WebPT & Dragon
As technology fanatics, we absolutely love when our Members pose questions about how they can use WebPT with other nifty products on the market right now. Case in point: the speech recognition software, Dragon. After doing a little “yay tech!” happy dance, we got to work researching this fire-breathing product and discovering best practices for PTs.
Dragon Dictation, created by software tech company Nuance, is an “easy-to-use voice recognition application that allows you to quickly speak and instantly see your text or email messages.” Dragon currently operates in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch.
While most PTs are comfortable typing their WebPT documentation, some therapists crave dictation, and with Dragon, talk-to-text lovers can swap their recorder for their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. You talk. Dragon types. All for free.
But it’s definitely not for everyone and if you’re used to a traditional dictation service this is a totally different beast. We also don’t recommend using your iPad as your practice’s only device—there isn’t a tablet out there (yet) that has enough power to optimally support WebPT on its own.
So how can you use Dragon Dictation with WebPT? We picked the brain of our resident physical therapist and WebPT Marketplace Manager, Brian Kunich, PT, OCS, COMT, to find out how he used Dragon to enhance his documentation. Here’s what I gathered from our convos:
First, it’s important to have a general idea of how the WebPT documentation templates flow before dictating so you don't replicate work. In most cases, selecting the checkboxes is still much faster than dictating through Dragon.
Brian fills in as much data as he can directly into WebPT while speaking with the patient during the evaluation, then he dictates the following:
1. History of Present Condition/Mechanism of Injury
2. Primary Concern/Chief Complaint
Brian doesn’t recommend using Dragon for recording objective measurements as you have to place them in the additional comments box, meaning you lose the functionality of numerical data comparison. In this area, Brian dictates the following:
1. General Inspection
2. Palpation Additional Comments (when necessary)
Brian dictates the Assessment box but uses the WebPT Smart Text functionality for the Problem List, Goal, and Patient Education segments
Additional Dragon & WebPT Tips
- You can’t dictate directly into WebPT using Dragon. Instead, dictate into the Dragon app and then copy and paste to fill in the applicable sections within WebPT. The copy and paste process flows pretty quickly, but you will need to bounce back and forth between Dragon and WebPT. (Hint: Keep the Dragon app located next to your web browser to make the back-and-forth easier.)
- Even the free version does a pretty good job correctly spelling medical terminology, but it’s important to speak slowly and properly enunciate. (Hint: This is very different than traditional dictation and may take some time to get used to.)
- Dragon takes some time to train. For example, Dragon often writes “gait” as “gate,” that is until Dragon understands the context of your corrections and implements the word correctly. This can take a few months depending on how frequently you use and correct the word.
- Use Dragon on a reliable internet connection. If your connection drops while you’re dictating, you may lose your unsaved text. (Hint: Pause often to break up long paragraphs into shorter segments to allow for Dragon to process.)
- To save time, load a custom initial evaluation profile on your iDevice before beginning your session.
- If you’re experiencing any slowness with Dragon, check your internet connection and make sure you’re running on the most up-to-date operating system.
Interested in the full version of Dragon? We recommend trying the free version first. If it doesn’t whet your dictation appetite, the full version is available for Mac and PCs, both for individual and business use (price for individual use ranges from $99 to $199 depending on level of features; contact the Dragon sales team regarding business pricing).
What’s your experience with Dragon? Are there other dictation tools you use in your clinic?