective to move to an electronic health record. Already, some insurance companies are beginning to require typed, transcribed or digital records for reimbursement, and it’s expected that soon insurers won’t accept hand-written notes at all.
According to John B. Wolfe, Jr., DC, JD, chief compliance officer and associate professor at Northwestern, the transition is important. In the past, Northwestern has utilized transcription services to facilitate a typed note, but those services can be costly and time-consuming. As the industry moves to an electronic medical record, the new computer program will enable practitioners to easily get their notes in the e-record. The software, called Dragon Naturally Speaking, translates the user’s voice into text with 99.5 percent accuracy. Once installed on a personal computer, the software can be customized with shortcuts for frequently used phrases or chunks of text, such as a treatment plan.
Source: Northwestern Health Sciences University, www.nwhealth.edu/nwtoday/index.html