The Power of Suggestion

Read the through the following paragraph.

THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in what order the ltteers in a word are, the only iprmoatnt thing is that the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.  The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit porbelm.  This is bcuseae the human mind deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe.

Did you find that it was not all that hard to follow? Amazing, isn’t it?  Your perception of what you are seeing is not always what you are reading. The same is true when editing.  Sometimes you may assume what you hear and read are the same, when they are not!  As human beings, we are prone to misunderstanding what we hear and seeing what we think we should see. Have you ever proofread a document to perfection, only to come back to it the next day to find a glaring error?

 “How did THAT get there?”

 When transcribing, you have probably come across situations where you believed you had heard the dictation correctly, only to re-listen to it and discover the dictator actually said something different. When added to our tendency to see what should be there, rather than what really is, we can see why editing can be such a challenge.

 This power of suggestion becomes more problematic for the Medical Transcription Editor when editing than transcribing.  In traditional transcription, if you do not understand a word, you leave a blank. In editing, if you overlook a misrecognized word, the error could pass through to the patient record.

 Reading and listening at the same time makes us more susceptible to the power of suggestion. 

 By listening attentively for content, we can avoid this pitfall.

 Power of Suggestion often occurs with:

  • Sound-alike Words
  • Sloppy Dictation
  • Accented Dictators
  • Repetitions
  • Pronouns and Possessives

 Do you have any humorous power of suggestion mishaps?  If so, share them in the comment section.

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