Monday, September 10, 2007

Slow Down and Live Longer

By dictating at an unnatural speed, a physician can effectively sabotage the productivity of fellow members of the patient care team. The time lost by medical transcriptionists who must back up and fix numerous mistakes in a report (before a doctor is even asked to fill in the blanks that could not be understood), represents a hidden expense to the hospital, transcription agency, and the medical transcriptionist who must bear the cost of correcting the doctor's sloppy work.
The best way to sensitize yourself to the problem is to spend several hours attempting to transcribe reports that have been dictated by your colleagues.

Go down to your hospital's Medical Record Department and ask if they can re-record or "bleed" some reports onto a tape for you. Ask the transcription supervisor to give you a sampling of some of the faster doctors, some doctors who speak English as a second language, and some of the hospital's worst dictators.

It won't take long for you to understand the problem and the need to attack it at its source.

Doctors who earned money in medical school by transcribing on a part-time basis have occasionally interrupted a colleague who was dictating and said:

"God dammit, slow down! Someone on the other end of the phone has to understand what you're saying!"

[Consciousness Raising Exercise #5]

Next: As Our World Churns

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