An iPad displaying Sunrise Mobile MD, an iPad app for physicians in a hospital setting

Usability is the key to getting physicians to adopt voice recognition technology with an EHR.  That’s the conclusion of Mary Griskewicz of HIMSS, according to a story in today’s USA Today. The newspaper noted that the University of California-Irvine Medical Center, among others, is testing the technology for use with their inpatient (Sunrise) EHR, initially on desktop and later on iPad

Meanwhile, many physician practices are already using voice recognition for dictation and to accomplish everyday tasks like prescribing medications.

Stanley Crane, Allscripts Chief Innovation Officer, calls the confluence of iPad and voice recognition “a marriage made in heaven.” Voice recognition not only is an easy way to get information into the EHR but it lets doctors take more complete notes for themselves and for the next doctor who picks up the case.

Crane, who was interviewed by USA Today for technical background on today’s story, added that the next wave of voice recognition use in EHRs will support navigation within the application.  Physicians will be able to use key words and phrases to quickly jump to the feature they need, such as ordering tests or viewing results.

And what better way to improve usability than to give physicians a quick and easy alternative to the mouse?

Have you used voice recognition with an EHR?  How did it go?  What’s required to improve the technology?

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About the author

Todd Stein is editor of It Takes A Community. A former journalist and freelance editor, Stein has worked as a business reporter for The Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Business Times, as producer of HIMSS Newsbreak, contributing editor to California Hospitals and senior writer for NurseWeek. His many articles on healthcare IT and other topics have appeared in dozens of national and regional publications including Healthcare Informatics, Healthcare IT News, Journal of AHIMA, Physicians Practice, The Los Times, San Francisco Magazine and VIA.

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