Softnet Systems, Inc. Speech Recognition Specialists

Before Purchase - Medical Dictation

We try to listen to you!

There are many options for deploying speech recognition in medical settings.  We want to know your problems and environment before we can responsibly propose a solution.

Speech is most often faster than typing.   For common situations, we've listed questions to start a conversation leading to a solution to your needs.  Call and give us answers, even if you reach our voicemail. If you are gathering information for more than one person, we understand that not all prospective users in an office have the same needs and a longer discussion will be required to create a solution.

If you are curious about why we ask some of these questions, we explain them in our (optional reading) verbose comments.

Basic Questions

What problems are you trying to solve? (Cost, turnaround time, slow typing, etc.)

  1. Are you using an EMR (Electronic Medical Record system)?   If so, which one?   Do you use Citrix or RDP or Terminal Services as part of using your EMR?.
  2. What specialty do you practice? How many providers are in your practice?
  3. Where and how often do you need to dictate? (Will you dictate in your private office? Will you dictate in exam rooms with a patient present? Will you dictate from home? Do you need to dictate other places outside of your office?)
  4. How are your records currently produced?
  5. Unless you are also planning to acquire a new PC, when did you acquire your current PC? (Alternately, provide the CPU model and amount of RAM on the PC you would plan to use.)
  6. Does your hair get messed up easily?
  7. Are you representing a hospital or a practice with 25 or more physicians?

With answers to these and a few follow-up questions, we can usually reduce the number of options to consider enough to prepare a firm proposal for your specific needs. Often those proposals for are in the $2500-$3500 range per physician. Email at or call 602-375-0998, provide answers to some or all of these questions, and we can begin our conversation.  If we aren't available, leave the answers on voicemail.

Assistance with Dragon or Related Products

Dragon assistance can come in many different ways. Following are some common questions regarding assistance that we can provide to those currently using Dragon Medical

  1. Are you having accuracy problems with just a few words/Phrases? Do you understand and use the Vocabulary Editor within Dragon?
  2. Do you feel that automating certain tasks could save time during the day? (saving 5 seconds, 12 times per day, will save you 4 hours per year!)
  3. What equipment and software do you have, including model and version numbers if available? Do you need assistance configuring your microphones or recorders?
  4. Are you using multiple systems with a single speaker?
  5. Do you wish to begin to use a recorder in addition to dictate dating directly to your computer?
  6. Is general PC/system performance a problem when using Dragon?
  7. Do you need to use your system more effectively without using your hands?
  8. Is it OK for us to refer you someone much closer to you?

With answers to these questions and precise follow-up questions, we can usually suggest a plan of action to you use Dragon more effectively. Email at or call 602-375-0998, provide answers to some or all of these questions, and we can begin our conversation.  If we aren't available, leave the answers on voicemail.

Trying Again

  1. When did you first try to use speech recognition software? What caused you to stop?
  2. What type of assistance did you have in setting up your system and learning your software?
  3. Do you speak clearly? Do you have a significant accent?
  4. Did you use the microphone that was supplied with the software? What kind of microphone was it?
  5. What is the latest version of the software that you have?

We can often arrange a trial before you buy Dragon Medical software if you've had a poor experience in the past, even if you are thousands of miles away from us and do not have an appropriate PC.

With answers to these questions and a few follow-up questions, we can usually formulate a plan for resuming Dragon use. Email at or call 602-375-0998, provide answers to some or all of these questions, and we can begin our conversation.  If we aren't available, leave the answers on voicemail.

Speech Recognition Sales and Support

Product support is available for purchases from Softnet Systems. Limited free support for Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 or other products sold is provided by the manufacturer. Softnet Systems can supplement that support. Or you may buy Nuance support including upgrade assurance.

Verbose Reasons for Questions

  • Basic Question 1: EMR matters because some EMR's require extra steps for each text field. In those EMR's, the advantages of a microphone with programmable buttons is huge.
  • Basic Question 2: Length of notes and the amount of daily dictation varies by specialty. In some specialties dictating in front of the patient makes much more sense than in other specialties. Some specialties have more opportunities for standardized text than others.
  • Basic Question 3: How to configure Dragon or other dictation software is different depending upon where it is going to be used. That may affect how many installations of Dragon are needed. Recorders aren't typically needed if one only dictates in one place.
  • Basic Question 4: A transition plan is important, particularly if moving away from conventional transcription.
  • Basic Question 5: Underpowered PC's are one of the primary reasons for failure to continue to use speech recognition. If upgrading your PC is needed, that is additional cost which must be considered in your decision. Slower PC's may still be useful for processing recorded speech.
  • Basic Question 6: If hair shouldn't be disturbed, then hand-held or desktop microphones are preferred.
  • Basic Question 7: We can not sell Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition to practices with 25 or more MD's and DO's.
  • Assistance Question 1: This is the most commonly-reported problem, and has several possible solutions
  • Assistance Question 2: In our experience, 80% of doctors could easily save time by learning how to better handle repeated text. In some cases that is best done within the EMR, in other cases Dragon is a better tool.
  • Assistance Question 3: There are several pieces of equipment sold but relatively difficult to use effectively.
  • Assistance Question 4: There are several non-obvious ways to configure Dragon.
  • Assistance Question 5: Recorders are sometimes not the best answers when using EMR's or certain types of forms. If considering a recorder, who is going to handle the processing of recorded speech?
  • Assistance Question 6: Performance problems aren't always solved by buying the newest and fastest PC.
  • Assistance Question 7: Doctors sometimes need no-hands operation because of upper extremity problems, infection control, wanting to dictate while both hands are busy, or other reasons. Dozens of hours of customization is sometimes necessary to provide commands that allow no-hands computer operation, even in a limited set of applications.
  • Trying Again Question 1: We'd like to prevent a recurrence of your problems. But there has also been a huge improvement since we started in this business in 1996.
  • Trying Again Question 2: Do-it-yourself has its limitations. Those who don't regularly deal with speech software may not understand that it isn't like most other programs.
  • Trying Again Question 3: Handling of some accents has improved dramatically. We know better which accents are handled well and which continue to be problematic for some users. Generally-speaking, it is easier to deal with clear accented speech than slurred non-accented speech.
  • Trying Again Question 4: Microphones and computer audio systems can make a huge difference in results.
  • Trying Again Question 5: If your version is 2008 or later, you may qualify for an upgrade to the latest version of Dragon software.


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