Medical transcriptionists have been proofreading and editing their own typed reports for years. This is nothing new for them. Voice recognition is not even new; it has been around for over ten years. However, more doctors (especially younger ones) are trying to dictate the patient’s notes by using a VR software program. The problem with this is that this type of software requires a lot of training. The person using the software has to go through hours of training the program how to understand his or her voice. If the person has an accent or talks fast it can be even more difficult for the program to adapt to the dictators voice.
Even with hours of training, the program will still have errors on some of the easiest words, especially words that sound a like. Now, if the dictator starts saying complex medical words, the program will surely have problems.
Each time the program types an error the person dictating will have to stop and tell the program to go back and correct it. If there are just one or two errors than this is no big deal. However, if there are many errors, this can become very time consuming. There is also a big possibility that the person dictating may not catch all the errors. Especially if the words typed are spelled correctly but are wrong.
This is where a well trained medical transcriptionist can help. The audio dictation and the draft typed report are downloaded by the MT. The transcriptionist will listen to the audio file while proofreading the typed report. As errors are found, the transcriptionist corrects them. This may sound easy, but, sometimes it will involve researching medical terms to make sure the correct word or medication name is used.
Medical transcriptionists have to be trained in editing. This is not something that can be done by simply proofreading. You have to know what type of errors to look for. This includes misspelled words, grammar errors, punctuation and much more.
If the report is not accurate, it can cause all kinds of problems for the patient, current and future physicians. Doctors may look at reports in a patient’s file to see what medications they are currently on, previous medical issues, allergies, and much more. If the patient is not coherent, and the doctor is going strictly by what is in the report, it must be accurate. If it is not, it could cause the wrong decisions to be made based on inaccurate information.
Some of this information could be inaccurate because of reports created by VR programs. It may type the wrong medication name that sounds like another one. It is the job of a medical transcription editor to find and correct these errors.
Medical transcription schools should always include editing as part of their training program.