Dictation: Giving Physicians a Break While Avoiding Costly Medical Errors
Overworked professionals, regardless of industry, are far more likely to make mistakes. For medical professionals, however, particularly when it comes to documentation, those mistakes risk profound repercussions for both medical providers and their patients. They’re also notoriously difficult to correct once they’ve been made.
Earlier this year, researchers from Johns Hopkins released a report pointing to medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer. From typos to incorrect dosing to misdiagnoses, the consequences of these mistakes can range from mundane to catastrophic—blamed for 250,000 to 400,000 deaths annually. Beyond medical mistakes, documentation errors can also wreak havoc in other areas of patients’ lives, such as when applying for life insurance.
Although completely eliminating such errors would require both industry and regulatory efforts of enormous proportions, providers can leverage a simple workflow strategy to safeguard against many of these mistakes. Dictation allows doctors to spend less of their time on documentation while sharing the workload with trained specialists who can process the records—ensuring accuracy and integrity are maintained.
As we recently highlighted, the advent of electronic medical records (EMRs), which originally heralded a new age of documentation ease and efficiency, actually created more administrative work for doctors. As a result, EMRs are cited in study after study as a leading factor in the twin epidemics of physician and nurse burnout. In many of those same studies, however, dictation and transcription have been highlighted as preferred strategies to make EMRs more physician friendly.
By relying on dictation, which can be seamlessly integrated into the EMR, physicians can get back to the reason they entered medicine—to care for patients. Because, as the Johns Hopkins researchers were quick to note, these errors rarely stem from poor medical care but rather a systemic problem that places undue—and out-of-scope—burden on chronically overworked doctors and providers.
A state-of-the-art dictation and transcription platform can deliver proven benefits to physician practices, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs) and medical transcription services organizations (MTSOs) of all sizes. To learn more about how these can be successfully integrated with leading EMR systems, read about Doc-U-Scribe or contact Saince.