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Speech Recognition Improves Radiology Report Turnaround Times


Radiology report turnaround times are significantly faster after implementation of speech recognition software.

Implementation of speech recognition software (SRS) in community-based radiology practices provides a significant improvement in median radiology report turnaround times, according to a study published in theJournal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. undertook a study as a quality improvement initiative to determine the effect of SRS in a 150-bed community hospital between May 2011 and July 2011. Before implementation of the SRS, the radiologists dictated their notes, which were sent to a transcription service.

The SRS transcribed the radiologists’ notes based on human speech recognition and was introduced in three phases. The radiologists reviewed the completed notes, made any necessary edits, and then signed the record.

The researchers compared median, 80th and 95th percentile reports from two 5-month periods: before SRS implementation (January to May 2011) and five months after full implementation of the program (July to November 2011).

The results showed that the median and 80th and 95th percentile turnaround times dropped significantly between the pre-implementation and post-implementation periods.

24 hours
1 hour
80th percentile
60 hours
10 hours
95th percentile
165 hours
33 hours






“No significant trend in report turnaround times was appreciated beyond the initial implementation of the software,” wrote the authors, who concluded that the implementation of SRS resulted in a 24-fold improvement in the median radiology turnaround times.

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