Speech Recognition: The End of Medical Transcription?

The End of Medical Transcription? As speech recognition was reaching the maturity stage and started delivering long-expected ROI, other worries came to life, one of them being the future of the medical transcription profession. Wouldn’t speech recognition make MTs redundant? True to our western-world, Sci-fi references, we were soon envisoning a world full of wicked robots responsible for making yet another bunch of highly skilled human beings jobless. Of course, in a front-end speech recognition setting, it is the physician that oversees the entire report creation process. But as far as back-end SR is concerned – and it is the most widely adopted setting to date for obvious physican productivity reasons – MTs are still required for their editing skills. Speech recognition is thereby not affecting the MT profession the way we thought it would. In this regard, I find the following testimonial rather noteworthy:

“Professionals in the field, working as MEs, have already seen various rewards. “The experience has been very positive for me, explained Lynne Newberry, an MT and ME with Buffalo (NY) Medical Group. “With back-end speech recognition, my production has increased. I can type more documents within a day, and because we’re paid by production it’s a very good incentive.” Newberry continued, “I actually enjoy the editing part a lot and would love to see more doctors using SRT so I can do more editing.”

But, just by production alone, a higher pay scale has been an effect. Newberry has seen an increase in compensation since the implementation of Crescendo. “This is another reason why I’d like to do more editing as opposed to traditional transcription. I believe from $10 to $15.75 an hour based on production is reasonable provided it is 100 percent editing and 0 percent transcription,” she explained.”

(Source: Advance for Health Information Professionals, 2006)

See also this page from the AAMT web site for discussions on topics such as Speech Recognition Editing and Compensation for SRT Editors.

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2 Responses to “Speech Recognition: The End of Medical Transcription?”


  1. 1 JulieW8 April 16, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I think there will be a future for MTs but I don’t know that it will be the same exactly as what we do now. I do think we need to start speaking up about how speech recognition doesn’t make us 50% more productive but we’ve taken a 50% cut in pay to do it. Most MTs I know working on speech editing make more money typing.

  2. 2 Cris Colina December 3, 2008 at 2:52 am

    As a neophyte MT, I feel sad about the software because it can reduce the human workforce. But, in the end of the day, it is very hard to depend the safety of the patients through the software that’s I agree to the testimonial above that MTs can’t be totally diminished, editing skills is our tool to ensure the accuracy of the SRT.


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