Voice Activated technology is an extremely efficient alternative to transcription at much lower overall costs. The provider can dictate key components of the history of present illness and the assessment and plan- medical decision making sections of the records. This creates a unique non-cookie-cutter chart which helps the private MD, consultants, and your own colleagues, if the patient returns for follow-up. The problems come in where the EHR is not directly designed without a lot of work-arounds to allow easy dictation. The initial cost is $1,500 per provider, but transcription costs $7 - $8 chart and the money is regained in time with increased productivity.
Which one is recommended? It depends on the work flow of the ED, the EHR, and the personality of the provider. My personal preference is a user-friendly EHR and VAT, so you can take the savings to buy more physician assistant and/or nurse practitioner FTE's. This hopefully will lead to increased throughput, higher revenues, and increased patient and administration satisfaction. If my scribe is an all-purpose medical assistant, this would make a reasonable alternative.