Social services

Social Work Month 2024: How AI-powered speech recognition can boost social worker productivity

A young woman working on a digital tablet in a modern office

As casework and other documentation demands stack up in the social care sector, the pressure only grows for social workers. For National Social Work Month, we’re exploring how professionals in the sector can use AI-powered speech recognition as a force multiplier to tackle documentation more efficiently and reclaim time in their working days.

Social Work Month is a valuable time to step back to celebrate the hard work and dedication that social workers put into their roles every day to deliver life-changing services to our communities. It’s also a chance to better understand the pressures created by their roles and spot opportunities to help empower social workers to tackle growing workloads.

More often than not, paperwork doesn’t start at 9:00 am and finish at 5:00 pm. For social workers who regularly travel outside the office or work in the field, heavy reporting requirements often extend beyond the 40-hour work week.

Many roles in this caring profession demand time-consuming documentation tasks, whether it’s everyday notetaking and correspondence with service providers, or creating detailed reports and care plans for clients. They’re all unavoidable responsibilities that help organizations deliver valuable services—yet they can come at the cost of a social worker’s time and wellbeing.

That’s why, this Social Work Month, we’re working towards helping agencies throughout the U.S. (United States) focus on this year’s key theme: empowering social workers. We’ve seen the pressure documentation puts on social workers and we’re working closely with professionals in the sector to understand what might help them in their daily workflows.

A way to tackle documentation more efficiently

Most social workers find themselves continually dividing their time between the office and the road, going to where clients need them most. That means any productivity tools need to support a flexible workflow that lets documentation start in one location and finish in another without any hassle.

Today, thanks to robust, cloud-based speech recognition solutions coupled with other cloud-hosted solutions like case management systems and Microsoft 365, social workers who work outside the office are better equipped to complete paperwork anywhere. They can dictate documents, reports, and forms in real time from their desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

In many cases, using speech recognition doesn’t just speed up the time it takes social workers to complete notes—it can also improve the detail and specificity of their documentation.

What could you achieve with AI-powered Dragon speech recognition?

While cloud-based and mobile speech recognition may not reduce the amount of documentation you face each day, it can help you maximize your productivity without sacrificing quality. With the right speech recognition solution, you can create accurate, comprehensive documentation three times faster than typing and reclaim time in your working day—whether it’s spent adding value to the services you deliver to clients or taking back some of your personal time at home.

As you celebrate Social Work Month, it’s worth considering how productivity tools like Dragon Professional Anywhere could support you in your working day, and what you could do with a few hours back every week. It’s been great to see how Dragon has already helped social workers so far, and we can’t wait to see the difference it makes as more professionals introduce it to their daily workflows.

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