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Evaluating Speech Recognition Solutions Begins with Defining Problems

I am often asked, "What differentiates VoiceOver from other speech recognition products?" I find it very difficult to articulate the answer in a way that many people want to consume it.  You see, when presented with a buying decision we are conditioned to think of most solutions as commodities where price and minor feature variations determine our choice. There is nothing wrong with evaluating price and features as part of a selection process, but the reality is that without a clear understanding of your needs and how they factor into a successful outcome, focusing too much on either is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket with high rewards, but a very unlikely positive return on investment.

needFor this reason, outcome-oriented approaches have become very popular in healthcare and other industries.  Likewise, in our business the benchmark for success is contingent upon providing positive outcomes for our clients, and when we discuss what differentiates us internally, it is always under the context of our commitment to client success (as defined by our clients).  This approach has allowed us to be more creative and specific when coming up with features and solution delivery mechanisms to ensure client success.  In fact, this is not something that we just pay lip service to.  One of our five core values at Voicebrook is "providing successful solutions for our customers and coworkers". 

I assume that all of our clients have success in mind when they look to acquire a solution, but what does that success look like and what can they do to make sure that they are taking the right steps during their buying process to ensure that success?  For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to split this blog into three parts. In this first part, I am going to discuss the importance of defining the problem that you are trying to solve. 

1. Clearly define the problem you are trying to solve

Before any discussion of solutions, features, and price should ever take place, it is important to clearly define the problems that you are trying to solve.  Having this framework available will make discussions about features or solutions that much easier.  Not all laboratories have the same issues to address or resources available, so what works for one may not work for another.  While we do find significant commonality between our clients, each client we work with has a very unique set of problems and accompanying success criteria that must be addressed in order to satisfy their needs.  Here are some common problems that have impacted our clients...

  • It takes too long to deliver reports to the patient care team
  • Transcription expenses are no longer in line with reduced (88305 and 88342) coding reimbursements
  • Reporting inaccuracies have led to report amendments, addendums, or in rare instances a negative patient outcome
  • Reports get transcribed into the wrong patient case
  • Difficulty finding new or qualified transcriptionists
  • Reporting format and content varies widely between Pathologists and impacts quality control and readability
  • Other administrative work is building up due to focus on report completion
  • Purchased another speech recognition system and adoption rates are low
  • Current digital dictation system is up for support renewal and breaking down
  • Lost tapes or dictations
  • Moving to a new AP System and old reporting solution is no longer compatible

The chances are that you can probably look at this list and find at least two or three problems that apply to your laboratory.  Once you determine what problems you are trying to solve, it is best to write a detailed account of each and to cite examples.  Once completed you can then start looking at solutions and feature sets to see if they address your issues.

In part II of this blog, I will examine what features are available for speech recognition reporting solutions in Pathology and how to determine the "must-haves" for your users.  Part III will focus on due diligence and finding the best ways to predict whether the solution is a right fit for your laboratory.

In the interim, if you have already identified any of these problems and you are looking for advice on how they can be addressed, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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