Social Media

This is a little off topic, but I thought this social media article was interesting.  It states that 41 percent of the class of 2011 used social media to look for jobs, and 71 percent expect employers to look at their social media profiles.   Do any of you use social media  for professional purposes? If so, which outlets do you use?

Draft as a Tool

contributed by Julie Wehunt
In previous articles, I spoke of the challenges faced by MTEs during the transition from transcribing to editing. I think one of the most common misconceptions MTEs have during this time is thinking that Speech Understanding is meant to replace the MTE. Now that you are editing, you realize this is not the case. It is very important to keep in mind though as you become comfortable with editing that the draft is to be used as a tool.
I think once an MTE is able to master the navigational, editing, and audio shortcuts and becomes a proficient editor it may be forgotten that the draft is being provided as a tool to help you become more efficient in your position. It is crucial to remember that that the skills you learned as an MTE are just as important as they were when you were typing. Your job continues to require concentration on the medical content of the document only you now enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about formatting and details specific to your different accounts such as whether metric measurements are to be spelled out or abbreviated or whether medical slang is acceptable. Please remember that your medical terminology knowledge and experience is just as important as it was previously. Attention to detail has probably become even more important. It is going to take your expertise to distinguish between similar sounding medications, procedures, or body parts (such as the perineal or peroneal region). Close attention must be given to medication dosages, lab values, left versus right, he/she discrepancies. These are all important details that are crucial to patient care.
So enjoy the freedom that you now are now afforded so that greater attention may be given to the area wherein your expertise lies. Remember that we all have the same goal, to produce high quality, meaningful documents more efficiently!

Hidden Text

Last week I received an email from a reader regarding hidden text. She mentioned that the hidden text is rarely accurate. In fact, most of the time it does not need to be included in the report and she has to delete it. Her question is why is it included when it is just slowing her down.

The text the reader is speaking of is the grayed out text at the beginning of the draft document. The hidden text is confirmation information that is dictated at the beginning of each dictation. This is information such as the patient name, date of birth, date of dictation, the dictators identifying info, etc. In the traditional transcription environment this information would never be typed in the body of the report because it is not necessary. This information belongs in the patient demographics panel. In the editing environment, the same is true. This information is not required in the body of the report. That is why this information is gray. The gray background indicates that this text will not appear in the report. The only time you will see this gray text is in the AnyModal Editor. Therefore, it is not necessary to delete or edit this text for accuracy. Just as you would while typing a traditional transcription job, listen to the dictation to verify that the patient panels have been populated accurately. Then continue on with the report.

So, why does this information appear in the report? Remember the engine is a machine and will make errors. This is why you, as an MTE, will always be so important to the process. At times, the engine might over identify the text that should be hidden. If information that should be included in the report is presented as hidden text, there is no need to retype the info from scratch. With one keyboard shortcut, you can turn the gray background off and edit the text accordingly. If the hidden text was not presented in the draft, you would lose this benefit. It is also helpful to have that text available when special instructions are dictated. After you have completed your edits, you can refer back to the special instructions to verify that the request was fulfilled.

Important notes:
• Do listen to the confirmation information that is dictated. Even though this information is not required in the body of the report, it is still crucial to ensure that the patient demographic panels are accurate.
• Any text with a white background will be included in the final report. If any undesired text has a white background, you are responsible for deleting it. Remember to use your keyboard shortcuts (not your mouse!) to select and delete this text efficiently.
• Each company has a different keyboard shortcut assigned to this feature. Speak to your trainer or account manager for the appropriate instructions.

Changing Playback Speed

Anyone who has done transcription for any amount of time has come across a doctor or two who changes dictating  speed multiple times throughout a report.  They start the report at a normal pace and then turn into Speed Racer half way through.   One of the features in the editor will allow you to change the playback speed  without stopping the audio or taking your hands off the keyboard.  Added bonus, it changes the speed without distorting the audio file.  That means, when you speed up the audio, the dictator will not sound like mouse-like.   This allows you to match the dictator speaking speed with your ability, not the other way around.  This is especially helpful if you are new to editing.   In the past, there has been some confusion as to rather these shortcuts can be used in conjunction with the foot pedal.  They absolutely can be.  They can be used with any playback method, foot pedal or audio shortcuts.

