Five Reasons Behavioral Health Clinicians Need to use Voice Recognition Software

Eileen Casella Rider, LMHC - EHR ProAssist Healthcare Leave a Comment

I am not using my laptop keyboard to type these words, but rather speaking into a handheld microphone. Initially I was afraid of dictation technology and thought dictation tools were only for busy psychiatrists. But as voice to text technology advances, the tools become more accessible and more affordable to everyone – even outpatient therapists like me.

Several months ago I discovered a voice navigation system (SayIt from nVoq) that is 100% cloud-based and HIPAA compliant.

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Eileen Casella Rider, LMHC - EHR ProAssist

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Since this discovery I have been using my handheld microphone to dictate Comprehensive Assessments, Progress Notes, email messages and anything else that requires typing words in my computer. Below are just five reasons why you should consider using Voice Recognition software in your work and play.

1. Saves Time – and that equals more $$
No matter how fast we type, most of us can speak 2-3 times faster. When I complete my paperwork (and God knows I have enough paperwork) it goes without saying I have more time to get many more tasks done. With more time I can return phone calls or collaborate with colleagues, but ultimately the best reason for saving time is for me to be able to see more clients.

By using Voice Navigation technology I’ve been able to add at least two or three more clients per month. As a private practitioner, this is a no-brainer. By adding just one more client a week I have been able to increase my annual salary by $3,700! Imagine what using voice to text can do for an agency with multiple staff?

2. Fully HIPAA compliant
Many clinical staff continue to be appropriately concerned about their clients’ privacy. Healthcare has become the most hacked industry with many large data breaches exposing the Protected Health Information (PHI) of millions. As an ethical clinician it is crucial to find a voice recognition system that is fully HIPAA-compliant and will keep my data safe and secure. In addition, there needs to be constant monitoring to ensure PHI stays safe.

Don’t be fooled by the convenience of using your phone’s speech to text functionality. Siri, Android and other voice to text options don’t encrypt your data and therefore, are not HIPAA compliant. You can inadvertently be putting yourself or your agency at risk for substantial fines for violation of HIPAA.
When I am using SayIt, I know I am protecting my clients’ PHI while improving my ability to treat them. SayIt from nVoq offers the necessary encryption, as well as a Behavioral Health Specialty that includes most of the terminology used in our profession. Like medical specialties, Behavioral Health has acronyms, terminology and phraseology unique to the Behavioral Health field. Psychotherapists, clinical nurse practitioners, psychiatrists and front line staff can finally use a product that will recognize commonly used phrases and terms specific to the field, saving time, improving documentation at the same time safeguarding clients’ PHI.

3. You don’t have to mess with differences in keyboards

I’ve been a very fast typist from way back and my hands are accustomed to landing on the keys on my keyboard in a natural swift motion. When I use different machines the keyboard is slightly shifted to one side and a simple placement of my hands can turn a full paragraph into gobbledygook. With voice to text I don’t even have to touch the keyboard. I can navigate to websites, open letterhead (without clicking through lots of disorganized folders) insert templates, and print without even touching the keyboard.

4. Can be used with any Electronic Health Record or word processing system
SayIt is currently being used with Epic®, Cerner®, MEDITECH, eClinicalWorks, McKesson® and many other EHRs. I use it in TheraNest currently and love how streamlined my progress notes look. However, you can use it with any software you might have. Whether it is one of the big name EHRs or if you use simple word processing there is no special integration required. With SayIt you simply place your cursor anywhere you might type and start talking. The more typing you do, the more time you can save with SayIt. SayIt works on a PC or a Mac, and you can even use your iPhone as a microphone.

5. I document faster and can provide more clinical details and make fewer mistakes

Whether sitting on my couch at the end of a workday, in between therapy sessions or during a free hour I look forward to documenting my sessions. (I know, it’s a bit odd.) But now I am able to document my assessments and therapy sessions with the attention to detail my clients deserve. If necessary, History of Presenting Problem can be fleshed out with all the details going back to childhood and I don’t have to limit it to a few sentences. My clinical documentation follows the Golden Thread and in itself tells a story of each unique case, relevant history, current symptoms, functional impairments and treatment goals. Even my discharges and summary of treatment are more detailed and more accurately describe the course of treatment.

I’ve only been using it since February but I can already see that I’ve been able to save time and increase my income by using it. If you’d like to hear more about voice to text software I’d be happy to talk to you more about my experience with SayIt.

Give me a call at 401-484-7722 or email me at

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