Apparently some doctors need some training in how to do medical transcription. Tonight as I’m typing all their dictation I’m pondering on why they don’t teach these things in medical school. I think if doctors had to dictate a report, swap dictation and type someone else’s maybe they wouldn’t be so cavalier about how they do it. Maybe, just maybe they’d take 2 minutes extra and make the thing understandable.
I’d like to do my part to make sure that your medical record is transcribed correctly. Mistakes in your medical record can make life very unpleasant as far as insurance goes. Trust me on this one.
1. Do NOT chew gum, eat your meals, chew cud, eat ice, or whatever it is you do when you’re dictating. Keep your mouth clean of debris and your dictation will sound like the English language.
2. Do NOT belch into the telephone. If it’s unavoidable, could you please excuse yourself? You may not realize it, but there really is a human being on the other end of that phone and I really would appreciate it. Especially if it sounds like you need to wipe the phone off. Ick.
3. Do NOT take your hand-held recorder into the bathroom with you. Please. I don’t want to hear my own husband in the bathroom, it’s a sure thing I don’t want to hear you. That’s all I’m going to say about this one. Your mother should have taught you better.
4. Read the chart BEFORE you dictate. Seriously, if I were sitting in a hospital making $20 bucks an hour doing transcription I really wouldn’t care how long you have to review the chart after you dial in and before you begin speaking. But I’m not. I’m sitting at home making less than 10 cents a line and I really don’t want to waste time sitting here listening to papers being flipped while you frantically try to remember who this patient is. In the 5 minutes you waste during your dictation I could do 2 good reports. I’m not kidding.
5. Just because you know what you’re saying does not mean WE (transcriptionists) know what you’re saying. Maybe you’ve dictated a tonsillectomy 10,000 times. Maybe this is the first time we’ve ever worked for your hospital and we don’t know what you’re saying. I had a doctor at one of my hospitals could dictate a T&A in 57 seconds. Could I understand him? No. But I worked for that hospital only and I learned that he said the same thing every single time. So it really didn’t matter. But when I’m in Yahoo, Nebraska, and you’re in San Diego, California, working in a hospital with 800 doctors chances are I have never transcribed a report for you. Please slow it down. You know, malpractice insurance is expensive….
6. If a name is hard for you to pronounce, it’s probably hard for me to spell. Could you please spell names, especially doctor’s names, in reports? And if you want a copy sent to Dr. Smith in New York City, do you think you could possibly give me a first name. That would be nice.
7. If your beeper goes off while you’re dictating please don’t hold the beeper up to the mouthpiece of the phone while you read it. I’m probably going to lose my hearing early from doing this job anyway, you really do not need to hasten the process.
8. Do not tell jokes, yak with the nurses, or answer another phone while you’re dictating. I know there’s a pause button for you to use. I really don’t want to hear the details of your son’s Bar Mitzvah or your golf game this morning. If it’s not part of the medical record can you wait until you’re done dictating? See #4.
9. I love dictators who tell me thanks at the end of dictations. Especially on holidays. We don’t want to be working either.
10. Enunciate. Don’t be afraid to open your mouth. Slurring is only acceptable when you’re drunk. And if you’re dictating I hope you’re not drunk.
11. Don’t whisper. If you’re dictating where everyone and their uncle can hear you, you probably shouldn’t be dictating. If the people around you can’t hear you, chances are I can’t either.
Okay, that’s it for now. I do love my job. Really I do.