How to Use Hidden Mode in Dragon Medical

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What Is Hidden Mode?

For users of Dragon Medical, Hidden Mode provides two functions you wouldn’t normally have access to: 

  1. If your Electronic Medical Record (EMR) requires the use of the Dictation Box, Hidden Mode allows you to work almost as seamlessly as you would were you dictating directly into the patient chart.
  2. This mode also enables you to review other websites or applications, dictating notes without having to click the Dictation Box, and without it getting in the way of your research.

Before we go further with Hidden Mode, let’s look at the Dictation Box.   

What Is the Dictation Box?

The Dictation Box is the tool that Dragon Medical One uses to interface with the myriad EMRs available to clinicians. While it does serve other purposes as well, it is primarily a platform for integration. You can find the Dictation Box by going to the Dragon Bar and clicking on Tools > Dictation Box. Or, you can simply use the verbal command, “Open Dictation Box.” 

What Does It Mean to Anchor the Dictation Box?

If you go into the settings menu of the Dragon Bar, you’ll see a curious feature on the Dictation Box tab. Click Tools > Options > Dictation Box and find the checkbox at the top that says, “Anchor Dictation Box to application.” This is not Hidden Mode. Rather, anchoring the Dictation Box tethers it to the active application at the time it is opened. For instance, open Notepad and the Dictation Box (anchored), and then start up a web browser. As usual, Dragon will change your speech into text and place it in the Dictation Box. When you use the “Transfer Text” command, your dictation will then be pasted into Notepad, regardless of where you click your mouse or which application is active. Then, the Dictation Box closes.   

How Do I Use Hidden Mode?

Hidden Mode is slightly different. Go back to the Dictation Box tab in the Options menu. Jump down to the section labeled “Hidden Dictation Box behavior.” Here are the recommended boxes to check: 

  • (Required) Open Dictation Box as hidden
  • Allow user commands when hidden
  • Allow voice dictation commands when hidden
  • Leave Dictation Box open after text is transferred

Also, leave “Dictation Box visibility” at 50% to start with—you can always change the transparency to suit your tastes. With the above configuration, here’s what will happen when you open the Dictation Box: 

  • The Dictation Box will start up in a translucent state.
  • Any dictation that you make will end up in the Dictation Box, no matter where your mouse is pointed.
  • In order to move a dictation to a specific field or application, click wherever you need the text to go and say, “Transfer text.”
  • After you transfer your Dragon-recognized text, the Dictation Box remains open.
  • Continue with your patient note. There’s no need to click back to the Dictation Box—Dragon will put your text there automatically.

How Does That Help Me?

First of all, Hidden Mode powers you to do research and make notes without having to worry about whether your mouse is clicked into the Dictation Box. It also allows you to make the Dictation Box as visible or invisible as you need it to be. Second, and more importantly, Hidden Mode enables you to work effectively within an EMR that doesn’t play well with Dragon Medical One. In essence, opening the Dictation Box as hidden allows you to dictate parts of the patient chart as needed, without having to move back and forth between Dragon and your EMR. With Hidden Mode, you only need to dictate, click into the appropriate EMR field, and say, “Transfer text.”