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Florida agency implements voice recognition.

The Florida Department of Children and Families are in the final stages of deploying voice recognition software for 75 percent of its field investigators. The concept is to provide the crucial notes on each case that forms the basis of future action. More than 1,600 of the units from Nuance Communications were purchased from the agency's non-recurring budget surplus from 2007, which includes the software company's Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional Edition, sufficient licenses and the field voice recorder itself.

The state's largest social services agency began the process of finding a solution in mid-2008 when 1,000 of the agency's employees were asked about their most urgent needs, which included eliminating paper-based note taking and numerous hours spent in the office typing the reports. Addressing these needs effectively would free up the time of field agents and allow greater accuracy in field notes.

According to the agency's CIO, the software allows the user to control operational commands and place the notes electronically in a certain file within the digital repository via voice--all at up to speeds of 160 words per minute. Although the software requires some "training" to recognize the idiosyncrasies of the individual speaker, all of the agency's field investigators were able to adapt the system in a short period of time. The remaining 25 percent of the state's field investigators who currently do not have the software will likely be funded by the individual regions in which they work.

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Title Annotation:Technology
Publication:Health Management Technology
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Dec 1, 2008
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