Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred Versus Medical

I’ve always been a little bit skeptical about paying the $1000+ for the medical version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. $1000 just seems like a lot of money to be paying for what seems to amount to some medical dictionaries. However, someone who is very familiar with nuance and Dragon Naturally Speaking told me that doctors should really purchase the DNS Medical or they’ll end up dissatisfied.

Well, today I was reading the forum on Amazon for Dragon Naturally Speaking which asks if the medical version is worth it for doctors. The responses generally weren’t worth while, but someone who calls themselves “Pain Doc” suggested the following:

I have used DNS for about 7 years. I started with version 6 as I recall. I had my transcriptionist email me the text files from all my dictations for several years and then I “fed” those to DNS to learn the vocabulary. I then had a very serviceable medical DNS for my practice and an unemployed transcriptionist.

What a genius idea for anyone that’s currently doing transcription. A great way to save about $1000 on software.

Check out the following prices for the various versions of DNS on Amazon:
UPDATE: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12 is out now.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred – Currently $151.49 with $50 rebate ($101.49 after rebate)
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Preferred – Currently $92.97
I’m still looking around for the best location to buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical.

Interestingly, this same person quote above also said, “I also upgraded to DNS 10.0 which is a total POS. I am back to 9.0 and wouldn’t recommend 10.0 to anyone.” I’d love to hear more people’s comments on this subject.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Interestingly, Dragon 10 refuses to work inside of our NexTech EMR software unless it is the full medical version. Our software and templates are usually tailored for certain specialties, like cosmetic and plastic surgery and dermatology, so the required vocabulary is really pretty low.

    However, it appears there is logic within the new version of Dragon that intentionally cripples itself upon detection of an EMR application. It reads “Program not supported. See ‘EMR Restriction’ in help.” The help manual then explains that dictation into EMR software is not supported, and tries to persuade you to purchase the medical edition!

  • Adam,
    I have seen this discussed a few places as well. I probably have a draft post that I just haven’t got to that talks about this. Seems like a bonehead move by Nuance from a PR perspective. Not sure how many more medical versions they’ve sold since implementing the change.

    Considering the comment from the user above, sounds like users of NextTech EMR (and many other EMR software companies) should consider just purchasing the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Preferred and forget about 10 or medical.

    Plus, preferred can be bought online quickly and easily at a variety of retailers. Medical can only be bought certain places. Can you say price control?

    Thanks for pointing this out for EMR users (which is most of my readership).

  • Dragon is the way to go!!!
    I cannot understand why more Physicians, PAs (I’m a PA), etc, do not use Dragon Naturally speaking to get their notes done. It literally saved my life in an extremely busy Internal Medicine Practice. The first day I used Dragon in a Medical practice, AND it was not even the Medical Dragon, I finished all my notes within an hour of seeing patients over 8 hrs. I was immediately named the Dragon Slayer. And my employer immediately went out and bought the Medical Dragon.
    Then the office dynamics changed and it became very noisy with a lot of overhead paging and I was being paged and disrupted often. I was having to pause so often that it was counterproductive to dictate with Dragon. I decided to buy a DVR for dictating my notes. To my absolute shock, I discovered that dragon was even more accurate when it transcribed my notes from the DVR. So the use of the DVR gave me even more time in the office because I no longer needed to watch and correct while using dragon anymore. Correcting after the entire note was typed became more efficient. It really does not matter. In a quiet office environment, the note can be done immediately after the patient is seen because Dragon is so fast and so accurate. And if the office is noisy, or you are disrupted often, the DVR is just as effective and just as accurate when dragon is used to transcribe.

  • Marian,
    Thanks for the story. I too would like to use your story on a post of its own for more people to read and to share their experiences with technologies like DNS.

  • We are a Free Clinic serving uninsured adults in our community. We are using Freedom MD for our EMR. at this point, there is some discussion about WHO should be the Administrator of the system. Originally, it was setup with ALL USERS signing in with the admin username and PW. We decided that wasn’t a good idea because of HIPPAA violations and for the wellbeing of the system. This clinic is run by all volunteers. We have a couple who are pretty much computer savvy and they have been taking care of our problems that come up. They feel like they should be the only ones to have the Admin username and PW ( which have been changed) and then the rest of us are assigned our own signin and levels of access according to our job description. Is that the way we should be set up? Please let me know so I can settle this discussion once and for all!

  • Jane,
    I answered this on the other thread, but just in case someone finds this one and thinks I didn’t answer, here’s the comment I posted the other place you asked the question:

    Depends on which admin username and password you’re talking about. Is it the admin user for the software, for your computer, for the server, etc?

    If it’s the EHR software itself, HIPAA’s quite clear that each user should have their own unique login and should only have rights to access the pieces of the EHR that they need to be able to access to do their job.

    Regardless of which system you’re talking about, it’s really bad IT strategy to have 1 admin user with a shared password that everyone knows. There’s no accountability then and you could be in serious trouble. Instead, each admin should have their own username and password with admin rights where appropriate.

    I think the key question is does the person that has admin rights need the admin rights to perform their job duty.

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