Voice Recorders Pair Well With Dragon
So, you’re considering using digital voice recorders with Dragon® Medical Practice Edition 2? Excellent choice. Physicians who want to be able to dictate on the move find that handheld recorders are perfect for untethered, flexible, efficient dictation.
Getting that dictation transcribed quickly and cost-effectively doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. Nuance’s well-known speech recognition system for healthcare professionals, DMPE 2, empowers you to transcribe those dictations using Dragon’s extensive knowledge of medical terminology, as well as its programmatic ability to interpret human speech.
Many doctors prefer to use a digital recorder for dictation, because it allows them to move quickly from one patient encounter to the next without much effort. Information can be entered into the EHR at a more convenient time—and perhaps by an assistant. And adding Dragon® to the mix makes the transcription process even faster, freeing up clinicians to give their attention to other important tasks.
In this post, we’re going to cover the basics of using a digital audio recorder with Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2—including configuration and best practices. Of course, we’ll throw in a few extras for good measure.
Take note that this article covers Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2, which is Nuance’s flagship speech recognition system for Windows. We’ll be posting about using digital recorders with Dragon Dictate Medical for Mac v4 in the near future, so stay tuned.
Using Dragon With Digital Voice Recorders
There aren’t too many rules for pairing, a Philips DPM8000 or an Olympus DS-7000 with DMPE 2, but we should mention a few things before you start.
First of all, Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 supports these formats for transcription:
That means that whatever digital audio recorder you end up using, it should be able to record in one of these audio formats. You should also consider the quality of microphone you are getting, as a low-quality recording will yield poor results from the Dragon® speech recognition engine.
Once you’ve obtained your digital recorder, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Hold the microphone approximately 6-8 inches from your mouth.
- Speak directly into the mic, rather than turning your head to the side.
- Do not attempt to use Dragon commands, make corrections using the Correction Window, or initiate user-defined macros.
- Dictate with punctuation. And, as an exception to the above guideline, you may use the word-processing commands, “new line” and “new paragraph.”
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Configuring Dragon for Your Digital Audio Recorder
We covered the easy stuff; now it’s time to get a little more sophisticated. For some, this next part can be a little confusing, but we’re going to spell it out for you. Between our tips and the Dragon wizard that guides you through this process, we think you’ll do just fine.
The primary key to making your voice recorder work with Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 is selecting the proper source. Whether you’re creating a new profile or adding this functionality to an existing one, you need to indicate “Digital Audio Recorder” as your source.
Adding a source after creating a profile is as simple as clicking Profile > Add dictation source to current User Profile on the DragonBar. Once you’ve selected this source, Dragon will prompt you to train it.
Allow us to assist you with this part.
If you’ve just added the new source and are still within the Dragon recorder training wizard:
- Proceed until you come to the screen where you can choose a reading prompt.
- Make a selection, and then either click [Print] or [View]. You can copy the text out of the window for easier viewing.
- Read approximately 5 minutes of the text into your recorder. You do not need to read the entire selection. We recommend recording in either .ds2 or .wav format.
- Plug your recorder into the computer. Click the Windows [Start] button.
- Click “Computer” and find the recorder. It should resemble a USB flash drive.
- Open the drive and locate the file you recorded. Drag it onto the desktop.
- Advance within the Dragon recorder wizard, until you come to the screen asking you to [Browse] to your training file. Click the button and find your training dictation on the desktop.
- You can click [Play] if you want to verify that this is the correct file. Then, click [Start Training] and walk away. Expect this process to take at least 10 minutes or more.
If you added the source, but then closed Dragon and are coming back to finish the recorder training, here’s what to do:
- Assuming you’ve already read the story and uploaded the file to your computer, open Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2.
- Click on Profile > Open User Profile. Select the row that has “Digital Audio Recorder” listed as the source.
- Dragon should prompt you to complete the audio training from there. Start at step 7 of the above procedure.
Additional Dragon Preparations (Optional)
While you’re working within DMPE 2, you may want to consider changing your profile name. Here’s a little background on why.
If you own the Olympus or Philips professional dictation software, you have the option of incorporating Dragon® within a dictation-transcription workflow. Note that we’re talking about ODMS R6 or SpeechExec Pro 8 here.
You could dock your recorder and have software automatically do the rest, including downloading your dictations, running them through Dragon®, and delivering them to your assistant, ready for correction. This, of course, does take a little bit of configuration.
We aren’t working on that in this article, but we do want to mention one thing. You need to make sure that your Dragon profile name matches your device’s author name. This is the name that you set up in the Olympus or Philips software.
We recommend that you select a Dragon profile name that is relatively short, with no spaces.
Transcribing With Dragon
Now that we’ve done all the setup work, we’re ready to start transcribing. You’re going to want to create a recording or two on the device and dock it at the computer. Find the drive through the Windows [Start] menu, as you did earlier, and grab your dictation files. We recommend you have a folder on the desktop to store them.
Open Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 and make sure that you have selected the “Digital Audio Recorder” source. You can verify this by clicking the double arrows on the right of the DragonBar. Look at the middle of the expanded DragonBar to find the text indicating which source you are using.
At this point, you have two choices—and you aren’t locked into either one of them. You can either use the DragonBar or the Transcribe Recording tool to do the job.
- Click on Tools > Transcribe Recording. The first screen will have some options for you.
- Select whether to have the transcription automatically show up within DragonPad (a built-in text document), or a program of your choosing.*
- Click the radio button next to [Only Dictation commands]. This will make things simpler for you.
- Click [Next]. In this part of the tool, you can point DMPE 2 right to the file you want transcribed.
- Or, you can close this window and open the folder where your dictations are stored. Choose a file and drag it onto any part of the DragonBar.
*If you elect to choose your own window to transcribe into, you will need to have that program open and the field/window available on-screen at the time you initiate speech recognition.
One of two things will happen next, depending on whether you chose to use the DragonPad or another word processing application. If you chose DragonPad, a window will open automatically, and your audio will be transcribed before your eyes. You can work in other applications as needed—just don’t disturb Dragon.
Alternatively, if you chose to let Dragon transcribe in a window or field you selected, perhaps within Microsoft Word or your EMR, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to put the cursor where you want your text to appear. Left click into the appropriate field or window. Once you click, the speech recognition process will begin. Don’t move your mouse or type on the keyboard until Dragon is done. Otherwise, you may end up with jumbled text—possibly in windows where you didn’t want text at all.
More Functionality Available
There’s even more to this process, if you want to take it further. Included with Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 is a module called the AutoTranscribe Folder Agent. This tool will use your Dragon profile to run dictations through speech recognition automatically. It does require you to add your dictations to a watch folder, and there is a small amount of configuration necessary.
Additionally, if you have one of the applications we mentioned earlier, either SpeechExec Pro or ODMS, you can use your recorder in hands-free mode, performing real-time speech recognition supported by DMPE 2. Depending upon your medical specialty, there could be a thousand reasons why you might want to be able to record and have full use of your hands.
Some digital recorders even support uploading patient lists, so that you can assign each dictation to a specific patient encounter.
It’s all depends on how you want your technology to support you.