I suppose that the following lists do not contain secrets, per se. The 25 features they highlight are not occult in nature—but many of them do remain obscure or unrecognized. We know this because we’ve received many requests for this “wisdom of the Dragon.”
Now, we have collected this knowledge to pass on to you.
Specifically, what follows is a listing of features you will find in the Windows-based version, Dragon® Medical Practice Edition 2 (DMPE 2)—but not currently in Dragon® Dictate Medical for Mac v3 (DDM4M). For those of you who are trying to decide between the two platforms, this crucial information has been unavailable.
We are about to teach you about 25 features of DMPE 2 that DDM4M does not yet possess. But, keep in mind that Dragon Dictate Medical for the Mac platform is still advancing. Although still in its infancy (feature-wise), DDM4M is a simplified version that provides powerful speeds and accuracy.
Each of these sections below represents a new level of knowledge. As you decide between Windows and Mac platforms, consider how central speech recognition is to your endeavors, and how much you’ll depend on more advanced features.
These are the features that are easiest to grasp, and may tell you right from the start which platform you want to use.
- Available in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Dutch
- Fully supports the Nuance PowerMic II
- Also supports the Philips SpeechMike Air
- Voice enrollment not required: This means that you can skip the initial eight minutes of voice training when you first create a Dragon profile.
- Active audio analysis: If you happen to get bad audio during a dictation, DMPE 2 will notify you. You can make adjustments, or plug in another (similar) device and pick up right where you left off. Nuance calls this “recognition analytics,” if you want to do more reading on the topic.
These are the features that aren’t immediately obvious, but once you start using Dragon, you may wish you had. Neophyte-friendly, easily learned, and certainly useful.
- Hidden mode included: This is the feature that allows you to dictate into an invisible window while you place focus in another program—for instance, when browsing the web or using an EHR.
- Keyboard-based corrections option: You don’t need to use the pop-up correction menu to correct Dragon and improve your profile. You can correct the document via keyboard, and Dragon will still adapt your profile.*
- Multi-text matching: When your document contains multiple instances of the same word or phrase, doing a search for the same will return all instances, rather than just the last one.
- Ability to revert user profile to previous save point or backup copy
- May assign multiple vocabularies to one profile: This is especially handy if you intend on dictating in more than one medical specialty.
*In order to use this functionality, you must highlight the word you want to correct and overwrite it. Simply deleting the word will not allow Dragon to adapt.
Knowing about these features means that you’re probably on your way to becoming an advanced user. Not only have you paid attention—you’ve thought about how these features can enhance your current workflow.
- Medical templates are included: Doctors can call up SOAP notes, for instance. A pre-defined form opens up, ready for use.
- Advanced medical formatting options available: This means that there are multiple medical terms, abbreviations, et cetera that can be pre-configured to display a certain way every time you dictate them.
- Variable voice fields are recognized: This feature allows users to add square brackets to their templates and treat them like form fields. You can navigate from one to the next easily, and also include default values as needed.
- Correction-only mode available: Transcriptionists can listen to and correct a Dragon dictation without loading the user profile.
- Ability to import or export user profiles (aka copy user profiles).
Understanding and using these features means that you have advanced knowledge of the ways of the Dragon, and have studied deeply the lore of the Nuance manual, employing speech recognition as a major part of your workflow.
- Includes the auto-transcribe folder agent: This module will transcribe the dictation files that you feed it with Dragon’s speech recognition engine. Useful for back-end speech recognition, it outputs a document that you can then route as needed.
- Step-by-step commands supported: These allow you to combine multiple actions into a single, voice-activated package. Consider this one a combo move!
- Roaming user profiles: You’ll want this ability if you plan on leveraging your network to allow end users to switch from one workstation to another. The source profile is stored in a network folder. Mastering this Dragon ability is like learning to project one’s consciousness—without the years of practice.
- Section 508 compliance: This is a government regulation pertaining to assistive technologies. If you work with or for the federal government, you probably know about this.
- Smart hardware configuration: Dragon automatically checks for a multi-core processor and runs in multiple threads for better performance.
If you have reached this level of Dragon usage, consider yourself among the elite few. Not only have you mastered Dragon’s functionality and adapted its uses to your needs, but you have tapped into to the deepest secrets of this powerful application. Welcome to the inner circle.
- Macro encryption: As noted, you can create custom macros to suit your uses—but you can also encrypt them, as privacy and security require.
- Data distribution tool: This is a GUI that runs on top of NS Admin, which is a tool that allows you to push custom vocabularies, words, and commands to all of your networked users.
- NS Admin: This command line application, aside from pushing to multiple users, can also run batches to perform multiple operations.
- Visual Basic scripting: This allows you to create any commands you can think of, within the boundaries of VB and Dragon. Pretty powerful stuff. Note that Dragon Dictate Medical for Mac does support AppleScript.
- Custom MSI installation available: This is useful in case your IT department wants to do a mass deployment of Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2. Definitely a time-saving feature.