Quality tools for medical transcription

Health care units use a number of methods to produce patient documentation. Some organisations have outsourced all their medical transcription work, while others use in-house transcriptionists. A combination of these two methods is also used. In addition, medical transcriptions are produced using speech recognition, which can be the only, primary or secondary way of producing documentation in the organisation. Whatever the method, the ultimate goal is to achieve quick turnaround times for new entries and to produce high-quality texts.

Lingsoft’s range of patient documentation solutions is not limited to outsourced transcription and speech recognition services. We also provide tools for improving organisations’ internal transcription processes. As the work of transcriptionists is performed manually and texts are checked visually, human errors may occur. There may also be variation in the content produced by different individuals. Lingsoft’s solutions to these challenges include back-end speech recognition and a range of language tools.

Back-end speech recognition and language tools

As its name suggests, back-end speech recognition takes place in the background of the dictation process. Once the physician has dictated the patient information, the sound file is sent to speech recognition. The generated text is then reviewed to make sure that it matches the sound file. This makes the medical transcription process more efficient. The time that would have previously been spent transcribing the audio file can now be used to edit the text produced using speech recognition.

“The need for typing out text decreased significantly. Instead of typing, transcriptionists can now focus on editing the text.”

Functional quality tools are essential to the fluency of texts and the productivity of transcriptionists. Linguistic quality tools not only improve the quality of transcriptions, but they also speed up the transcription process. Pilots with our customers’ transcriptionists have shown that using the proofreading tool alone can speed up medical transcription by more than 30%.

“I feel that the term search tools I used in the pilot were an improvement. There was no need to switch from one program to another to find information since the term search tools were all in the same section/column.”

“Speech recognition makes work easier because you don't have to focus all your efforts on typing as fast as you can. Search programs are a great help, and they are essential to our work. Having access to all the programs through one search box was an excellent solution.”

Using speech recognition and quality tools to support medical transcription is more than an issue of efficiency. Speech recognition can be used to improve the ergonomics of transcriptionists’ work, and language tools can help to make work more meaningful by improving the fluency of texts.

The quotations are comments regarding a pilot project for a Finnish hospital district. During the pilot, transcriptionists used Lingsoft’s back-end speech recognition and language tools. As a result, the number of typing errors in patient records decreased by 50%. Transcription times also fell by up to 40%.