Tom’s Tech Tips

Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: Dragon Naturally Speaking

Even techies make New Year’s Resolutions and promises to themselves. Some even involve important things. My #1 resolution for 2009 – Install and learn Dragon NaturallySpeaking software (the cheap $76.99 Standard Edition). I’ve talked to way too many people who love this software to keep ignoring it. If you’re like me and can think faster than you can type, this is a tool to try.

I know many legal nurse consultants who end up spending more time concentrating on typing (dare I say pecking) their CLNC reports and end up losing those important thoughts before they can get them on paper. Typing wasn’t taught in nursing school, so chances are you’re not going to win any typing contests at 30 words per minute. The average person speaks at about 120 words per minute (those of you who know me figure I’m slightly above that) but I can’t type that fast (well, I can, but with 0% accuracy). This changes the equation.

The demo I saw just blew me away. Once you get used to this software you’ll be dictating all your reports, letters to your attorney-clients, grocery lists, to-dos and to-don’ts. I’m planning on installing this on Vickie’s computer in January. If Vickie can do it, you can do it. I’ll be giving you an update on how well it works and how easy it is to train your computer to recognize your speech patterns.

Be aware this program only works on 32-bit systems (not newer 64-bit systems). So before you buy, on your Windows-based machine: Open the Start menu. Click on Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, then System Information. After the System Summary screen fills look on the right side of the screen for “System Type.” If it shows “x86-based PC” you have a 32-bit computer. If it shows “x64-based PC” you have a 64-bit computer. You can also look at the operating system line – if you are running 64-bit XP it will tell you. Another alternative method is to click the Start button, click on Control Panel, click on System and Maintenance, and then click on System. Under System, you can view the system type – it will tell you if you are running a 64-bit system.

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Check back in about six Tuesdays!


6 thoughts on “Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: Dragon Naturally Speaking

  1. I’ve been using the Dragon system for about 4 years now, and I couldn’t produce even 25% of the work I do without it. Plus, it can spell out the full word version of medical terms such as IHSS, in the blink of an eye!

    I have only praise for this system for those of us who are not fast typists.

    With Dragon, I can talk at 120wpm and it will accurately keep up with me.

  2. Tom,

    Excellent resource for all CLNC® consultants out there who dislike typing or just can’t plain spend the time typing. When I had my medical transcription business years ago while my children were young, I spent most of my days typing 125 words a minute for 8 hours a day. Eventually I taught the physicians how to use Dragon, since I was disbanding my business to go into teaching. They love it because it actually saved them time and money and had the dictation in hand instantly, and to this day use it. The software is incredible and I recommend it to all CLNC® as a great resource. It’s very reasonable.

  3. For Tom and the CLNC® consultants that are using Dragon, are you using the professional version or the “simple” one? I’ve been interested for years but had last heard the technology was not that great. If you have had good experiences, I will certainly try it out.

  4. Hi Ellen,

    I just purchased Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 Preferred Mobile and it is wonderful. I, like you, had been very disappointed with some of the previous versions, but when the salesman called me he answered all the questions I threw at him and was not offended by the fact that I was skeptical about what he was telling me. He kept saying, “there’s a 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied”. Now, the most exciting part!. My program came with a digital tape recorder so I can dictate whenever I want and then hook the recorder up to the computer and it turns my dictation into a Microsoft text document. Go for it!
    Good luck. Dr. J.

  5. Thanks, Judy, your note is very motivating. My new computer is a mac and I believe a mac version will be coming out shortly, so I will give it a try. And I will call and speak with them also – great idea!


  6. Hi, Tom,

    Congrats on your resolution concerning Dragon. I don’t think it will take you 6 Tuesdays to become functional. My previous physician boss was computer illiterate for about 60 years. He decided to learn the computer and there was no limit to his search for equipment and programs. He chose to use Dragon, after researching other programs, and was able to do his own dictation in the office-much to the dismay of the transcriptionist. (But, the requests for pay raises ended.) I borrowed his edition to complete my Master’s document and it was great. I consulted him and he suggests you look at the “preferred” version. He said the vocabulary is more extensive. He did relay some problems he had when he got his new laptop with Vista installed. He spoke with reps from Dragon and they said they were trying to resolve the problems. He had to uninstall Vista and go back to Windows XP to use his version 9. They may have resolved the problems by now, though. Good luck.

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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