How Speech Recognition Technology Contributes to Accurate Radiology Transcription

Speech Recognition TechnologyRadiology transcription, and medical transcription as a whole, has been made a more accurate task through speech recognition technology.

Speech recognition software has added efficiency to the transcription process though the latter has not changed much by itself. Radiologists perform the task of recording findings and their interpretations but the computer can do the transcription of the dictation and send it to the radiologists for editing and signing. This massively reduces the time taken to complete radiologist reports. Images and references can also be included which would help improve the value and accuracy of those reports. All this takes just hours rather than days, and it’s clear how this can improve patient care.

Value-based Care – Focus Is on Quality

This is a sign of the times, where the need for value-based care is felt more than ever before. Quality of communication is important between the radiologist and the physician. Speech recognition is particularly advantageous when physician dictation is combined with structured reporting templates. The templates contribute to ensuring quality.

The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) brings penalties for erring radiologists. Noncompliance penalizes radiologists by 1.5% which is applied to that physician’s Medicare Part B billings. For 2016 the penalty has been raised to 2%. This is where structured templates come in handy. They point out if anything is missing in the report based on what the billing is done for – what’s missing for the appropriate reimbursement to be received.

Need for Outsourcing Transcription Still Remains

Speech recognition software has transformed medical transcription. Transcribers can now perform as editors since they would not need to take more effort for ensuring accuracy in the transcription. This has particularly been felt in radiology. Though the technology has led to radiologists themselves editing their dictation, there is still a major role played by transcription. This involves not only transcription from dictation but also back-end speech recognition where transcribers perform the task of editing. It still makes sense to outsource radiology transcription with speech recognition, particularly since the need is not only to reduce burden for healthcare staff, but also reduce costs. Some form of outsourcing is still needed to attain these goals, particularly for larger practices.

When outsourcing, the agreement must be clear on all aspects including quality, security and turnaround time. Radiology files usually require a turnaround time ranging from two to four hours. And an accuracy score of 98% is an absolute necessity.