How Medical Transcriptionists can become more Efficient

Even though medical transcription is an integral part of the health care system, the process can become tedious and boring for the people transcribing.  The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) are currently updating their “Metrics for Measuring Quality in Medical Transcription”, which is slated for a fall debut.  If you cannot wait a couple more months, Cheryl McEvoy of Advance’s Journal for Health Information Professionals, has you covered with tips for improving health documentation.  Below is a summary of her advice:

Rushing: Do not focus on your speed while transcribing.  Accuracy is the most important part of documentation and typing faster does not improve the quality of the document.  According to Barb Marques, President of AHDI, you can improve your pace without sacrificing quality by building templates around each doctor that has a customary way of dictating specific sections.  However, don’t assume that every dictation will be standardized and be sure to listen to each one carefully.

Zoning Out: Marques says that transcriptionists should be actively engaged while at work.  You need to be extremely focused on what you are typing and if it actually makes sense within the context of the document.

Distractions: This is mainly a problem for MTs who work from home.  Instead of working from the living room with the TV on and your kids running around, find a quiet area in the house to get your work done.  Also, have quality head phones and a comfortable chair to make the experience enjoyable.

Blanks: Sometimes there are spots where we cannot decipher what the doctor said.  Don’t worry about it, and continue with the rest of the document.  By the end, you should have a better grasp of the context of the document so you can go back and try to fill in these blanks. 

Errors: Donna Brosmer, a quality officer at Spheris in Franklin, TN strongly encourages MTs to proofread their work.  It doesn’t take too long to go over the work you have done.  By doing so, you can eliminate grammatical errors and typos and avoid mistakes with drug names and doses.  She also advises to get in the habit of seeing errors by searching for errors in signs or restaurant menus. 

Falling Short: It is unlikely to achieve perfection in every document you produce.  However, striving towards a perfect score is commendable.  Ask your quality assurance supervisor for regular and timely feedback.  You should look to accept constructive criticism from your QA supervisor to improve your work.

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