How Dragon software can help busy doctors in stressful times
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How Dragon software can help busy doctors in stressful times

Following the recent announcement of over-capacity hospitals, how can voice recognition software help ease the stress for doctors and patients?

In Western Australia, strains have been placed on resources, according to Australian Medical Association (AMA) WA State President Michael Gannon, and there are major concerns around how this will affect the safety of mental health patients particularly.

"With capacity so stretched we are really worried we will see situations where voluntary (mental health) patients walk away and we will see the kind of disasters that were reported in the Alma Street inquiry," he said in an July 23 Perth Now article.

"If the system can't look after people in their hour of need we will see yet more tragedies."

The shortage of beds available has attributed to the downsizing of Fremantle and Royal Perth hospitals, which contributed to a loss of around 100 beds, according to the AMA. However, the Health Department disputes this figure, says the issue is down to doctors incorrectly referring patients. This created a "bottleneck effect", said WA's Mental Health Minister Helen Morton.

The aforementioned Alma Street inquest was conducted earlier this year to investigate five patients from the mental health clinic who died between 2011 and 2012, including an 18 year-old woman who committed suicide. The case highlighted the importance of having a quality mental health service available to Australians and the consequences that arise from mishandling patients and a lack of resources committed to their care.

Earlier this month, Mental Health Australia described the mental health system as "deeply flawed" in an open letter to the First Ministers of Australia. The report cited the findings of Professor Allan Fels and the National Mental commission, who reported that there was "poor planning, coordination and operation between the Commonwealth and the states and territories, resulting in duplication, overlap and gaps in services".

How can Dragon software help?

Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for the issues mentioned above and with a number of conflicting bodies and opinions, further discussion will be needed to come to an agreed plan of action.

However, recent updates to the Dragon Medical Practice voice recognition software may help hospital workers stay efficient as possible during such strenuous times and offer the best care possible to mental health patients. Edition 3 of the software offers advances in medical transcription, a time-consuming administrative task for staff.

Dragon Medical can accurately and rapidly transcribe your dictations, saving you the hassle of typing them up later on. This leaves more time to spend on patient care and other important tasks needed to provide quality service in a busy hospital.  

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