Medical Dictation Software: AI Healthcare Documentation

May 31, 2024

medical dictation software

When you imagine the future of medicine, what do you see? If you’re like many physicians, you see a world in which you spend more time speaking directly to your patients than you do on documentation.

In this world, patient data is available at the point of care, every encounter is captured accurately by voice recognition software, and providers can focus on treatment plans and improving outcomes.

Thanks to AI-powered medical dictation software, that world is becoming a reality. Effective dictation solutions are transforming office workflows, making doctors and their staffs more efficient than ever. By reducing the burdens of documentation, such solutions are helping providers get back to the art of medicine.

What Is Medical Dictation Software?

Simply put, medical dictation software is a speech-recognition solution that listens to, processes, and converts conversations between patients and providers into text files, including a transcript and a draft Progress Note.

Medical dictation solutions use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) algorithms, and natural language processing (NLP) to create accurate summaries of patient encounters. By giving medical providers a head start on their documentation, they help practices streamline workflows and enable staff to achieve better work/life balance.

But — just like doctors — some medical dictation solutions are better listeners than others. is revolutionizing the field with its AI-powered, ambient listening capability.

  • listens to natural-language conversations and generates both a highly accurate transcript and draft Progress Note.
  • Sunoh saves up to two hours of documentation time per provider per day, regardless of specialty.
  • Sunoh is EHR agnostic and can be used with leading EHRs; information can be easily imported into patients’ records.
  • Sunoh can handle different accents, varying speaking styles, and conversations involving multiple speakers.
  • Sunoh is secure, employing robust encryption protocols and adhering to industry standards that ensure the highest level of protection for personal health information.
How Works steps

What Medical Disciplines Use AI Dictation Software?

The flexible and robust design of a medical speech-recognition software solution such as Sunoh makes it suitable for primary care, urgent care, and many specialties, including dental, pediatrics, dermatology, rheumatology, and behavioral health.

Here are examples of Sunoh at work across the nation:

Broad applications for primary care practices

Primary Care Medical Partners (PCMP) offers behavioral health services, preventive medicine, and chronic disease management in El Paso, Texas, neighboring Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and surrounding areas.

Like many primary care practices, PCMP uses Sunoh to document patient visits, allowing providers converse with patients rather that staring at a computer. Sunoh captures details of the encounter, creating a transcript and draft Progress Note that the provider can review afterwards for clinical accuracy.

“By implementing these AI solutions, we aim to reduce physician burnout and improve patient interactions,” said Dr. Martha Y. Montanez of PCMP.

Useful for urgent care practices

At practices such as Oregon’s Canyonville Health and Urgent Care, Sunoh gives providers the in-office mobility they need.

“Embracing the seamless integration of with the eClinicalWorks EHR has been a game-changer for our practice,” said owner Anand Rao. “Our medical assistants have transitioned to focus more on front-office tasks as the AI medical scribe shoulders the burden of documentation. This allows our providers to interact more intimately with patients, using the eClinicalTouch® app on an iPad and freeing up precious time to dedicate to the patients.”

Canyonville’s providers can now review, edit, and approve Sunoh’s transcription summaries, allowing the practice to reallocate staff time and add chronic care management services.

Drilling down with dental

Community Health Alliance (CHA), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with six locations in Reno and Sparks, Nevada, offers comprehensive medical services, including dental services. By using Sunoh, the practice can improve workflows, efficiency, and patient care.

“Previously, a dental assistant would sit with a hygienist while doing periodontal charting to enter that information in manually,” said Dr. Lisa Collier, chief dental officer. “Alternatively, without the dental assistant, the hygienist would document all the periocharts onto a piece of paper and then transfer that information into the system, which is very cumbersome. Ensuring we always have a dental assistant available for charting poses substantial staffing issues. We’re thrilled to use because it accelerates periochart documentation and captures detailed information. Now, we’re able to go through the exam with voice commands, which frees up our dental assistants to complete other important tasks.”

Reliable and effective for women’s health

Idaho’s Rocky Mountain Women’s Clinic, which offers comprehensive women’s health and medical aesthetic services, was struggling with time management and workloads.

