Dictation Is Faster, But Not Better

Data collection is absolutely paramount to good medicine in the 21st century. Without fast, accurate data on patients and treatments, the ability to practice medicine efficiently can be severely impaired. It’s important to note patient history, to make a note of outstanding features during a diagnosis, to ensure that others can access that information if it’s required at different stages of treatment. Any and all of these things can mean the difference between a treatment that ensures full recovery and time spent trying to uncover that one vital piece of the medical puzzle that someone should have noted, but no one did that can delay the treatment process.

The EHR, or electronic health record, has been a boon to many in medicine for documenting and centralizing patient information. It makes it much easier for those that need a particular patient’s medical information to get it, regardless of whether that patient is a regular visitor or new to a facility. However, the computer based nature of most EHR systems require some kind of data entry, usually typing or interacting with a digital checklist. Some doctors, for the sake of speed an expediency, have been known to resist this, preferring instead to take dictation when collecting data.

However, during a study conducted by the Journal of the Medical Informatics Association, it’s was shown that of the three primary methods of data collection, that is, structured documentation like forms, free notes in EHR and, dictation, it was discovered the dictation is the least reliable method of the three. Test results showed that of the 15 categories used in the evaluation, dictation users scored lower than the other two in three areas, and never surpassed the EHR or structured documentation users in any category. Further results showed that while physicians who used structured documentation scored higher than the others in three areas of evaluation, the general feeling was that, despite the greater accuracy, they still didn’t like using this method, and that was because it slowed them down, compared to the much faster—but less precise—method of taking dictation and making the notes later. In other words, although taking free or structured notes using an EHR system yielded better results for data collection, most users still found it a slow, cumbersome system that impairs their ability to work quickly.

This scenario is just one of many reasons why I urge medical practitioners to consider the Proscribe service. Being forced to choose between expediency and accuracy in medicine is no real choice at all. Patients do need to be seen and treated quickly, but the accurate collection of their medical information and treatment is a vitally important step as well, and it shouldn’t be ignored or rushed.

With one of our trained staff from Proscribe, doctors are freed up both in terms of time and focus. They can now concentrate on the patient in front of them and not have to divide their attention between dealing with a medical problem and ensuring that all the data required is thoroughly documented both for their own reference and that of others that may need this information later in the treatment process. By working with Proscribe, our trained staff will not only work with the EHR form to ensure it is filled out as completely and accurately as possible, they will take the next step to enter that information into the hospital or clinic database, saving time for everyone.

Working with Proscribe and our staff means never having the dilemma of choosing speed over diligence. Get in touch with us today, to see how we can help your practice to work without compromise.