Dictation Software Basics: Choosing the right software.

doctor and patient with medical charts

Dictation software is available online and almost everywhere, but one of the most significant differences between them is the quality. Those that are available for free may come for a limited time period and once that period is up, you will have to purchase the software. The paid services are much superior to the non-paid services especially when it comes to clinical documentation and medical transcription.

There are cheaper alternatives available as well that you can download and you won’t have to worry about them expiring anytime soon.
Dictation software can come in very handy, especially if you are a doctor or lawyer or belong to a profession where there are great documentation needs and limited time. It is easier to work hands free, including dictating your required material. Plus, this speech recognition dictation ensures that you always manage to jot down the points in your head before you forget them.
Now, one of the primary problems that you might face with dictation software is that it is unable to pick up exactly what you are saying, resulting in wrong typing. It can get quite irritating as then, you have to read through the whole document and make edits manually. To make sure that this does not become a problem, you will need to get yourself a microphone to talk into so that the words spoken are clearly understood, eliminating the major errors in the document. Garbage in – Garbage out.
Now that you know some of the immediate benefits transcription software provides and the problems it can alleviate, we will go into more detail about the product and how it will help you achieve your goals.

How Dictation Software Helps with Productivity

Many people who are used to manually typing will find it a little difficult to adjust to dictation software. However, these tools are more helpful than anything else and help increase your level of productivity. Some people can spend up to 5 hours on their laptops typing material for their work. Not only does this take up precious time, but it also reduces the chances of you being able to accomplish other tasks. With dictation software, you will be able to achieve the following:

Capture All of Your Ideas Using Speech Recognition

Sometimes, when you are typing, you suddenly get an idea to include in the content, but at the same time, you are in the middle of writing a sentence. The chances are that before you can complete the sentence, you will forget the idea that had popped up. When you have dictation software, you will be able to remember the ideas and quickly finish dictating the first sentence and include it in the next one.


Dictating text is far faster than typing it out; for instance most people type below 40 words per minute but with speech recognition dictation you can create documents at over 120 words per minute. Even if you type fast – speech recognition is still faster, and it never gets tired. Speech Recognition dictation will probably reduce your time to create documents by half

Time Saving

As mentioned above, using dictation software will be quicker than typing, which will directly impact the amount of time spent on creating documents. You will be able to accomplish your tasks faster, save time and accomplish other tasks.

Usable on Every Device

Whether you work on a laptop, tablet, or other mobile devices, you can simply access the software on almost any device and get straight to work. Of course, there are some pros and cons of every device, but the good thing is that it will work incredibly well on each one.


When you are typing, both your hands are in use in addition to your mind. However, with dictation software, you will gain the ability to multitask. As you won’t have to use your hands, you can do other stuff that needs attention while dictating your thoughts.

Top Dictation Software to Consider

There are a few major dictation tools that you should consider and check what they have to offer before you set out to make a purchase. The more mainstream voice to text solutions include:

Google Docs Voice Typing

Google is a trustworthy brand name, and when there is software associated with it, people automatically assume it will be good. Google Docs Voice Typing holds true to this statement. It is exceptional software to use if you are into long-form writing, which is one of the basic forms of writing for lawyers and doctors.
The accuracy rate of this recognition software is impressive as you will get only one inaccurate word out of every 200. Plus, it can be used in 43 different languages and on various devices. The best part about this software is that it is readily available for free and does not come with an expiration date.
The software does not limit a person to dictation only; you can also format the entire document using their advanced features and select text. However, bear in mind that the formatting option is only available in English.

Apple Dictation

There will be times when you need to use the software as frequently as possible and on the go as well. In that case, Apple Dictation will work great for you. It is made for those who are constantly on the go and need real-time dictation. The accuracy rate for this software is also quite high; you will only get about two inaccurate words for every 250 words. The product is usable in 31 different languages and is available in the App Store free of cost. If you operate a Mac or an iPhone or iPad, you should choose this software as it is compatible with these devices alone. You can give some different commands with this software, and the document will be amended accordingly. There is no limit on the number of words that can be dictated by this software.

Windows Speech Recognition

As a doctor or lawyer, you sometimes have your mind at two places at once. It is at that time that you need as much help as possible. You may not even have time to look at the screen, but you need to get some work done. The Microsoft’s voice recognition software is not great when you need to dictate a document, and that is because its accuracy rate is 30 inaccurate words for every 200 words.
However, if you are looking for software that helps you navigate your computer without you having to use the mouse, this will serve its purpose. It is available in 8 different languages and will be easy to use. It is also available for free. If you want to use this software for speech dictations as well, you will need to train it to recognize words. Otherwise, it is perfect for navigation and will easily open your browser and perform other tasks on one command.

Dragon Medical One and Legal Software By Nuance

Dragon Speech Recognition Software is currently some of the best in the industry. The software is made for hands-free workflows and allows people to use it as much as possible for both navigation and dictation. The software is affordable for home and professional use and comes in desktop and cloud-based versions. The cost can vary according to your monthly subscription or one-time buys. This software can recognize many common languages including Spanish, French and Italian. Dragon easily formats your words and phrases properly further increasing your productivity. Although Dragon will make errors, the error rate is much less than typing, and because you can get all your words down faster, you will have more time for editing and getting your documents just right.

Voice Recognition for Mobile Devices

Most software that caters to computers will not work for your mobile phone. For that, you will need to download a separate app which will take care of your dictation needs. For quick voice to text needs, these will come in handy, but it is best to use the computer version when you have a lot of work. If you are looking for a mobile dictation app, your best options are:

  • Siri
  • Cortana
  • Google Now
  • Android Speech Recognition
  • ListNote

Working in the medical field, you should know that these apps are not HIPAA compliant (read: Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule), so it may be illegal to use them for medical purposes. The same goes for lawyers; there is another set of rules that don’t allow them to use such apps as the use of these voice to text services can violate confidentiality agreements!

Final Notes

We hope this quick rundown comparing the various types of dictation software and options was useful. Don’t forget – If you have any questions about selecting the correct dictation solution for your needs, Voice Automated is here to help! Please contact us at any time and we will be glad to assist you any way we can.