“We selected after carefully evaluating several AI scribes and it has proven to be a game-changer for our practice,” said owner Kylee Johnson. “Since its implementation, helped us save at least two hours a day on clinical documentation. The reliability and cost-effectiveness compared to a traditional medical scribe, and its ability to provide detailed and fail-proof documentation, have truly impressed us.”

Rocky Mountain is also planning to use Sunoh in conjunction with telehealth to serve patients even more efficiently.

Is Medical Dictation Software Accurate?

Do dictation solutions meet the test for accuracy?

A 2018 analysis found an initial 7.4 percent error rate in documents created by medical dictation software. After review by physicians, errors were reduced by 96 percent, to just 0.3 percent.

Six years later, Sunoh debuts with the benefit of hindsight, its ambient listening technology using speech recognition algorithms that have been extensively trained on medical terminology and clinical language.

The resulting accuracy exceeds anything else in the marketplace. But what has not changed since 2018 is the need for human review of AI-generated content.

AI works best when a human being checks its answers. No AI solution can pick up the nuances and subtleties of language as the human ear can. Doctors familiar with industry jargon and buzzwords and attuned to human speech patterns are still vital for delivering high-quality, safe care to patients.

Infographic ambient listening vs voice dictation, which compares the two products and technologies and their features.

Features of Medical Dictation Software

Key features of an effective medical transcription software solution include:

  • Ambient voice capture: A medical dictation software should use ambient voice technology to l enable hands-free dictation, listen to the patient/provider conversation, and automatically generate a draft Progress Note for review.
  • Integration with EHRs: An effective solution should easily integrate with industry-leading EHRs to help streamline the documentation process.
  • Multi-lingual capacity: Your medical dictation software should recognize different dialects and languages.
  • Speed and performance: Dictation solutions should be asynchronous, allowing providers to move from patient to patient, starting visits on time, while the technology automatically completes draft documentation for previous encounters.
  • Easy review and recall of encounters: The best solutions allow physicians to easily review the content of each encounter, searching for keywords and language to recall specific clinical points.
  • Customizable for medical specialties: A flexible dictation solution offers specialty-specific templates and voice commands for primary care, urgent care, dental, pediatrics, behavioral health, and other specialties.

Selecting the Best Medical Dictation Software

Medical dictation software can transform your practice, so follow a process similar to that for choosing an EHR.

  • Understand the documentation styles and needs of staff and identify solutions with the power and flexibility they need.
  • Focus on AI-powered solutions that are accurate, secure, and can be fully integrated with your EHR.
  • Assess the full costs of the software, including any licensing and use costs, as well as factoring in the value of documentation time saved.
  • Compare at least three solutions, examining relative costs and features as well as the reputation and track record of the companies.
  • Look for case studies of implementation in various healthcare settings, with particular focus on practices whose service profile resembles your own.

What Makes Sunoh’s Medical Dictation an Industry-Leading Medical Scribe? enjoys growing market strength by addressing each of the points outlined above:

  • Sunoh features ambient listening technology can handle accents, varying speech patterns, and multiple speakers, making it suitable for any provider. Sunoh’s specialty templates and voice commands make it useful for both primary care and medical specialties.
  • Sunoh is HER agnostic, meaning that it can be used with leading Electronic Health Records systems, allowing providers to review draft notes and add them to the patient’s record in their EHR.
  • Sunoh starts at just $1.25 per patient visit and is saving practices up to two hours of documentation time per provider per day — helping reduce the risks of burnout and strengthening practices’ bottom lines.
  • Sunoh customers enjoy 24/7/365 customer support, with implementation services included, and have their data securely stored on the Microsoft Azure cloud.
  • Sunoh is trusted by more than 30,000 medical providers nationwide and has a growing list of customer success stories.

What does Future Hold for in AI Healthcare Documentation?

Medical practices have long relied on their EHR. Effective medical dictation software is the next step in the evolution of healthcare IT. And the case for the technology continues to grow, with solutions that will soon add real-time language translation capabilities and strengthen their predictive analytics.

Practices that hesitate to embrace AI-powered solutions are likely to struggle, not because they lack good healthcare IT, but because they continue to use humans to do work better left to computers.

AI isn’t here to replace human beings. But practices and physicians who embrace the power and potential of AI are likely to replace those who do not.

Microphone and chat boxes depicting Dictation Software for healthcare documentation

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