Prior to the arrival of electronic medical record systems, physicians made use of voice recognition software to dictate notes. Transcriptionists would then type up these notes to print and add to patients’ paper records. Now, with digital record-keeping replacing paper charts, speech recognition software has evolved. It is being used by busy doctors to easily document data in their patients’ charts, eliminating transcription costs and saving time.
Speech recognition software is incorporated in many EMR systems, and it is much more advanced than it was in the past. It is capable of learning and recognizing varied speech patterns, voices and inflections; and it facilitates the documentation process by including medical vocabularies for various specialties, as well as medical templates and the ability to expand abbreviations.