Friday, September 14, 2007

Identifying Poor Dictators

When transcriptionists complain about a doctor's poor dictation, they are often told to "just shut up and type." However, using a digital dictation system, it is easy to identify doctors who might be having problems with dictation simply by examining their reports to see if the length of the file is "within normal limits."
For example, suppose you want to see how much time people are averaging on discharge summaries. Generate a report showing all the discharge summaries dictated within a particular month. Divide the total length of dictation that was logged on the system for these reports by the total number of discharge summaries that have been dictated. This will give you the average length of dictation recorded for a discharge summary.
Suppose that figure is 8.23 minutes. Take the same information used to generate your report and sort the data by the length of dictation. A quick look at the high end of the report will reveal which doctors are taking longer than others to dictate their discharge summaries. When you find a doctor whose dictation is consistently far afield of the mean,you know there is a problem.

Having identified doctors with potential problems, the supervisor can then check with medical transcriptionists to see if the doctor in question is particularly long-winded, has trouble forming his thoughts, wastes time while dictating, or speaks English as a second language. That doctor might need some coaching in how to improve his dictation techniques in order to bring the average length of his reports back "within normal limits."

Next: Finding Reports

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