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4 Steps to Becoming a Speech Recognition Power User

As an Implementation Specialist with Voicebrook, I have the opportunity to give the initial presentation of VoiceOver to our clients in person and by interacting with them remotely. I train each user at a site using a one-on-one walkthrough method of instruction on speech recognition topics such as software overview, dictating fundamentals, tips for accuracy, editing text, correcting recognition errors, and the user manual. These topics are important, but I've also found a number of simple things that can enhance recognition accuracy and ease of use. Here are my top four tips and tricks to put VoiceOver users on the path to becoming power users.

voiceover power user confident in speech recognition accuracyIt's all about Attitude

In general, the manner in which we choose to start a new day can be our single most effective way to impact the rest of the day. The same applies in the approach to speech recognition; it's important to set aside preconceived notions as to the difficulty of using the VoiceOver solution. I have worked with several individuals who, after a brief overview of the training program and a few accuracy tips, have responded, "This is easier than I thought it would be!" Going forward, their positive attitude has greatly improved satisfaction and the success of dictation.

Set the Tone for Success

Think about trying to talk on the phone while on a crowded train or trying to hold a conversation in a noisy downtown coffee shop. In a similar fashion, when using speech recognition, environmental conditions play a role in capturing what is being dictated. Library-like quiet may not be possible in many healthcare settings, but minimizing extraneous noises will help ensure your dictation is transcribed correctly. Steffani Martino, a Voicebrook Project Manager, wrote a blog with tips for setting up the gross room and the office environments for the best speech recognition results: How to Prepare Your Lab Environment for a Speech Recognition Solution.

Another thing to consider when using speech recognition is dictation style. A second great blog post is Andrew Boutcher's, Creating the Context to Succeed with Speech Recognition Software. In it, he discusses the importance of context for dictation accuracy.

Finally, take a moment to think about what you want to say before beginning a dictation. Speaking clearly and using complete sentences will significantly increase the level of accuracy while mumbling, slurring words, and using vocal hesitations like, "Um" or "Ah" will risk errors in transcription.

Dictate Commands Correctly

Every client receives a Voicebrook Quick Reference Card specific to their site. I find it extremely useful to review it with each user during our one-on-one training. It lists the important, voice friendly (easy to pronounce), commands such as:

  • Voice Navigation through templates and reports
  • Text formatting and editing
  • Punctuation
  • Symbols

Additionally, each client has a unique set of custom voice commands which facilitate movement through their user-specific workflow and AP system. In order to maximize success, these commands must be dictated correctly and clearly.

Correct Recognition Errors as They Occur

Although highly accurate out-of-the-box in recognizing speech, there will be times when words or phrases will be captured incorrectly. For instance, the name, "Cole" may be recognized and transcribed as "coal." In these situations, it is important to perform the correction technique outlined on the Quick Reference Card provided by Voicebrook. I often observe individuals using the "Scratch-That" command and re-dictating the same phrase. This can lead to frustration because the program will insert the same incorrect word or phrase. Taking the opportunity to correct the error improves the accuracy of transcription in the future. 

There are certainly more styles, methods, and tricks to apply on the path to becoming a great user. Please contact us with any questions you may have; we are always happy to help.

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