Macros, training and implementation

I read the following paper in Physician News from Tracey C. Glenn, CPC, a Senior Consultant at PMSCO Healthcare Consulting, a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, which discusses the benefits of speech recognition for physician practices. This article might be two years old, but the author already clarified a couple of key points while killing the whole “initial training” myth, still very much alive today.

First, Tracey discusses the benefits of dictation macros:

“Macros can be used for parts of an encounter or as a template for an entire visit. A simple example of a macro as a time-saving tool can be shown in a normal abdominal exam which may read: “Flat without visible scars, hernias, ecchymosis, peristalsis, pulsations or venous distention. Normoactive bowel sounds in all 4 quadrants. No aortic, renal, iliac, or femoral bruits noted. Liver span 8 cm/MCL with smooth edge. Gall bladder and spleen not palpable. No noted tenderness on light or deep palpation in any quadrant. No masses guarding or rebound. No CVAT.”

A macro would allow all of this information to be pre-programmed into the system. During dictation, the only thing that would have to be said by the user is “normal abdomen” and all of the above information would appear in the typed version of the patient encounter. This eliminates the need for repetition of all of the standard verbiage in a normal exam during each patient encounter. Macros are easy to learn and even easier to use.

Tracey then goes on to comment on an old speech recognition myth: initial training time.

Speech recognition software does not require a major retraining of physicians since most are already using or have used some type of dictation…Initial training of the newest versions of available speech recognition software requires only between 15 to 20 minutes of the user’s time to be able to starting effectively using the tool. Training time has become significantly reduced from previous versions available only a year or two ago. Initial training of the newest versions of available speech recognition software requires only between 15 to 20 minutes of the user’s time to be able to starting effectively using the tool. Training time has become significantly reduced from previous versions available only a year or two ago.

Last but not least, Tracey suggests a few questions to be considered prior to purchasing a speech recognition system:

– What does the practice want to achieve with the software?
– Is there adequate support among physicians for using the technology?
– Who should we call to help with this?

Read full article

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