Accuracy in medical transcription is essential to any good healthcare practice. Transcription services make this more easily possible as long as physicians and staff are mindful of careful transcription habits.
Clear audio communication improves the quality of transcription, which enables quicker, more accurate written notes and therefore less time-consuming editing by the dictating physician or staff.
If sections of notes are coming back to your clinic without clarity, or a particular staff member’s notes are consistently confusing, it is likely attributable to the quality of the recorded audio.
Let us take a look at how to record the best audio so that your medical transcription records are complete and accurate.
Invest in high-quality recording equipment
Your equipment can make or break the quality of your medical dictation. Invest in a top quality microphone that is unidirectional or omnidirectional. Depending on transcription intentions, you might need to purchase both. Most clinicians need a unidirectional mic to record dictation from only the dictating physicians him/herself about the patient’s care. On the other hand, during a group discussion, an omnidirectional mic will enable recording amongst multiple participants. Your microphone should be covered, padded and capable of recording solid audio. Before investing in a mic, ask for examples of audio recorded with the device.
Use good headphones
If it isn’t too distracting when with patients, you can use headphones. However, headphones might be better suited for recording details outside of the visiting room. Good headphones will eliminate outside noise, allowing you to stay focused on your thoughts and clearly articulate all patient information and document patient history.
Purchase an audio limiter
An audio limiter compresses incoming noise into a pre-set decibel range so that in the event of outbursts, the recording is not jeopardized.
Design a stable recording environment
Wherever you intend to record, set up the surrounding environment to cater to top quality audio. If you are set to record notes throughout dialogue during patient visits, plan to sit in the same area of the examining room where objects have been cleared or moved to reduce unnecessary cluttering and background noise. Keeping one consistent recording area will make it easier for recorded files to be understood and transcribed. Before initial patient recordings, practice recording in different areas to find which space delivers the clearest audio.
Practice strong recording form
Keep the mic close to your face, just beyond the chin. Annunciate thoroughly as you speak slowly and loudly. If you face interruptions, pause and begin again from the top of the last thought.
Avoid recording conversations
If you are interrupted, a conversation is taking place nearby or recorded participants begin to speak at the same time, pause the recording. Overlapping conversations will muddle the context and accuracy of your notes. It’s best to pause, let the conversation play out and begin again with only one person speaking at a time.
Quality recording software
Recording software is just as important as your recording hardware devices. Software makes the transition from audio to type form smoother, allowing you to receive transcription sooner and with greater accuracy. Software programs will work to automatically perfect the audio in the ways described above. Count on your recording software to reduce noise, playback audio, adjust pitch intonation, add special effects, edit wherever needed and compress files. File compression is doubly beneficial to your storage devices and to your patients or clients who need to open and access audio files.
The quality of your audio recordings directly affects the quality of your transcribed notes, so it is imperative you invest in quality equipment and train yourself and staff to use devices correctly.
Get in touch with Mercedes Transcription
To better understand the benefits of quality recording hardware and software, how to produce the best dictation and why medical transcription is so important for the future of your practice, reach out to us at Mercedes Transcription. Whether you are looking to implement a new medical transcription program in your clinic or you want preliminary information on hardware and software options, we are here to walk you through the pros, cons and all extensions of working with audio transcription. We look forward to working with you!