Dictation 101 – Part 3

Ten Keys to Dictating
a Perfect Report


The first two blogs in this series talked about what you should not do when you dictate! I’m hoping someone read those blogs and may have changed some bad habits.

Let’s talk about making good dictation habits.  I’ll list some dictation tips below:

  • Purchase a digital recorder that dictates in stereo.  They are extremely inexpensive
    and can be purchased for as little as $42.00. If you want all the bells and whistles you can spend more.  If you dictate on a call-in system, please use digital phone lines as analog phone lines will not record your voice.
  • Sit in a quiet room to dictate!
  • Provide transcriptionist with demographics, perhaps an appt sheet, resident’s listing, etc.
  • Always spell names.  There can be 3 or 4 spellings to some common first names, i.e., Christian, Kristen, Kristan, Christan, Krystan.
  • Keep a blank template next to you and follow the order of the template.  There is nothing worse than a report that runs on and on without headers or topics.  Important information gets lost in long running paragraphs.
  • If you must speed through the physical exam portion of the report, offer the transcriptionist a standard dictation and dictate the words “use template” and then change pertinent findings.  This saves your voice and saves the transcriptionist from struggling to understand what you are saying.   We truly understand your need to be efficient and timely.
  • Be careful with the buttons on your recorder!  You may not realize you can easily cut off a person’s name or the end of the Assessment and Plan.
  • Make sure when completing all your dictations that your recorder is turned off and in locked position.   There have been physicians who unknowingly left their recorder turned on  for 8 hours straight and had several personal conversations recorded while doing that!
  • Please speak loud and clear without mumbling or moving your mouth away from the microphone on the recorder.
  • If you have laryngitis, please dictate when feeling better!  If you can only speak in a whisper, we can’t hear you either!

I hope this series of blogs offering you helpful hints on dictation methods will help streamline your dictation.   A few small enhancements can make all the difference when producing a clean medical report.  When your medical findings are well-documented and accurate, then you are providing a true service to your patients.