I like the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program. I like tequila, too. But I try to use both with caution.
Dragon’s speech recognition is good in that it saves a lot of time and costs in transcribing medical records, especially in complicated patients where it would take a long time to type out the patient’s history and the patient’s course.
The problem with Dragon NaturallySpeaking is that it isn’t perfect. Sometimes the difference between a doctor’s dictation of “no murmur present” and the Dragon transcription of “murmur present” can make a big difference in a patient’s workup. Other times, Dragon will misinterpret a dictated phrase for a similar-sounding but inappropriate phrase.
I’ve tweeted about a few of them.
For example, in the patient with GERD who was having repeated exacerbations, I dictated “bland diet” in the discharge instructions. Dragon apparently didn’t like the patient too much because it transcribed “plan to die” onto the chart. It’s fortunate that I didn’t miss that error while I was multitasking. Imagine those discharge instructions showing up in a patient complaint to an administrator.
Another patient was recently looking for a prescription for oral contraceptives. The Catholic hospital in which I work doesn’t allow prescription of contraceptives from the ED, so I have to recommend that patients follow up at Planned Parenthood. Dragon translated my instructions as “Follow up plan paranoid.”
And then there’s the colleague who dictated his findings that “examination of the patient’s breasts with a chaperone showed no lumps, masses ….” Dragon transcribed “semination of patient’s breasts with a chaperone showed no lumps, masses ….”
Dr. Grumpy regularly documents the foibles he has with his Dragon software as well.
Then I thought to myself … Self, you haven’t had a contest in a while.
So we’re having a contest for the best “Dragonisms.” What have you seen or read in a medical record that was misconstrued by voice recognition software? Add it to the comments section. Best Dragonism wins a free copy of Mark Plaster’s critically acclaimed “Night Shift” book (affiliate link). We’ll also try to find some EP Monthly swag for runner up prizes. I think I have an old coffee mug somewhere in my closet. Or perhaps a couple of Amazon gift vouchers.
Contest ends at 12AM on November 15.
Let’s see what
shoe grout you’ve got.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 21, 2013
It was very tough to pick a winner from all of these great entries. We smiled at almost all of them and laughed out loud at a few. The winner is …
#6 Ashley for the metaphorically true mistranscription about a referring facility transferring a patient because it had no testicles.
Ashley will receive a free copy of Mark Plaster’s new book “Night Shift.”
We also chose a couple of runner up winners who will each receive EP Monthly coffee mugs.
#14 Mati whose discussion about an advance directive turned into a discussion about an advanced rectum
#1 ndenunz whose patient’s warm feet turned into warm other body part
If the winners e-mail me at whitecoat-at-epmonthly-dot-com, I’ll get your swag to you. Thanks to everyone for their comments. Hope that the entries at least brightened your day a little.