Medical Transcription Errors and How to Avoid Them

Medical Transcription ErrorErrors in medical transcription can cause serious harm to patients as it can affect diagnosis and treatment. Misspelled words and misleading information will confuse the physician and result in misinterpretations. Physicians may ultimately have to face litigation and penalties due to a mishap caused by such errors.

Studies have looked at the incidence of errors in medical transcription. One study pointed out that flawed transcription of hospital discharge summaries has the potential to cause medication errors and seriously harm patients. In the United States, fatalities have been reported due to medical transcription typing errors. In one case, the deceased had diabetes and the issue was with incorrect transcribing of her dosage which had been typed ‘80’ instead of ‘8’. The woman died after being injected with a dose of insulin that was ten times higher than the required one. The plaintiff sued the hospital and the outsourcing vendor, and the court ordered a $140 million judgment in favor of the plaintiff.

Most physician practices and hospitals outsource their transcription tasks. Choosing the right service provider is necessary for error-free transcripts.

  • Choose a professional medical transcription company: always team-up with reliable company with vast experience in providing medical transcription services. Always check to the selected service provider does not subcontract the work to a home-based transcriptionist.
  • Select a firm with experienced transcriptionists: make sure that the firm has a team of trained and experienced medical transcriptionists. See if they can handle transcription for your specialty. Reliable service providers would offer documentation solutions for all specialties in custom turnaround time. The transcriptionists would be well versed in all medical terminologies and capable of understanding even difficult accents. They can ensure accuracy levels as high as 99 percent accuracy in the transcribed reports.
  • Check out the provider’s QA process: make ensure that the service provider has a stringent QA process in place. A professional medical transcription company would have a multi-level quality control process where the transcripts are thoroughly checked by experts before they are delivered to the client.