Transcription Q&A

Transcription Q&A: July 31, 2007

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Q: In operative reports, the abdomen is "insufflated" to 15 mmHg CO2. At the end of the report, some doctors dictate the abdomen was "desufflated," and some dictate "deflated." Which is correct?

A: Either desufflate or deflate is correct. Interestingly, neither Dorland's 29th Edition nor Stedman's 28th Edition Medical Dictionaries have deflate or desufflate listed. As you know, insufflate means to instill air or gas under pressure; desufflate has become a common term used to expel that same air or gas under pressure, but deflate means the same thing. I would probably opt to use desufflate when the physician dictates insufflate and deflate when the physician dictates inflate (which is dictated much less often), just for the sake of continuity. 

Pati AR Howard, CMT, FAAMT



Q: I transcribe referral letters for 20 different doctors. I have recently been asked what is the average number of minutes an experienced MT should be able to do in an 8 hour shift. I currently transcribe 65-80 minutes daily while my co-workers average 40-60 minutes. My employer wants to set guidelines for all the MTs. Do most facilities have set expectations of their MTs?

A: Usually this is discussed in terms of minutes or lines transcribed per hour. The usual range is approximately 20 minutes of dictation per hour. Our MTs range from approximately 13 to more than 30 minutes of dictation per hour, and cluster around the 20-minute mark. It depends somewhat on the type of dictation (very short vs. long, poor sound quality vs. good, difficult terminology vs. easy). Another way of saying this is that it should take about 3 minutes to transcribe every minute of dictation.

Gail Everett, CMT


Q: I have 2 questions. One is giardia. When it stands alone is it capitalized? According to the BOS, if a genus stands alone it is lower cased. If it is listed with a species, it is upper cased. Does this hold true with giardia? The other question I have is how to spell patellae. We are being told by our QA person that patellae is spelled "pate'llae." I tried explaining that the stress mark was in it for pronunciation purposes, but she said that it is listed in Stedman's this way and therefore that is the way we need to spell it.

A: 1) I note the BOS preference to lowercase genus when appearing singularly, but I personally do not agree with that stance; especially because these are proper names.  Webster's defines genus as a class, race, kind or group defined by common characteristics (Caucasian, Hispanic). I note the BOS preference, but disagree with it-especially when the spellcheck insists on putting that red line underneath it and saying it's misspelled when it stands alone. I would think your facility preference would prevail here.

2)  As far as your QA person insisting on the odd way to separate patellae, does she/he also insist that patel lar be a preferred spelling as well? I know of no dictionary that sets up terms without the appropriate pronunciation key, nor do I know how to explain that set up to someone who does not understand. Doesn't patel lae come up misspelled in your spellcheck? I am surprised that an orthopedist or two hasn't squawked about the peculiar way patellae is being transcribed, or somebody in the coding department hasn't mentioned it to a transcription counterpart. Maybe the department chair of orthopedics would be inclined to have a chat with the QA person. 

Pati AR Howard, CMT, FAAMT



Q: I have been working as a home-based MT for the last 5 years. I am residing in India and I would like to know that can I get direct jobs from USA company/client/etc. I am looking for direct jobs from USA. Please provide me information regarding this as to which USA company outsource medical transcription jobs to India. I am aware of HIPAA compliance and abide to follow the rules. If there is any other option please do let me know.

A: CBay is a global transcription company always looking for qualified applicants. Although most of our clients reside in the United States, our transcription is mostly comprised of Indian PCenters. For someone to get started in transcription we offer training programs to those with no or little experience. Any interest applicant would be required to take an entrance exam and they are placed accordingly to their scoring. We also look for any experienced MT's that would like to be Editors/Proofers. If any candidates are interested in the training program or have experience they can go to CBaysystems.com to apply.
Christopher Foley


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