Speech recognition is the process by which specialized software, often called a “speech engine,” transforms the spoken word into written text. Speech recognition is being used more and more in the healthcare documentation industry as a complement to what we think of as “traditional” medical transcription.
Speech recognition technology (SRT) does not eliminate the need for the human element – not by a long shot. Although SRT can reduce overall turnaround times, making a patient’s documentation available more quickly, the technology is not capable of the critical thinking skills required of accurate documentation and possessed by the MT.
Enter the speech recognition editor. While “traditional” transcription is still very much in use, speech recognition is being used in a percentage of our work. Healthcare documentation specialists are often called on to switch hats from transcriptionist to editor in the course of the day when encountering providers who use SRT for their dictations.
The editor role is NO LESS IMPORTANT and NO LESS CHALLENGING than the transcriptionist role we are accustomed to. Editing requires additional skills that must be honed in order to catch errors made by a “hand” other than our own, examine the context of the report, and correct any errors made by the speech engine. Whether a report is transcribed or edited, critical thinking skills are of upmost importance.
While with time speech engines can “learn” dictators and produce somewhat more accurate initial results, there will always be a need for that human element that the technology doesn’t possess. Errors will range from small errors in wording or punctuation to more…interesting translations of the dictated word.
As healthcare documentation specialists, we possess skills and experience that are in high demand. No matter what hat we wear in a given day, our skills are absolutely essential in order to ensure accurate documentation for patients. As SRT use has increased in the industry, so has the demand for speech editors. If you have not already experienced speech recognition editing, now is the time to expand your education and learn techniques to complement your skills.
Enroll now in the Speech Recognition Editing course offered by AHDPG. This independent-study, online course was created in conjunction with AHDI and is the first of its kind, offering hands-on editing experience. More course information is available at American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group (AHDPG) .