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Study looks at the pros and cons of voice recognition

Voice recognition dramatically decreases the turnaround time for radiology reports -- referring physicians are often getting results the same day their patients have the radiologic examinations -- but technical problems with these systems are reducing some radiologists to typing rather than dictating those reports, a new study shows.

"There are many benefits of voice recognition, but unfortunately we have been facing some technical problems that are impacting our productivity, " says Joel Gross, MD, assistant professor of radiology at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The biggest benefit of voice recognition is the reduction in report time turnaround, says Dr. Gross. "In 2001, when we used the traditional dictation system most of the time, it took an average 133 hours after the examination was completed before a report was finalized, says Dr. Gross. A preliminary report was available with 56 hours, notes Dr. Gross. (The traditional dictation method includes the radiologist dictating the report, a transcriptionist transcribing it, then the radiologist reading the transcribed report and making any necessary corrections before it is available to the referring physician as a finalized report.)

"With voice recognition as our main method (approximately 75%) of reporting in 2002, we have reduced that to 66 hours, with preliminary reports available within 14 hours," he says. "This number is slightly skewed because it includes cases in which the patients undergo the exam late in the evening, and the films aren't read until the following day. With most exams, voice recognition is allowing us to offer same day reporting service," Dr. Gross says.

Another advantage of voice recognition is that a full report is available immediately to the radiologist. "At our teaching facility, the attending physician can more easily review cases with residents. There is not the delay caused by waiting for reports to be transcribed," he says. "Thi
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Contact: Keri Sperry
ksperry@arrs.org
703-858-4306
American Roentgen Ray Society
5-May-2003


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