Sunday, May 25, 2008

Recognise that Voice? What VRS means to MTs

Voice recognition systems have been around for quite some time now. Still, until fairly recently, the vast majority of medical transcription was done by transcriptionists sitting in front of their comps, headphones fixed and tapping away with their KBs- footpedals.

There's a new breeze blowing now through the corridors of MT companies, and it is called VRS.

Voice/Speech recognition is also an exciting technology for the field of robotics and it's invaluable in espionage, but that is a different story! VRS is very quietly causing a revolution in the MT industry that can be either very dangerous, or a great boon, to the 'standard' MT

Many hospitals and MT companies are busyswitching over to VRS technology. Many more are trying it out to see whether it is all that it is hyped up to be. I think it's a safe bet that the majority of the big players will soon be doing a lot more with VRS and the trend to switch over will gain speed.

With a well-tried VRS system in place (e.g. Dragon, Escription) the computer, once it has 'learned' a dictator, converts the audio into formatted text. This text can then be edited and uploaded usually as a one-step process (direct upload) with typically only 5% of the files requiring QA assistance. Naturally, the pressure on TAT (turnaround time) also could decrease while the HR can concentrate on fine-tuning the editing segment to improve speed and accuracy. Another obvious advantage is that an initial VRS processing can make the use of home-based teams that much less logistically complex.

The most obvious advantage is the savings on labor. So many companies are sending their transcription work to the 3rd world to reduce expenditure on labor costs and overheads in the host country.

While many outsource to reduce costs, they are now finding that with VRS the cost per line comes down even further. Potentially one can have 90% of the staff as editors and pay these folks really well to develop a high powered and efficient team.

The trend towards VRS seems to be catching on, and why not, for it makes excellent business sense!

The industry as a whole has to gear up to convert existing MTs into editors and to train the fresher MTs in such a way that they can smoothly and quickly become editors themselves.

The challenge for training companies like Phoenix is to do more than just create competent MTs, we have to lay better foundations, for while a good MT can earn excellent money, the potential for earning so much more is certainly the editor's. Editors in turn have to have hands-on training with working VRS systems since the sort of editing that this requires is actually quite different to the run-of-the-mill editing of transriptionist submissions.

With VRS coming on fast we also anticipate A MUCH GREATER DEMAND FOR EDITORS, so get yourself ready now for the VRS revolution.

To find out how you can fast-track your way to an editing job, mail us with your current CV and we will get back to you as time permits.

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