Our Training Makes The Difference! March 2014  

In this issue:

Poor Functionality, Costs, Worse Care and Frustration with EHRs
Zephyr-TEC logo March Savings on Dragon Medical
A New DragonDictate for the Mac
Success Story
Tech Tools & Tips
Contact Us




Upcoming Webinars:


Dragon Medical & Voice Productivity
Tuesday, March 25th @ 12:15 PM PDT Click to Register
Dragon Medical & Voice Productivity
Thursday, April 10th @ 12:15 PM PDT Click to Register
Dragon & Voice Productivity
Thursday, April 17th @ 12:15 PM PDT Click to Register
Dragon Medical & Voice Productivity
Thursday, May 15th @ 12:15 PM PDT Click to Register


Want an easy way to keep up-to-date on this and other Zephyr-TEC news? Follow us on Facebook here!



Poor Functionality, Costs, Worse Care and Frustration with EHRs
Using Dragon Medical eases frustration, improves productivity

Doctors don't like their Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. That's the basic conclusion from a recent survey from MPI group and Medical Economics (article here). According to the survey of nearly a thousand doctors last November and December, functionality is the most basic problem. And EHR use is becoming very common - the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that the number of doctors using EHRs has increased—from about 17% in 2009 to about 50% as of the first half of 2013.

  • Asked if their EHR investment was worth it, "NO!" was the reply given by nearly 79% of respondents in practices with more than 10 physicians.

That's not really a surprise to us here at Zephyr-TEC. As long time speech recognition experts and consultants working with doctors, we've heard plenty of complaints about EHR systems. The main complaints seem to be:

  • Initial cost of the EHR as well as ongoing Maintenance & Support costs
  • Loss of productivity due to poorly designed data entry process and Meaningful Use requirements
  • Decrease in practice revenue because doctors cannot see as many patients since implementing their EHR (loss of productivity)
  • Increased expenses for additional staff due to productivity losses using an EHR
  • Worsening patient care because the doctor can't spend as much time with the patient

According to the survey of nearly a thousand doctors last November and December, functionality is the most basic problem, though poor customer service is also cited as a major reason for looking at a different EHR platform.

Nearly 55% of doctors reported spending more than $100,000 on their EHR implementation, and 77% of 10+ doctor practices spent more than $200,000. This is offset somewhat by the EHR incentives as part of Medicare's EHR Meaningful Use incentive program (up to $44,000 - up to $63,750 through Medicaid), but the biggest costs cited were dramatic increases in staffing needs. "We used to see 32 patients a day with one tech, and now we struggle to see 24 patients a day with four techs. And we provide worse care," said one survey respondent.

So is patient care worse? 45% of the doctors surveyed think it is - though this also means that 35% think that patient care is better. It's also interesting that there is a significant difference between primary care and specialty physicians - our guess is that some fraction of specialists are being shoehorned into generalist EHRs.

Intriguingly, the numbers also show that dissatisfaction is higher in larger practices. For solo practitioners, 38% said care was improved, while only 37% said care was worse. In larger practices (more than 10 doctors), only 31% said care was improved, while 52% said care was worse.

And doctors aren't very convinced about the long-term viability of their EHR systems. 38% doubt that their EHR will be viable in five years - and in fact, 26% doubt that their EHR vendor will be in business in five years.

How can a practice address and mitigate these issues?

There is little doubt that Dragon Medical Practice Edition, the world's best speech recognition software, can truly help physicians when working in their EHRs. While we can't do anything about the initial or ongoing costs of an EHR deployment, we CAN help:

  • Improve physician productivity using direct dictation for narratives. Most physicians can talk faster than they can type. With Dragon Medical a physician can dictate in excess of 150 words per minute!
  • Further improve physician productivity by automating Meaningful Use tasks using Dragon Medical commands and shortcuts
  • Increase practice revenue with content rich clinical narratives supporting higher levels of reimbursements and lower number of denials
  • Regain quality patient care – less time working in the EHR means more face-to-face time with the patient

Looking at workflow options may also help. Use a recorder or iPhone to record dictations, then sending them to Dragon to be turned into words that can then be quickly copied into the appropriate parts of the EHR. That gives flexibility to the doctor, where they can be "working" with the EHR even went they aren't in front of the computer.

Dragon Medical may be that missing ingredient that deals with the "necessary evil" of EHRs.

