Speech Recognition: The End of Medical Transcription?

As speech recognition was reaching the maturity stage and started delivering long-expected ROI, other worries came to life, one of them being the future of the medical transcription profession. Wouldn’t speech recognition make MTs redundant? True to our western-world, Sci-fi references, we were soon envisoning a world full of wicked robots responsible for making yet another bunch of highly skilled human beings jobless. Of course, in a front-end speech recognition setting, it is the physician that oversees the entire report creation process. But as far as back-end SR is concerned – and it is the most widely adopted setting to date for obvious physican productivity reasons – MTs are still required for their editing skills. Speech recognition is thereby not affecting the MT profession the way we thought it would. In this regard, I find the following testimonial rather noteworthy: “Professionals in the field, working as MEs, have already seen various rewards. “The experience has been very positive for me, explained Lynne Newberry, an MT and ME with Buffalo (NY) Medical Group. “With back-end speech recognition, my production has increased. I can type more documents within a day, and because we’re paid by production it’s a very good incentive.” Newberry continued, “I actually enjoy the editing part a lot and would love to see more doctors using SRT so I can do more editing.” But, just by production alone, a higher pay scale has been an effect. Newberry has seen an increase in compensation since the implementation of Crescendo. “This is another reason why I’d like to do more editing as opposed to traditional transcription. I believe from $10 to $15.75 an hour based on production is reasonable provided it is 100 percent editing and 0 percent transcription,” she explained.”