Many physicians believe dictation and transcription is the quickest method for documenting clinical procedures, allowing them more time for doctor-to-patient interaction. Which can be true, when everything goes perfectly. However, when physicians dictate into a microphone or phone, many factors can contribute to poorly transcribed procedure notes, resulting in more physician time spent on patient record reviews, corrections and rework.
Medical transcription errors are more common than you think
An International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance study found an average of 315,000 transcription errors in one million dictations. These errors arise due to many factors including:
- Mumbled, unclear words or phrases: Many clinicians document the same procedure multiple times each day. Dictating the same procedure can result in mumbled words, and transcribers may not understand the dictation.
- Accents: Transcribers may have a difficult time understanding accents or words pronounced differently.
- Missed information: Dictating clinicians may inadvertently miss critical information when documenting a procedure, leaving crucial information out of the final procedure note and missed reimbursements.
- Background noise: Shuffling papers, coughing or other background noises can lead to misinterpreted procedure data while transcriptionists listen to a recording of the dictated procedure.
Unfortunately, all of these issues often result in costly and avoidable mistakes in transcription that can negatively impact patient care.
Losing time dictating and transcribing
While many clinicians believe they are saving time by dictating and having a medical transcriptionist (MT) transcribe the actual note, the process often takes hours, if not days, to complete. The time it takes to receive a completed, thorough procedure note is lengthy. That’s because after a procedure is dictated, a transcriptionist may spend hours recording the procedure information. Then, clinicians must review the transcribed procedure note and make any necessary edits. And if a transcriptionist misinterpreted a recording, facilities can receive less reimbursement due to incorrect coding. An incorrect diagnosis or incomplete patient care can be catastrophic and are also risks of poor dictation and transcription.
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