5 ways voice recognition tech cuts costs

Many may think of data in terms of numbers and text, but not only does voice documentation have a place in the array of data collection tools that can be used by healthcare companies, it offers financial benefits. 

Documentation with voice isn't just about capturing information, which is historically how people have thought about it. "It's now doing it in such a way that the document can be reused throughout an organization's downstream for other efforts like billing, quality assurance functions and medical and utilization reviews," explained Mike Raymer, senior vice president of solutions management at M*Modal, a company that provides clinical transcription services, documentation workflow solutions and unstructured data analytics. "Voice is about turning information into a language of understanding," he said. "It takes unstructured text and brings meaning to it that's transferrable from system to system."

[See also: UPMC, Nuance aim to take speech recognition to new level]

According to Raymer, there are five financial benefits that come with using voice recognition technology.

1. Reusable data

Voice data can be reused like any other data can be. "Studies show that two-thirds of U.S. hospitals are going to be absorbing a lot of penalties from readmissions. Data that's most predictive of readmission are ones bound in free text that's then been transcribed," said Raymer. The reusability that voice offers means accurately-coded and documented care that's immediately available for billing purposes.

2. Flexibility

Voice recognition isn't linked to a single device. "With today's technology there are cloud-based apps that allow the user to share a single profile across the board, so no matter where it's being used physicians have the ability to plug-in," said Raymer. From a reimbursement standpoint, the closer an organization is between delivery-of-care and recording-of-care the more accurate the information is, and the fewer challenges are likely to arise from an audit because the clinical documentation more succinctly matches.

3. Better clinical hand-off means fewer medical errors