Dragon Medical Enabled EHR – Chart Talk

I recently was asked by Deanna from Mighty Oak to check out a demo of their Chart Talk EHR software (previously called DC talk). It’s always a challenge for me since there are only so many hours in a day to be demoing the more than 300 EHR companies out there. So, instead of doing a full demo, I asked Deanna to highlight a feature of Chart Talk that set them apart from other EHR software companies.

She told me that Chart Talk’s killer feature was its integration with Dragon Naturally Speaking’s voice recognition software. I was very familiar with DNS and other voice recognition software, so I was interested to see if they really could create a deep integration of Dragon Medical over the other EHR software I’d seen that integrated it as well.

I have to admit that I was pretty impressed by the demo. It was really quite amazing the number of things that you could do with your voice in the Chart Talk EHR software. Certainly standard transcription like documentation worked out well in Chart Talk. However, the impressive part was how you could navigate the EHR with your voice. Here’s a demo video that does a decent job illustrating it:

What made the documentation even more interesting (and is partially shown in the above video) is the use of various DNS macros and the even more powerful built in macros for pulling in vital signs, past history, etc. Plus, I like the idea that when you have any issues with Dragon Medical, you don’t get someone at your EHR company who doesn’t really know much about Dragon. Since Chart Talk’s completely focused on Dragon integration, you know they know how to support it properly.

I of course only saw a partial demo of the Chart Talk software. So, I’m only commenting on the Dragon Medical integration in this post. It would take a much longer and more in depth evaluation to know about the other features and challenges to the software.

Plus, there’s no doubt that voice recognition isn’t for everyone. They tell me that some people do the charting with their voice right in front of the patient. That feels awkward to me, but I guess it works for some people. Then, there’s the people who don’t want to go through the learning curve of voice recognition. However, I’d guess that Chart Talk could make a case for being some of the best at teaching people to overcome that learning curve since every one of their users uses it.

I also know that Chart Talk originally started as DC talk. So, anyone considering Chart Talk should likely take a good look at how well the software fits with their specialty. I know the people at Mighty Oak have been making a big effort to work for any specialty. However, like every EHR software out there, they just work better for some specialties better than others.

It’s also worth noting that Chart Talk is a client server EHR. I guess the web browser isn’t quite ready for the processing power that’s required to have a nice voice enabled user experience.

Needless to say I was impressed by the voice recognition integration and how pretty much every command can be performed using your voice. I’d be interested to know of other EHR companies that are striving for that type of deep integration. I’m not just talking about being able to basically dictate into a text field. I’m talking about actual navigating the EMR with your voice.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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.


  • As a former journalist, I realize the difficulty at times in distilling information usable and salient to readers and viewers. With over 300 EHR providers, the task becomes even more difficult as all are working to improve their product and offer the best solution to providers and practices.

    Such is the case with this particular blog post. While informative and educational, there are problems with the reporting factually. I’m sure the product mentioned is good, but it is not distinct in the fact that its ability to integrate with Dragon is NOT unique. In fact, the “PatientClick.com” client has had this ability and is, in fact, a partner with Nuance in this venture. To take that one step further, the PatientClick SaaS offers nine (9) different methods of transcribing, making this an intuitive, turnkey solution for providers.

    It’s tough to single-out which service is “the best” when looking at three-hundred different offerings, especially with the pace that technology evolves and improvements are made. What’s important with EMR is making sure the product/service is usable. Bottom line: it needs to be easy-to-use, intuitive and functional, or all the bells-and-whistles won’t matter a bit.

  • I have seen conflicting results with Dragon.
    Some get it to work great, others don’t.

    For an office just going electronic, I tend to have them wait and get comfortable with the EHR before they stumble into the world of voice recognition.

    In the end, it depends, but I generally don’t see a great amount of time saving from using Dragon, it is more a “gee-wiz” item.

  • Mike,
    Let’s not compare journalist with bloggers. A much different approach to providing information.

    Although, I don’t find any of the above content factually incorrect at all. In fact, I ask if there are other EHR vendors that had this sort of deep DNS integration since I hadn’t seen any that had leveraged voice recognition this deeply.

    If PatientClick (which obviously you have a bias for) has the same functionality, then let’s see a video of it in action. Try pulling in the vital signs with your voice like ChartTalk does. Try searching and pulling up patient charts with just your voice. I’d love to see a video of those functions in PatientClick to see how it compares with the above.

    Personally, I’m all for more EHR vendors to have this type of tight integration. The more the merrier from my standpoint.

    I’ve seen quite a bit of the same. However, I can see how someone using ChartTalk could document different than other EHR. Plus, there’s no waiting to use voice recognition if you use ChartTalk. That would be crazy to do so.

  • Hello,

    John B., you bring a great point when you say that you first teach the your users about your EHR before teaching them Dragon. Meaningful Use is a big enough pill to swallow without tacking on an awkward speech recognition interface. We’ve tried to change the game, we make Dragon the spoon full of sugar that helps the MU medicine go down (sorry Mary Poppins).

    Nuance has a study that shows much greater physician buy in of EHR when speech recognition is an option. Before we ever introduce quality measures, electronic access, or CCR files we teach our clients to become power users of Dragon Medical. Using speech recognition as a spring board into MU allows physicians to build up a can-do attitude. Getting the job done with a positive attitude is a HUGE benefit to the individuals practicing MU and the HIT personnel committed to assisting their clients.

    I have a large bias towards Chart Talk, I’m the person doing the demonstration above. Also, I would gladly have a ‘Dragon Off’ with any takers. I’ve even shown Nuance a trick or two 🙂

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for the post. Notwithstanding some of the above comments, I always find your blog posts informative and entertaining, and not always in that order :-).

    In any instance, Matt stopped by the office the other day and chatted with us. Thought you might want to see Amy’s interview with him:

    ChartTalk Video


  • Eric,
    Informative and entertaining are 2 of my main goals in posting. I think that both provide value to readers.

    Thanks for sharing the video. I’m glad to see you’re still grinding away at videos. I see you have a new interviewer at EHR TV. She’s got a nice look and approach.

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