Speech Recognition: Impact on the Medical Transcription Profession

Impact on the Medical Transcription Profession I would like to respond to the following comment posted by user “syed irfan” this morning.

Thank you for your input, Syed. Yes, the medical transcriptionist profession is changing all the more than speech recognition is being widely implemented within healthcare facilities. From 100% report creation to an editor/correctionist role, the stakes are not the same. Even medical knowledge is not so critical for the position anymore.

A large percentage of physicians will indeed no longer depend on a transcriptionist to issue reports and clinical notes. That is particularly true for departments like ER, where front-end speech recognition allows physicians to issue and correct reports as they dictate, thereby releasing medical documentation prior to the patient being discharged. That is also true for Radiology, where large volume of standard reports (i.e.: normal findings) are typically processed.

This being said, it is important to keep in mind that this is not and will probably never be the case for ALL physicians. While some will simply never adapt, others will never reach a good enough recognition rate (God knows why). On the other hand, front-end speech recognition does not necessarily make sense for all departments, since some physicians simply don’t have time to make their own corrections. From a vendor perspective, I can tell you that we see more back-end speech recognition being rolled out than front-end. And where there is back-end speech recognition, there is and will always be a review process involved. Even if the speech recognition engine gave a 100% accuracy, a human being would still be required at some point to validate this number. I don’t see, for the many years to come, anybody, let alone a healthcare facility leave life-sensitive data in the hands of a machine, as powerful as it may be, without a human stamp of approval at some point in the process. That’s why, even though the MT profession might be vanishing, I truly believe that the medical editor (ME) role is here to stay. And not just for the next five years…

Related thread: Speech Recognition: The End of Medical Transcription?

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