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University of California, San Diego HealthSpan Vol. 2 No. 1 - February 2010 Dragon System: Taking Dictation to the Next Level

Picture: UCSD’s Dr. M, using Dragon Voice

Recognition.

The high costs and time delays of transcribing

medical notes are being slain by a dragon…the

Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition

Software being deployed throughout the UC San

Diego Medical Group and Medical Center. Mr. C.

C., clinical systems documentation coordinator, explains that when providers use voice

recognition software with Epic-integrated software to document their patient encounters –

rather than traditional transcription methods – they are entering clinical content

immediately into that patient’s medical record, simply by dictating into their computers.

“The ultimate beneficiaries are our patients, Immediate documentation enhances the

timeliness of entries in the medical record and eliminates the delay usually associated with

outside transcription services.” And, it reduces expenses associated with transcription

services, which is also a bonus.

The benefits for physicians are also tangible, according to Dr. J. R., professor of medicine

and chief of General Internal Medicine. He is an early adopter of the Dragon voice

recognition software for his own practice and for the Internal Medicine Group, which was

paying more than $300,000 to $500,000 annually for dictation services.

“The system is great for efficiency, economy, accuracy and legibility, and it allows us to

spend more time with more patients and still go home at the end of the day,” said Dr. R.

Relationships with referring physicians are also enhanced as a result of real-time

documentation using this software. “Utilizing voice recognition software to update the

patient’s record enhances the quality of feedback to community providers, providing

complete clinical observations and timely delivery,” said Mr. C. C.. 

When traditional transcription services are used, the initial encounter information is sent to

the referring physician via Epic Communication Manager and the dictation may not arrive

back for days after. Dragon ensures that comprehensive progress notes are sent along with

the encounter report, ensuring rapid, detailed communication with the referring physician

regarding a patient’s status.

The same is true within the UCSD clinical system. For example, operative reports created

with Dragon are immediately available on the Patient Care Information Systems (PCIS) to be

sent to the nursing treatment unit where the patient will be receiving post-operative care.

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University of California, San Diego HealthSpan Vol. 2 No. 1 - February 2010 Dragon System: Taking Dictation to the Next Level

Picture: UCSD’s Dr. M, using

Dragon Voice Recognition.

The high costs and time delays of transcribing medical notes

are being slain by a dragon…the Dragon Naturally Speaking

Voice Recognition Software being deployed throughout the

UC San Diego Medical Group and Medical Center. Mr. C. C.,

clinical systems documentation coordinator, explains that

when providers use voice recognition software with Epic-

integrated software to document their patient encounters –

rather than traditional transcription methods – they are

entering clinical content immediately into that patient’s

medical record, simply by dictating into their computers.

“The ultimate beneficiaries are our patients, Immediate

documentation enhances the timeliness of entries in the

medical record and eliminates the delay usually associated

with outside transcription services.” And, it reduces

expenses associated with transcription services, which is

also a bonus.

The benefits for physicians are also tangible, according to

Dr. J. R., professor of medicine and chief of General Internal

Medicine. He is an early adopter of the Dragon voice

recognition software for his own practice and for the Internal

Medicine Group, which was paying more than $300,000 to

$500,000 annually for dictation services.

“The system is great for efficiency, economy, accuracy and

legibility, and it allows us to spend more time with more

patients and still go home at the end of the day,” said Dr. R.

Relationships with referring physicians are also enhanced as

a result of real-time documentation using this software.

“Utilizing voice recognition software to update the patient’s

record enhances the quality of feedback to community

providers, providing complete clinical observations and

timely delivery,” said Mr. C. C.. 

When traditional transcription services are used, the initial

encounter information is sent to the referring physician via

Epic Communication Manager and the dictation may not

arrive back for days after. Dragon ensures that

comprehensive progress notes are sent along with the

encounter report, ensuring rapid, detailed communication

with the referring physician regarding a patient’s status.

The same is true within the UCSD clinical system. For

example, operative reports created with Dragon are

immediately available on the Patient Care Information

Systems (PCIS) to be sent to the nursing treatment unit

where the patient will be receiving post-operative care. Mr. C

reported that more than 200 computers throughout the

Medical Group and Medical Center have been loaded with

Dragon software and more than 150 physicians have

participated in the ongoing training program. When they

receive training, physician users are provided with individual

headsets that they simply plug into the computer. Physicians

can also install the Dragon software on their home

computers.   

The system types 160 words per minute, according to trainer

M. K. (from A1 Productivity Products), who is providing

instruction for UCSD users. Templates and commands can

be established to further expedite the dictation, allowing

physicians to pre-program frequently used phrases or

acronyms which the system will spell out, and create other

shortcuts to rapidly and accurately fill out standard forms.

By watching as the dictated record appears on the screen,

the physician can verbally or manually correct any errors as

they appear. 

“It takes a brief initial investment of time to make the system

work for you, and you need to learn a little vocabulary to

make things go quickly,” said Dr. R, noting that, to aid the

user during the first stages of learning the system, a pocket-

sized reference card is provided during the training session.

“Now, I have my normal exam set up as a macro, so I can

record the information and edit very quickly. The system

provides a lot of flexibility, and we have learned as we’ve

implemented the system in our practice that whenever we’ve

encountered a question or problem, there has been a

solution.”

The Medical Group and Medical Center are committed to

deploying Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition

Software throughout the system. Dragon software has been

installed in all physician work rooms, on the nursing units, in

the OR lounges and in most ambulatory clinic work rooms.

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