Want more information, or to talk about a custom solution for your practice? Give us a call:




Spring Savings on Dragon Medical
March into Savings

We've got a couple nice deals with Dragon Medical that run until the end of March - you can save $100 on an upgrade, or get a free handheld PowerMic with the purchase of a full license. But these are limited time specials (they end March 29, 2014), so take advantage of them now!

FREE PowerMic with purchase of a new Dragon Medical license!

On sale for $1599.99 - you save $300. You can also get a FREE PowerMic for the Dragon Medical Practice Edition with Maintenance - now only $1941.99!

Save $100 off a Dragon Medical Upgrade

On sale for $499.99 - you save $100. You can also save on the upgrade that comes with a new PowerMic - now only $799.99!

We also have a couple of nice packages for Dragon Legal and Professional with the Olympus DS-7000 recorder. Through April 29, you can save $280 off the bundle of Dragon Professional and the recorder, and save $270 off the bundle with Dragon Legal.

Now $820 - you save $280!

Now $1030 - you save $270!

But all these specials have a limited duration, so make your move now!

Give us a call to find out more or see a demonstration:




A New DragonDictate for the Mac
New Improvements for Version 4

We're happy to announce that Nuance has released a new version of Dragon Dictate for the Mac, the award-winning speech recognition program for the Mac. This does seem to be more of an incremental upgrade, offering most of the same features but adding compatibility with newer programs and operating systems.

There's no change in the prices, and sadly no announcement specials either, so the cost is $149.99 for an upgrade and $199.99 if you are buying a new license. Or course, there is no headset included with upgrades, but new licenses include a headset. The digital download versions are available now; the physical versions will start shipping sometime in mid-March.

What's New in Dragon Dictate for Mac, v4
Powerful transcription

Supports various formats. Now transcribe from .mp3 audio files. Other supported formats include: .aif, .aiff , .wav, .mp4, .m4a, .m4v.

Capture recorded notes. Accurately transcribe based on recorded sources instead of requiring training from a live source.

Manage multiple sources. Allows for multiple transcription sources and easy transition between personal dictation and other transcription files.

Blend recordings seamlessly. Easily transcribe your own voice memos from a smartphone or portable voice recorder into text and seamlessly mix and match transcribing from other recording sources.

Customize your notes. You can keep all the customization and vocabulary from your profile without having to switch out to a different profile.

       More control

Do more with Gmail. Control your Gmail inbox within the Safari or Firefox browser with a few simple voice commands. Full Text Control lets you mix your talking and typing and still be able to edit, correct and format your text using voice commands.

Go hands-free. Use your voice to click on any visible link and to open emails.

Type or talk. Mix talking and typing with Full Text Control in Apple Pages 4.3.

More accurate and faster

Higher performance. Get things done with drastically reduced latency and faster editing. As a pure 64-bit application, Dragon Dictate for Mac, version 4, now enables higher performance and improved memory management capabilities over previous versions.

Enhanced recognition. Improved accuracy over version 3.x, with optimization for latest speech recognition technology.

But wait - show me more!

Dragon Dictate for Mac, version 4 has all the features from version 3 with faster speed, accuracy and more. View some of the new feature capabilities here.

Powerful transcription
Dragon Dictate for Mac, version 4 now allows you to accurately transcribe an audio file of any single speaker's voice from podcasts or pre-recorded audio files. Create transcription-only profiles to accurately transcribe based on recorded sources instead of requiring a live source for training. Great for college lectures, interviews, business users with recorded notes…and more! Watch video

Full Text Control in Apple Pages 4.3
With just your voice, create and edit documents in Apple® Pages® 4.3 with Full Text Control. Use Smart Format Rules to automatically adapt to how you want abbreviations, numbers and more to appear, mix talking and typing and easily create custom word lists and macros for frequently used text. Watch video


Voice control of Gmail within Firefox or Safari
Dragon Dictate for Mac, version 4 lets you control your Gmail inbox within the Safari or Firefox browser with a few simple voice commands. It provides Full Text Control in Gmail, so you can mix your talking and typing and still be able to edit, correct and format your text using voice commands. Watch video

And so much more
From Smart Format Rules, Command and Vocabulary editors to general dictation and more, Dragon Dictate gives you full command and control of your Mac, simply by speaking. See all demos.

So what do I need to actually run this program?

