D. Common sense in transcription

Just as the ability to read a doctor’s handwriting is proportionate to the quality of the penmanship, the ability to type accurate reports is proportionate to the quality of the dictation.  A MLS is not supposed to guess and cannot type what they cannot hear.  Things like yawning, rustling of papers, coughing, sneezing, talking off microphone, other voices and dictation going on in the background, speaking too far away from the recorder, dictating on a cell phone while driving in a car, etc., can have an effect on the audibility of the dictation and the resulting quality of the report.

See:  http://blog.quickfixmt.com/2009/06/i-love-a-challenge-and-you-should-too/#more-156, which reads:

Whether you’re a student, a newbie, or an experienced transcriptionist, you will run across dictators who mumble, slur, talk while eating, talksofast10syllablesbecome1strangesound, or who back up and correct themselves so many times your brain spins in circles trying to sort out exactly what they are trying to say.  These providers may make you want to cry, scream, or pull out your hair, but they also teach you to be a better MT…”

If this were the case, doctors intentionally dictating badly would be considered beneficial for the MLS.  The blogger continues and shows how frustrating medical transcription can be, personally and between co-workers, when inferior working conditions prevent a transcriber from producing the work quality they are capable of performing:

I’ve noticed some MTs have a tendency to “cherry pick” the easiest work in their queue or refuse to learn certain “impossible” providers or tough accounts, and they have all sorts of excuses for doing so, including deciding it cannot be done and giving up, deciding it hurts their production too much to attempt to learn a difficult provider, or the backwards notion that they need  “more experience” before tackling challenging jobs.  This is frustrating for the rest of us who are willing to do our fair share, to be sure, but the MT who avoids challenging work is really just hurting herself and her future career prospects.  The temporary gain in productivity will come back to bite them when jobs are less plentiful and the only straight transcription left is from difficult providers.  Meanwhile, the rest of us who are struggling through the work they dump back into the system are becoming incredibly proficient transcriptionists.

This dissatisfaction with doing transcription can be eliminated by implementing principles 1 through 4 above.  This author does not consider the attitudes in the excerpt immediately above to be inherently a part of doing medical transcription.  Cindi Lauper has a song called “Money Changes Everything” and that also pertains to medical transcription.  Zen Transcription is AMAZED how a sedate job like medical transcription, for which “getting to the chair and staying there” should be the most rigorous demand (being able to sit for long periods without physical side-effects, knowing medical terminology, having good grammar and spelling, being fast typist, able to be isolated without human contact for hours at a time), for which the end-result would seem to benefit patients in general.  However, unrelated factors like being able to tolerate counterproductive working conditions, not being given the information needed to have good productivity (even though being paid on a per line basis), being politically deferential and subservient, and overlooking the greed of the medical transcription services seem to be the HIGHEST priorities.

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