On average we speak seven times faster than we can write or type.
So for clinicians and medical practitioners who are expected to produce reams of correspondence and other documentation in addition to managing patient care, dictation clearly has huge advantages in terms of productivity and efficiency. Would you want to spend over an hour typing out letters to referring doctors or 10 minutes dictating them and have someone else type them up? That’s an easy decision, and medical transcription is a well-established allied health service. But what about voice recognition?
Voice recognition has clearly improved in leaps and bounds in recent times but will always have limitations. VR still doesn’t know the difference between “hypertension” and “hypotension” and won’t review previous records to check. VR isn’t going to know that you meant to cc that letter to the same neurologist you cc’d on the last letter for the same patient but just forgot to mention it in your dictation.
Notwithstanding, here are five easy ways to make the most of your medical transcription service and allow you to get back to doing what you do best – practice medicine.
- Check the settings of your recording device.
Whether you use a state-of-the-art Olympus medical-grade Dictaphone or the free Dictadroid Lite app on your trusty old Samsung S5 phone, check your settings. We recommend:
- Switching off voice activation, the short time delay for recording to start and stop combined with varying levels of microphone sensitivity and background noise invariably results in very choppy audio with much of the dictation not getting recorded.
- If your device has settings for audio sample rate, make sure it’s set to no lower than 44.1kHz which should give good voice recording quality in most formats.
- Check that the microphone is free of dust and other contaminants that may affect its sensitivity.
- Provide regular feedback to your typist(s).
Most decent medical transcription services allow you to leave star ratings and comments on transcribed files. Also send back corrected/finalised versions of files for typists to review and refer back to later on.
- Save time when dictating reviews and follow-ups by referencing previously typed files from which to copy and paste details.
Save time with review and follow-up reports by asking your typist to copy and paste details from previous files, be clear about patient details and date of previous files to reference.
- Partially spell out words that may need clarification or are prone to being confused with similar sounding words.
There are many medical terms that sound similar but have different or even opposite meanings e.g. “hyperechoic” versus “hypoechoic” or “abduction” versus “adduction”. Consider partially spelling these out in dictation, “hyper – E R – echoic”, “hypo – P O – echoic”, “A B duction” and “A D duction” to avoid confusion.
- Announce the end of the dictation.
Internet connectivity issues have been known to cause dictation audio files to get truncated while sending to the transcription service. Dictaphones have been left on recording for hours on end after the dictation had apparently been completed. There have even been instances where dictators have fallen asleep while dictating! A simple “end dictation” dictated at the close is enough to assure typists that nothing has been missed, especially when the ending would otherwise sound rather abrupt.
Synapse’s medical transcription service known as “Just Your Type” offers fast and flexible transcription solutions. We offer free sign up, 24 hour turnaround, fully assured data security with no minimum contracts – pay only for what you use. We accept all audio file formats, personalised formatting just the way you want it.