Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Patron Saint of Dictating Physicians

When Richard Brinsley Sheridan's restoration comedy, The Rivals had its world premiere at London's Covent Garden in 1775, audiences were convulsed by the antics of a comic character named Mrs. Malaprop. A haughty, well-meaning society woman who oozed sincerity, Mrs. Malaprop mangled the English language every time she opened her mouth to speak. This character gained such notoriety in England that you can now find the term "Malapropism" in most dictionaries.

Its definition? The ludicrous misuse of words, especially caused by substituting one word for another word which sounds similar.

Most medical transcriptionists would quickly approve the choice of Mrs. Malaprop as the patron saint of dictating physicians. Why?

Because many a physician has earned a solid reputation as a drunk driver on the information highway. These very same doctors are in an acute state of denial when it comes to taking responsibility for the mess they create with regard to documenting patient care.

Unfortunately, that mess has now become a major liability. As the health information management industry moves closer to the electronic medical record, the errors doctors carelessly place into medical records continue to corrupt the data their colleagues need for diagnostic purposes.

[Language Skills Worksheet #3]

Next: What If?

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