Sunday, September 30, 2007

Changing Work Styles

In the old days, a physician might dictate some reports and leave the patients' charts on the transcriptionist's desk with instructions to glean any additional information from the chart and put it in its proper place in the report.

If a transcriptionist mentioned that the physician had dictated a laboratory value which was obviously incorrect, the physician might wave his hand and casually say "Well, just go ahead and fix it" on the assumption that the transcriptionist had the time, the ability, or the authority to search for a patient's chart, find the appropriate information, and make the necessary correction.

In today's world, this is impractical, inefficient, and more often than not, physically impossible. Because transcriptionists are not necessarily working on-site, they rarely have access to a patient's chart. And, since some transcriptionists work during the evening and on weekends (when a Medical Record Department or physician's office might be closed), they cannot always ask someone to access a patient's chart for them.

Medical transcriptionists are no longer paid to bring productivity to a grinding halt in order to embark on an informational "wild goose chase" in the hope of finding a patient's medical record number -- or the proper mailing address of someone who is supposed to receive a copy of a dictated report.

That's no longer their job.

With computers having changed so much of the work process, let's take a close look at who is responsible for each part of the information chain

Next: Dictating Physician
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