Thursday, September 13, 2007

One Step At A Time

The first, and most obvious step in accessing a digital dictation system is picking up the phone and dialing into the system.
  • If you are dictating from somewhere in the hospital there may be an internal number which you can dial to access the system.

  • If you are dialing into a digital dictation system from your office or home phone, you should have the number of the digital dictation system stored as a speed-dialing key.

  • If you are on staff at more than one hospital, or use more than one digital dictation system in your work, you should carry a small card in your wallet which has the phone numbers for each system and the PIN number you use to gain access to each system.

  • If you are thinking about dictating over a cellular phone, you should remember that anything you say will be broadcast over radio waves, thus violating patient confidiality.

In many ways, navigating your way around a digital dictation system is similar to what you might experience with a sophisticated voicemail system. Once you have dialed into the digital dictation system you will be asked to identify yourself so that the computer can validate your access code and security level. In most cases, you will have a four-digit PIN number. After you have entered this number into the computer (using a touch-tone telephone keypad), you will be asked for several other numbers.

  • The first number you will usually be asked for is used to identify the type of report you are dictating. This code may be a one- or two-digit number, depending on the size of the dictation system and the number of doctors it accommodates. Make sure you know the correct numbers of the report types you will be generating.

  • Following the report type code, some systems will ask you to key in the patient's medical record number. Again, use your telephone keypad to enter the patient's medical record number. Unless you are dictating a preoperative report on a patient who has not been assigned a medical record number, you should be able to find this crucial marker somewhere in the chart or insurance forms you have before you.

Next: The Medical Record Number

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