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Importance of Proofreading a Transcript in Medical Transcription.

Medical Transcriptionist career is all about accuracy. The ones who are working in this domain often boast about it. It is also immensely satisfying and as they function as a part of the health care team and are directly associated to health of the patients. The best part of it is they function almost independently with no immediate supervision hovering around them. All that is available is often online. It takes a lot of self-motivation and a sense of owning up the responsibility. 

Alongside the other skills, one main important skill is the ability to proof read. It means looking for and tracing all types of errors present in the transcribed document and rectifying them.  

In this context it’s important to know what kinds of errors are likely to occur in the scripts:
Omitting the crucial words in dictation
Picking the incorrect medical or English words
Misspelling the words
Grammatical errors in subject verb agreement and tenses
Punctuation errors – This can cost lives!
Sound-alike words (Homonyms)
Rightly choosing the words when both the homonyms are present in the document (e.g. using             both disc and disk)

As is the case with all other skills, the skill of proofreading gradually improves with practice.  It will help a great deal if you maintain a log of all the possible list of errors you encounter.  And then gradually segregate them as medical non-medical categories and further more into specialties. It will immensely help if you review them regularly.

The following tips will help you in the process of proofreading:

1. Look for the words in reference books as you trace them and not wait till the end of the report.  Build your own library of words and book mark authentic online reference sites.  If you still cannot find your word then leave a blank (*__)

2. Proofread your transcript even as you type so that you can instantly spot errors as they appear on the screen.  

3. Both the medical and English spellchecker is important, of course with grammar turned on.  Always remember that spellcheckers will not trace errors like transcribing ‘disc’ instead of ‘disk’.

4. When you are still learning transcription, it can take a lot of time to trace the mistake you made, remove it and retype it. So, to avoid omitting important dictated words it makes sense to regulate the speed control on the transcriber unit and do it slowly and ensure that no dictated words are missed.  Increase speed gradually as you become more competent and sure.

5. Grammatical errors can be best traced while proofreading.  Read it from start to end once you are done transcribing. 

6. Punctuation errors can prove dangerous as they can actually change the meaning of medical words and context.  Be extremely careful and keep your punctuation references well within your reach. 

Your transcript plays a vital role in a patient’s quality medical care and well being. Make sure your report is error free!

Happy Transcribing then!

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