Over-Editing Exercise

Below is an article written by Julie Wehunt for our Always Understanding newsletter.  If you would like to be added to the newsletter distribution list, email us your name and email address.

 It seems to me, and understandably so, that it is quite challenging to switch from “typing” mode to “editing” mode.  The steps we took automatically as transcriptionists to change or add punctuation or sentence structure while typing a document does not necessarily apply when editing documents.  Since with editing the “meat” of the document is already there, the MTE must remember to remain focused on the medical accuracy of the document while increasing productivity.  As transcriptionists we became experts in the English language.  We learned to be perfectionists when it came to spelling, grammar and punctuation.  I am not saying that any of these things are any less important than they were when we were typing but what I am saying that our focus has changed in that we must ensure the medical accuracy of our reports.  We don’t want to impede our productivity by changing punctuation and rearranging sentences that do not impact the medical meaning of our documents.  The following exercises are designed to help you realize what “over-editing” is and recognizing which edits are not necessary as far as the medical content of the sentences.

What edits would you make in the following sentences?

  1. There is no tenderness  guarding or rebound tenderness.a.    There is no tenderness, guarding, or rebound tenderness.
    b.    There is no tenderness, guarding or rebound tenderness.
    c.    The patient has no tenderness, guarding or rebound  
            tenderness.
    d.    No edits. 

     2.    Ears nose and throat are clear.

              a.    Ears, nose and throat are clear.
              b.    The patient’s ears, nose and throat are clear.
              c.    Ears, nose, and throat are clear.
              d.    No edits.

     3.   Patients swelling was 2+ in upper and lower extremities.

              a.   Patient’s swelling was 2+ in upper and lower extremities.
              b.   The patient’s swelling was 2+ in upper and lower
                     extremities.
              c.   Patient’s swelling was 2+ in the upper and lower
                     extremities.
              d.   No edits.

     4.   Patient is awake, alert and oriented x3. 

             a.    The patient is awake, alert and oriented x3.
             b.    Patient is awake, alert, and oriented x3.
             c.    The patient is awake, alert, and oriented x3.
             d.    No edits.

    5.    Sponge and needle counts pronounced correct.

            a.     The sponge and needle counts pronounced correct.
            b.     Sponge and needle counts were pronounced correct.
            c.     The sponge and the needle counts were pronounced 
                     correct.
            d.     No edits.

Following are the answers:

  1. b.
  2. a.
  3. a.
  4. d.
  5. d.

While adding words or punctuation to the above sentences will not make the sentences incorrect, additional strokes are required which decreases productivity.  Every stroke matters while editing!  I think since it has become second nature for us to “fix” grammar and punctuation it will be a little difficult to “unlearn” this behavior but once we do it will become second nature as well and we will notice an increase in our productivity.

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5 thoughts on “Over-Editing Exercise

  1. It is difficult to go from the typing mode to the editing mode. I feel my fingers have a hard time getting and sustaining a steady rhythm. I have been doing the SR work for almost 2 years now and I have seen some improvement in my production. Hoping in time I will see more improvement. Thanks for the exercise. Keep them coming!

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