Saturday, September 29, 2007

Consciousness Raising Exercise #3

One of the most frequent ploys used by physicians to intimidate fellow members of the patient care team is to accuse others of being jealous that the physician received a better education and that he makes more money than they do. Another tactic is to suggest that a doctor, by definition, is a professional and that anyone who lacks a license to practice medicine is not.

When a doctor haughtily suggests that a medical transcriptionist is jealous because the MT's education was inferior to the physician's, the medical transcriptionist is primed and ready to ask the learned doctor this question:

"Would you please tell me why, if my education was so inferior to yours, it has become my professional responsibility to identify and correct the documentation mistakes in your work that endanger a patient's care and make both you and this hospital vulnerable to a medical malpractice lawsuit? I'm really eager to understand this, especially since these are mistakes that you (as a doctor with such a superior education) should not be making!"

In recent years, the health information management industry has insisted on maintaining the highest professional standards of quality assurance with regard to accuracy in patient documentation. Coders, abstracters, and medical transcriptionists must all be held accountable for the accuracy of their work. And yet the accuracy of their work is totally dependent on the accuracy of the data they receive from doctors.

List ten reasons why dictating physicians should strive to meet the same standards of accuracy imposed on the health information management industry's knowledge workers.











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