Studies on the adoption of voice recognition in health care have mostly focused on turnaround time and error rate, with less attention paid to the impact on the efficiency of the providers.


To study the impact of voice recognition on the efficiency of grossing biopsy specimens.


Timestamps corresponding to barcode scanning for biopsy specimen bottles and cassettes were retrieved from the pathology information system database. The time elapsed between scanning a specimen bottle and the corresponding first cassette was the length of time spent on the gross processing of that specimen and is designated as the specimen time. For the first specimen of a case, the specimen time additionally included the time spent on dictating the clinical information. Therefore, the specimen times were divided into the following 2 categories: first-specimen time and subsequent-specimen time. The impact of voice recognition on specimen times was studied using both univariate and multivariate analyses.


Specimen complexity, prosector variability, length of clinical information text, and the number of biopsies the prosector grossed that day were the major determinants of specimen times. Adopting voice recognition had a negligible impact on specimen times.


Adopting voice recognition in the gross room removes the need to hire transcriptionists without negatively impacting the efficiency of the prosectors, resulting in an overall cost saving. Using computer scripting to automatically enter clinical information (received through the electronic order interface) into report templates may potentially increase the grossing efficiency in the future.

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Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.