Thursday, November 1, 2012

Names and transcription

I suspect every transcription service handles patients' names differently.

For example, in my current transcription, I always start my transcriptions by saying, "Mr. Smith is a 45 year old man..." and then when I read over the transcript, it's always been changed to "The patient is a 45 year old man..." I have no idea why this is.

At another clinic where I worked, I would always spell out the entire name before transcribing, since I thought the transcriber might not have the patient's name automatically available, so having the spelling might help.

One day, I found out differently:

The patient's last name was really long. Like, a long name hyphenated to another long name. So long that in the printout, the patient's first name, Catherine, got cut off. So it looked like:

NAME: Longname-Secondlongname, Catheri

Then all through the dictation, every time I referred to Catherine, it was written as Catheri:

Catheri is a 12 year old girl with a history of....

So obviously the transcriber does not care that I spelled out CATHERINE and even said it during the dictation. They just took whatever first name was printed out for them and inserted it into their transcription.

Good to know.


  1. I've noticed that too, I always start with "Ms. Smith is a 69 year old lady" and it changes it to "the patient is a 69 year old lady." No idea why that is.

  2. A lot of transcriptions use templates and just fill in age and gender which is why you get "The patient" instead of Mr. Smith.

  3. My favorite transcription error is still the one where, "a patchy area of infiltrate in the right lower lobe" came out in translation as "an Apache arrow infiltrates the right lower lobe." That patient had more problems than his pneumonia. Tricia