Archive for February, 2008

HIMSS08 Wrap-up

HIMSS 2008 - Orlando Looks like speech recognition has left Star Trek to enter the mainstream. Hot like the southern breeze itself this year in Orlando, SR attracted crowds like never before. While physician skepticism seems to have vanished like a David Copperfield act, an increasing number of healthcare facilities came by the Crescendo and Philips booths to discuss technology advancements and upcoming implementation projects. These projects are bigger than ever, with a number of large healthcare groups looking to equip hundreds of physicians from multiple specialties with back-end SR, front-end SR, or both, by the end of the year. In this regard, attendee interest shifted from “does the technology work?” towards “how are other hospitals and clinics actually implementing it?”

Crescendo booth Philips Speech Recognition Systems booth
Crescendo booth Philips booth

No wonder crowds gathered in front of the Philips booth on Wednesday to listen to Dr. Stephen Rosenthal’s presentation on wireless speech recognition in the ER. For those who couldn’t make it, here is a little video best of (download may take a while):

Wireless & Physician Mobility Streamlining ER documentation
Physicians don’t like complex stuff… Heavy accents?
Speech recognition workflow More time with patients…
Highly accurate, shareable reports

This wireless speech recognition project provides an exciting preview of tomorrow’s connected hospital, in which speech recognition plays more than one role. Beyond the productivity improvements for physicians, SR also delivers a reliable foundation for the electronic chart and evidence-based medicine by creating reliable, clinically-actionable content. HealthImaging & IT will be covering these topics in their April issue, which will feature an article on the future trends in speech recognition. Check the blog for a sneak peek!

In the meantime, there are more healthcare IT shows on the North American agenda. We look forward to seeing you there!



HIMSS 2008 - Orlando HIMSS goes South again this year: after New Orleans 2007, welcome to Orlando 2008, live from the Convention Center. Booth #6843 is where you can find me and/or hot speech recognition breakthroughs: interactive SR for clinical notes, integrated PACS SR…not to mention the opportunity to meet with Stephen E. Rosenthal, M.D., the first healthcare Executive in North America to implement a wireless SR system in an ER setting. Other option: Mickey Mouse & co., just a few miles away. I always wondered how a speech engine would react to Donald Duck ‘s mumbling anyway.

ER Docs Wake Up to Speech Recognition

ER Docs Wake Up to Speech Recognition The word is clearly spreading. A recent CRM Buyer Magazine article reports positive results for two US hospitals that have adopted speech recognition technology for their respective ER Departments. The news echoes the 2006 HIMSS survey, in which 65% of chief information officers had announced plans to equip their staff with speech recognition technology by 2008.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis
Speech Recognition has been around for the past two years in the hospital’s ER department.

I’m able to complete my charts and consult other physicians about patients in real time. In the past, you might not see dictated notes for six to 12 hours, but now it’s instantly accessible by the entire team,” comments Christopher Obetz, M.D., emergency medicine physician.

The technology is not without its problems though. As you’re dictating, you have to keep one eye on the computer and make sure its transcribing correctly. Compared to the traditional method, a lot of the burden falls on the user for accurate transcription.

Ironically, while the software does very well with complicated medical language, it often struggles with shorter words or phrases such as “I am” or “she is.”

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
After a successful trial in the ER and a larger pilot in 2005-2006, speech recognition is now used by approximately 175 providers in 30 departments throughout the hospital.

For the most part, the software is easy to integrate with relatively short set-up and training times,” says Deborah Adair, director of health information services.

Harry Rhodes, director of practice leadership for AHIMA, commented the above news:

It’s being touted as a natural add-on to the electronic medical record, since doctors are used to recording their notes. The software can also prompt users to include information they may have forgotten, creating a more complete record. Resistance to change is also a hurdle. It’s a big transition, but not an insurmountable one, given that the technology can improve quality of care.

See also: wireless speech recognition in the ER- case study

MedQuist Saga Update…

MedQuist Saga Update… Following a November 07 announcement in which Philips mentioned that they were reviewing their options for shelving in MedQuist, Philips CFO Pierre-Jean Sivignon said on January 21 that they were “hoping to finalize this in the near future.”

On the other hand, MedQuist’s activist shareholder Costa Brava Partnership III LP, which currently holds 1,938,821 shares (5.2% of the total outstanding), sent a letter to the MedQuist board expressing concern about whether the interests of minority stockholders were being fairly represented in the proposed sale of MedQuist. Costa Brava said they “will hold the MedQuist board of management liable if minority shareholders do not receive benefits equal to majority shareholder Royal Philips Electronics NV ahead of a possible sale of the entire company.” >More

…to be continued…

More Dictation Tips…

Dictation Etiquette As an addendum to my previous post called “Dictation Etiquette“, I would like to direct you guys to the Philips web site, which now has a whole section dedicated to dictation guidelines aimed at optimizing speech recognition results. A very well done site, where all the DO’s and DON’Ts are further detailed, with a few video clips adding a fun note to the educational purpose of the exercise. For those in a rush, all tips were compiled in a downloadable PDF.


> Before you start dictating
> How to dictate
> Correcting your dictation


> Wrong distance to the mike
Q: “Dude, that mike doesn’t work. I’m only 3 corridors away.”
A: We’re talking speech recognition here, not speech miracle. We can’t figure how to teleport humans yet, I guess that applies to sound waves too.

> Background noise
Q: “But hospitals are not exactly silent environnements, are they?”
A: Well said. The noise cancellation features present both at the mike and SpeechMagic software levels are here to take care of the background noise inherent to any healthcare setting. We are just saying here: try to avoid non-healthcare-related sounds…

> Talking slow, then fast, then slow, etc…
Q: “Err, who would do that?”
A: Well, well, among all the things our mother forgot to teach us is: the importance of being self-conscious during the course of a dictation. As a result, we don’t always realize the pain we cause to those whose job it is to listen…

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