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Improving Dictation Quality

The quality of work a medical transcriptionist produces is highly reliant on how well the physician doing the dictation is using his or her dictation equipment. Shoddy dictation does not only make things tough for MT’s, but they can lead to costly documentation errors, putting patients into the harm’s way.

By adhering to the following tips and making sure you are using a high-quality digital voice recorder or premium microphone, you can improve the quality of your dictation.

Speak Clearly

Adopt a conversational tone and talk at a normal rate, so your dictation is audible to MTs. According to microphone type, hold the dictation device 3” from your mouth. It should be held in a vertical, straight position. This ensures the voice does not directly go into the microphone; Instead, it goes over the top of it. Also make sure that your hand does not cover up any part of the recorder. Similarly, don’t move the device to attain greater clarity.

Take Pauses

Don’t just begin immediately as the dictation starts. Take a brief pause before starting or stopping the recording. This prevents your words from getting clipped.

Provide Complete Details

While talking about a patient, it is advised that you spell out their full names, addresses, medical record number, mailing addresses and physicians.

Spell Wisely

Sometimes, two similar letters are heard alike, especially when the listener can’t pick up the accent of the speaker. For instance, “S” and “F” are two letters that get mixed up. To make sure that the MT’s can understand you, you can associate certain meanings to such letters. You may spell “S for Sacramento” or “F for Florida” to help your MT. Additionally, don’t stress too much on “twentieth” or it might be heard as “twenty-eight”.

Select a Quiet Area

Your dictation is expected to become a major failure if you record in areas with distractions such as ringing telephones, people talking, vacuums, music, beepers, and speakers. Sometimes, even a mere air conditioning noise can multiply and degrade the dictation. Select an area that is known for its quietness. The use of lower quality dictation microphones tend to pick up all kinds of noises. Hence, if you dictate in a peaceful, quiet environment, it cannot only bolster results, but help you in managing patient confidentiality.

Rewind and Erase Errors

Rewind and erase are any existing errors. Refrain from making errors and don’t speak something along the lines of “strike that”. Instead, utilize “cue and review”, a feature in the dictation device that allows you to remove your sentences. Such a deletion of errors also ensures that your MT does not misunderstand your statements.

End Properly

After your dictation ends, say “End of Dictation”. This can give a hint to the MT that you no longer plans to continue with further statement and the audio file has ended.