Journal of Digital Imaging

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 724–728 | Cite as

Non-Clinical Errors Using Voice Recognition Dictation Software for Radiology Reports: A Retrospective Audit



The purpose of this study is to ascertain the error rates of using a voice recognition (VR) dictation system. We compared our results with several other articles and discussed the pros and cons of using such a system. The study was performed at the Southern Health Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Melbourne, Victoria using the GE RIS with Powerscribe 3.5 VR system. Fifty random finalized reports from 19 radiologists obtained between June 2008 and November 2008 were scrutinized for errors in six categories namely, wrong word substitution, deletion, punctuation, other, and nonsense phrase. Reports were also divided into two categories: computer radiography (CR = plain film) and non-CR (ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, and angiographic examinations). Errors were divided into two categories, significant but not likely to alter patient management and very significant with the meaning of the report affected, thus potentially affecting patient management (nonsense phrase). Three hundred seventy-nine finalized CR reports and 631 non-CR finalized reports were examined. Eleven percent of the reports in the CR group had errors. Two percent of these reports contained nonsense phrases. Thirty-six percent of the reports in the non-CR group had errors and out of these, 5% contained nonsense phrases. VR dictation system is like a double-edged sword. Whilst there are many benefits, there are also many pitfalls. We hope that raising the awareness of the error rates will help in our efforts to reduce error rates and strike a balance between quality and speed of reports generated.


Voice recognition Reporting Productivity Speech recognition Workflow Radiology reporting 


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chian A. Chang
    • 1
  • Rodney Strahan
    • 1
  • Damien Jolley
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Health Department of Diagnostic ImagingClaytonAustralia

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