Health + Technology | Using Text-to-Speech Software to Increase Healthcare Efficiency | News

The use of text-to-speech software can be a game-changer in healthcare as we continue to evolve with the integration of more advanced technologies into our efforts to digitize the industry. Any clinician or administrator looking to improve efficiency at all levels in healthcare should consider this to speed up processes within their organization.

Text-to-speech software can allow the user to speak into a microphone and translate the voice into text. This is primarily used for the electronic medical record, but can be used for all related notes for various departments and functions in a healthcare facility. Interoperability has made it increasingly possible to merge various software products into one health information management system.

Interoperability is what makes an electronic system, well, a system. Connectivity is essential in any healthcare environment and this is what would enable the integration of speech to text. A widely used standard that facilitates interfacing and therefore interoperability is Health Level 7 (HL7). These are international standards for sharing health and administrative information on various platforms and devices.

Documentation and transcription are two of the most time-consuming functions in healthcare. With the introduction of the electronic health record, quick and easy documentation has become one of the most important requirements for doctors and patients. It is quickly becoming a major industry with a number of major tech companies offering various text-to-speech solutions.

According to marchesetmarches.com“the global text-to-speech API market size [is set] grow from US$2.2 billion in 2021 to US$5.4 billion by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.2% over the forecast period.” The reasons for this growth are varied and industry-wide, but there is no doubt that the healthcare industry stands to benefit from the growth, development and use of such software.

Text-to-speech software can work for any size organization. Apart from software, the additional investment includes microphones and staff training. The training is usually very simple and only takes a few minutes. Once that’s done, it’s usually fairly easy for doctors to dictate patient reports and health information to the electronic medical records (EMR) section of the health information management system. This allows more time to be spent with the patient in consultation and less time on documentation during and after.

COMPLEX LANGUAGE

Most text-to-speech software in the healthcare industry is equipped to handle complex and technical medical jargon, as well as optimize and learn speech types and nuances, including accents, for fewer errors at the over time. That’s not to say it’s not important to check for errors. No system is infallible, and for patient safety, proofreading of dictated text is always recommended. However, it still allows the doctor to focus more on patient care rather than having to spend a lot of their time catching up on writing notes in the EMR. This alone can significantly reduce the time spent working on this element of patient care and, therefore, help alleviate physician burnout and increase productivity.

Patient satisfaction will invariably increase when a physician can focus more and spend more time treating patients rather than taking written notes. The doctor is able to listen carefully to patients and be much more attentive when using text-to-speech software to capture medical and diagnostic information. Often patients complain that they do not spend enough time with their doctor. We see this in both public and private settings. When note-taking time is reduced through the use of text-to-speech, the time saved can be spent listening to, counseling and treating patients properly. Better quality of care will result.

In addition to the benefits to healthcare in general, text-to-speech can help a facility save money by reducing the need to hire additional data entry staff to ensure information is entered correctly. when regular staff are unable to devote time to this. Staff can also focus on other tasks. thereby increasing productivity and profitability.

Doug Halsall is president and CEO of Advanced Integrated Systems. Email your comments to [email protected]

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