Medical and surgical transcriptionists play important roles in patients’ visits to Mayo Clinic. For more than 80 years, employees in these roles have supported physicians and surgeons, documenting the patient encounter, and protected the quality and integrity of the patients' health care record in Arizona, Florida and Rochester.
Here are six things you may not know about these critical roles and the employees who fill them:
1. Transcriptionists serve as the guardians of a quality health information record by identifying discrepancies in dictations and bringing them to the attention of health care providers.
Here are real-life examples:
One transcriptionist wrote: “Regarding the report you dictated, you stated the patient has patent fallopian tubes. Upon investigation, the surgical report indicates a complete resection of both fallopian tubes was performed. I just wanted to double-check this with you to ensure document quality.” The physician responded: “Thank you for being thorough! Please change that to "bilateral fallopian tube ostia" instead of patent fallopian tubes! Thank you!”
Physician Comment: “Thank you so much for catching my dictation error on Mr. Patient's note and putting in a clarification marker to notify me that the correct date in the plan should be in the future rather than the past. I would not have noticed otherwise. I truly appreciate your vigilance to ensure accurate patient documentation. I am grateful for your and your colleagues' hard work in facilitating patient care.”
Physician Comment: “The transcriptionist picked up a subtle error in my note by comparing what I dictated to the general information for this patient. This demonstrates exemplary attention to detail. Please thank her on my behalf.”
2. On average, they transcribe more than 850,000 minutes of authored dictation into the electronic health record per month. Every minute of dictation takes about four minutes to transcribe, so those 850,000 minutes of dictation work out to about 56,000 hours of transcription time a month.
3. Transcriptionists transcribe more than 3 million reports annually.
4. They do more than just transcribe dictations. They help provide department customer service. When a provider calls the dictation priority line, a transcriptionist may answer the call.
5. They possess average of 18 years of experience, demonstrating proficiency with medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, procedures, diagnoses, pharmaceuticals and proofreading.
6. Speech recognition has transformed their work. They use keyboard shortcuts to medically edit speech-recognized text. As a result, this has transitioned their roles from straight transcription to a combination of medical editing and transcription.