How to Train Your Dragon

As physicians migrate to the Electronic Health Record, there are many new systems and processes they have to learn and adapt to.  One of these systems is voice recognition software, such as Dragon Medical 10.  I have worked with some physicians recently who were implementing a new EHR in their office, as well as transitioning from a transcription service to Dragon voice recognition.  This introduced some new challenges which I hope to shed some light on in this article.

Dragon Medical has the ability to ‘Type as you Talk’, which allows the user to dictate blocks of text and see this appear in their note in the EHR.  This has a huge benefit to the provider by allowing them to review and finalize their documentation for the visit immediately, rather than waiting a few days to receive the note back from a transcription service.  We discovered that there are some steps that you can take to improve the performance and/or accuracy of Dragon.  Here are a few to note:

  1. Spend the time training Dragon to recognize your voice.  During this process, the application will learn how you speak, and adapt to your voice patterns.  This will prove to be very beneficial in the long run.
  2. Follow the recommendations for the settings for your EHR vendor.  The Dragon representative will have recommendations on how settings should be configured based on the EHR you are using.
  3. When words are not typed correctly, correct them using the built in features of Dragon to Train it on how you speak those words.  This will save you time and energy as you become a more advanced user of the speech recognition software.
  4. Have reasonable expectations.  Dragon is a tool that improves over time.  When you first begin using speech recognition software, it only has a basic understanding of your vocabulary and how you speak.  It will take time for the application to improve, which will occur naturally as you train it when words are not recognized correctly.

These are a few items that will hopefully help you be more successful when using speech recognition software, such as Dragon Medical.  I have also found that it is beneficial to have a follow-up training session with Dragon after the user has been using it for a few weeks/months.  At this point, the user understands some basic functionality, and is usually interested in how to do more complex functions such as Macros.

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