Friday, September 14, 2007

Consciousness Raising Exercise #1

A state medical association is conducting an all-day workshop entitled "Practice Management For The 21st Century." One of the speakers during the morning session is a risk manager who repeatedly advises physicians to dictate all reports and correspondence for their private practices.
The risk manager stresses that the only way attorneys can defend a physician in a medical malpractice lawsuit is if the patient's chart provides clear and tangible proof of what the doctor did. He closes his speech by warning doctors that, with the increasingly litigious nature of our society and the changes in documentation requirements being imposed by third party payers, the only way to go is to use a professional medical transcription service.
The owner of a medical transcription service has been asked to speak during the afternoon session. During her presentation she stresses that medical transcriptionists are not just typists, they are medical language specialists who must possess a unique set of core competencies in order to perform their work. She reminds the doctors in the audience that a professional medical transcriptionist is the sentry who acts as a doctor's first line of defense against a medical malpractice lawsuit.
As part of her presentation, the woman recites numerous physician bloopers, which fill the room with laughter. She closes by noting that few (if any) of the doctors in the room possess sufficiently strong language skills to be hired to transcribe dictation from their professional colleagues.
One of the physicians in the audience raises his hand and asks the following question:

"I understand what you're saying about medical transcriptionists and what that guy said earlier this morning about medical transcription being the only way to go. But when I'm in surgery, the people in the front office aren't doing anything. Why can't they transcribe?"

In 100 words or less, answer the physician's question.

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