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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dictation Guidelines

So much of what happens in healthcare goes on behind the scenes. Things that the patients never realize. For example, there are rules of style that apply to my profession, and we are expected to abide by those rules. Our job security depends on it. For pretty much every function within a hospital or clinic, there are SOPs, or Standard Operating Procedures. While I had never seen this particular set of guidelines before, intended for the physicians who dictate our medical reports, I ran across it and thought I'd post it, just so you'd know that they, too, are held to certain expectations. (cough... sputter...)


Dictation Guidelines for Physicians:

Adherence to these guidelines will assure the highest quality transcribed reports in the shortest amount of time.

~When your cell phone rings, please do not hit the pause button on the dictate station. We love to hear you fighting with your spouse, or yelling at your kids. It makes us work faster and more carefully. We don't want you mad at us.

~When certain bodily functions happen, please don't bother to be discreet, and by all means, don't bother to say excuse me. We rather enjoy the sound, and are so happy that you feel better.

~At the beginning of the dictation, take as deep a breath as you possibly can. Now, try to dictate the entire report before you have to inhale again.

~Gum? Sure! Pass it around to all your dictating doctor friends. The sound of your tongue carressing the wad in your mouth is a perfect background to the indecipherable lab results and bacteria species that you're dictating!

~When dictating a particularly difficult word or phrase, please turn your head and speak directly into your armpit.

~If you have to sneeze or cough suddenly, please remove your head from your armpit and sneeze or cough directly into the microphone.

~We charge per character, including periods. An effective way to cut your cost is to dictate your entire report as one sentence.

~If you must eat while you dictate, please stay away from foods such as marshmallows, bananas, and pudding. Apples, pretzels, and celery are much better choices.

~Please don’t stop dictating when you yawn. It throws off our rhythm.

~When dictating in your car, turn the radio up a little bit louder. We love to tap our feet while we're working. And when you forget to turn off your recorder, sing a little louder. You really have a nice voice.


Most of the physicians in this town do pretty darn good with these guidelines!

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