System requirements

RAM We recommend 4 GB
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz or faster processor - Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 recommended
Free hard disk space 3GB
Supported Operating Systems OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3)
OS X Mavericks (10.9)

A DVD-ROM drive for installation of physical box shipment; for users without DVD-ROM, purchase digital download version

A Nuance-approved noise-canceling headset microphone for Mac (included in purchase)

Note: An Internet connection is required for automatic product activation (a quick anonymous process)

Don't be frustrated with the new product, though - we have a training and support package available for $599.00.

Questions? We have answers - give us a call - or just place an order from the webstore:




Success Story
Success with Dragon comes with Zephyr-TEC Training

Recently, Zephyr-TEC worked with an adult educator with hand use limitations. She thought our training was excellent, and brings an interesting perspective to our training:

"Over the years I've often learned new software programs on my own. So when Dragon was recommended to me after the onset of a debilitating nerve issue that affected my dominant arm I thought I could learn it the way I always have – figuring it out through trial and error. For a year I read materials, I watched online training tutorials, and I practiced. Despite my efforts I made almost no progress - and every time I made mistake (which was pretty often!) I didn't know what I had done wrong, or how to correct myself. I almost gave up.

Just at the right moment, Zephyr-TEC came to my rescue. Page Filson, my Dragon coach, has been indispensable in moving me from an infrequent (and often-frustrated) user to full-time (competent if not yet expert) user. As we worked together, Page shared her extensive knowledge of Dragon in the most practical way I could imagine– by showing me how to use Dragon to accomplish my daily work tasks. We worked together on what I do each day - formatting reports, editing text, creating presentation materials, managing email. She taught me how to create shortcuts, input new vocabulary specific to my work, and how to make new commands. As a result of our time together I am not just a competent user of Dragon, I am actually more efficient at many of my work tasks – something I simply could not have imagined while I was trying to figure this out on my own.

In my own work as a trainer I focus on how adults learn, and when I am being trained my expectations about quality training are very rarely met. I expected that my trainer would know a lot about the software (which she did), but Page exceeded my expectations in how she approached my learning. I'm grateful for her patience, persistence and encouragement. More importantly, her ability to make sense of my background knowledge and use that to scaffold my learning over time was extraordinary. During the course of our work together, she gradually released responsibility to me, and put me more in charge of my learning. This increased my own confidence, and prepared me to handle glitches as they come up in my daily use. I encourage all new users of Dragon to turn to Zephyr-TEC. Their personalized training model works!"

Nancy Gerzon
Educational Consultant
Learning Innovations at WestEd



Tech Tools & Tips
Running Audio Files through Dragon

Ever wanted to record yourself - then turn that recording into text? Dragon can do that, and it's pretty straightforward. Dragon 12 can process .wav, .mp3, .wma, .dss, and .ds2 files, so you'll need a recording in one of those formats.

To start the process, you'll want to go to Transcribe Recording on the Tools menu. This will bring up a screen where you can choose what window the words should appear in as well as what commands should be allowed.

Make whatever choices you want, and click Next. Then use the Browse to locate file button on the next screen to load in your file.

You can then click Transcribe, and the audio file will be processed and appear in the DragonPad (or a different window). Note that Dragon's accuracy depends a lot on how good the recording is - microphone quality, background noise, etc., but if it is a recording of your voice being run through your profile, you should get decent results.

This works reasonably well for a single recording, but it's a fairly time intensive process if you have lots of recordings to process. That's one of our favorite parts of the Philips SpeechExec system - the fact that it automates this whole process (and adds a nice dictation tracking system around it). You can even send dictations into Dragon from your smart phone. If that sounds useful - come talk to us!


Zephyr-TEC has personnel in the San Francisco Bay Area,
Rancho Cucamonga (Southern California), Seattle, WA, Las Vegas, NV and Cottonwood (Phoenix), AZ.

Toll Free: 877-493-7497
General Email: Info@zephyr-tec.com
Web: www.zephyr-tec.com

You are receiving this email newsletter because you have purchased products or services or requested information from Zephyr-TEC. If you no longer wish to receive our newsletters or emails, please call us at 877-493-7497, email us at remove@zephyr-tec.com or reply to this email with REMOVE in the subject line. We apologize for any inconvenience.
©2013 Zephyr-TEC Corp., 9651 Business Center Dr. Suite C, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.
909-481-9991. All rights reserved.