Currently, there are three shortcuts:

  • CTRL+E – This shortcut will slow down the playback speed incrementally. 
  • CTRL+R – With one click, this shortcut will return the playback to the dictator’s actual speed.
  • CTRL+T – This shortcut will speed up the dictation incrementally. 

If you have ever attended a training session with me, you know how I remember these shortcuts….T for turbo, R for regular, and E for easy!   Please remember, these are the M*Modal default shortcuts.  Your company may have decided to change them.  If these shortcuts are not working for you, contact me directly or your account manager.

Put these shortcuts into practice when you edit your next report.   Try slowing down the audio when you come across an unclear word or phrase and then returning it back to the regular rate.   We are interested in hearing how this works for you.  Leave us a comment in the comment section!

We’re still here!

Although it looks like this blog has been abandoned, it has not! We are still here and will be back to posting on a regular basis starting January 3. We are excited to try out some new things. We are also excited to hear your suggestions, ideas, and requests. We’ve gotten some good ones recently and we’re looking for more!

Until then, enjoy the holidays and have a wonderful new year!

New Exercise!!!

So far our main focus with the editing exercises has been learning the keyboard shortcuts, memorizing them through repetitive practice, and increasing efficiency by using multiple shortcuts together.  Now it’s time to take the next step.  After you have all the shortcuts memorized, work on speed. 

We’ll start posting exercises that focus on keyboard shortcuts.  Instead of going through the shortcuts at a leisurely pace, repeat the exercise until you beat the posted time.  If you beat the posted speed, post your speed in the comment section. Maybe we can make it interesting and have a contest!

For anyone who does not have a stop-watch, you have a few options.  I used the stop watch on my cell phone (I found it under the settings option). Another option is or the second hand on your watch.

The first exercise can be found under the Editing Fun tab, exercise 28.

From Our Newsletter

In the last issue of Always Understanding, I addressed over-editing and the challenges presented in switching from typing to editing.  I would like to elaborate on that a bit and talk about specific Book of Style rules where I see MTEs making unnecessary or incorrect edits.  The first one is around eponyms, which are terms such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, Babinski, etc.  Although the eponyms are correct with or without the ‘s (Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer) without the ‘s is now preferred as per the Book of Style.  This is an example of an over-edit that I see quite frequently, where the MTE adds the ‘s.  This edit does not change the medical meaning of the document yet it takes two strokes to add the ‘s .  Again, I think it is a hard habit to break when you become used to typing something a certain way and seeing it in print another way.  Once you make a conscious decision to not make an edit that does not change the medical meaning of the document, it will become as second nature as it was when you were typing.  As a result, you will notice your productivity significantly increase. 

Another edit that I see quite frequently is generic drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.  being capitalized.  This is simply incorrect.  Generic drugs are not capitalized.  Initially this requires a bit of research.  If you do not know whether a drug is generic look it up.  Although this will take a few minutes, it will most likely be done only once.  Along the same lines trademark/brand names of medical equipment, products, etc. is something that requires a bit of effort in that some research is required.  Again this is most likely something that will be done only once but is worth the effort.

The following is a list of trademark and generic drug names that are often confused.  Pick the correct spelling of each.

Prednisone                   prednisone

Xylocaine                      xylocaine

Hydrocodone                hydrocodone

Vicodin                         vicodin

Sterapred                      SteraPred

EnfaCare                      enfacare

lidocaine                       Lidocaine

Enseal                          EnSeal             

PermCath                      Permacath

Promus                         PROMUS

TAXUS                         Taxus

MiraLAX                        MiraLax


Answers:   prednisone, Xylocaine, hydrocodone, Vicodin, Sterapred, EnfaCare, lidocaine, EnSeal , PermCath, PROMUS, TAXUS, MiraLAX.

I hope you found this exercise helpful as you continue to become a proficient editor!