Thursday, September 6, 2007

Medical Transcriptionist

A medical transcriptionist possesses the language and word processing skills necessary to listen to medical dictation and transform a doctor's dictated speech into an accurate piece of patient documentation. This requires a substantial background in medical terminology, grammar, and computer technology.

In order to perform this task accurately and efficiently, the transcriptionist relies on a variety of reference books and computer programs to edit, revise, and clarify dictation without altering the meaning of the doctor's words.

In order to protect both the patient and the business/institution which is rendering patient care, the medical transcriptionist must also develop a strong sensitivity to the medicolegal implications of (and the responsibilities inherent to) the process of transcribing patient records. This includes reporting unusual circumstances or pieces of information, as well as errors and discrepancies in dictation which represent potential risk factors for management.

In order to successfully convert voice to text, a medical transcriptionist must possess:

  • A solid background in medical terminology (including anatomy, pharmacology, and a knowledge of surgical instruments) plus sufficient medical knowledge and insight to make the proper judgment calls when a physician's dictation is inaccurate or incorrect.

  • Well-tuned ears which are capable of interpreting medical terminology spoken in a wide variety of foreign accents.

  • An ability to edit a dictating physician's poor grammar "on the fly."

  • Strong word-processing skills backed by moderately strong computer skills.
  • A wide variety of reference tools accompanied by the knowledge of how to use them.

What is the difference between using a live medical transcription and having your dictation processed by a speech recognition engine? A speech recognition engine performs its tasks robotically. The transcriptionist is paid to care about the quality of the final work product.

[Consciousness Raising Exercise #4]

Next: Clerical Staff In The Medical Record Department

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