In an attempt to get some exposure about the issues surrounding healthcare documentation in our country, I've been contacting CNN/Sanja Gupta as one potential investigative journalist and the Erin Brokovich Organization.  I want to encourage others to do the same and let me know if you make any efforts so we can add them to the list here and follow our story along on the way to EXPOSURE.  I'm new to this type of thing so feel free to give me any advice on how to break through to EXPOSURE.

Let's get EXPOSED!

Click on an image and voice your concerns.  Contact these or other resources, then REPORT IT HERE so we can begin to log our efforts.

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14 Comments

  1. quistmed91 - November 11, 2015, 1:29 pm

    This comment has gone to all the suggested media and the white house: I am 71 years old, still working 40 hours/week (at home) as a medical transcriptionist. We are a rare breed as not everyone can do what we do — lots of knowledge, savy, speed and accuracy (99.5% required by my company). However, my income for full-time work has dropped in 7 years from $38,000 to $22,000 a year. Our wages have been cut partly because of voiceprompt where the computer transcribes the doctor’s dictation and we “edit.” It is assumed by “management” this is faster. No way!! The computer is dumb as a rock. And with so many “foreign accent” dictators, there is difficulty interpeting voices. Our job is to clean up some pretty sloppy dictating (that might scare you)! No one could possibly support themselves let alone a family on our wage. We might as well clean the toilets (no insult intended) at the hospital than type these critical reports for the emergency room, surgeries, etc. A lot of people have left the profession for other work. I have stayed put because I can collect social security and make up for the loss in wages, while I bide my time to retirement. This is a travesty when the nurses and doctors make 4 to 25 times what we do, and daily we also protect the health of patients!! Our accurate reports save lives, and we are treated as “nonentities” by the medical community. We work at home and are just shadows — while every day we are the glue that keeps healthcare flowing. One mistake on a medicine dosage in a report, for example, and zap!! Someone may have a critical effect or die!

  2. Debbie - October 13, 2015, 9:03 am

    There are many great things the technology affords. It is our lack of process improvement and sound implementation practices, to include those things you mention, that make the problems. IMO, the entire massacre of this industry is due to poor or no proper quality analyses. I don’t think the transcribed record is that accurate either, to be honest. Again, there are no checks there, no training and managing dictation quality, no analysis of proper content. What we need is a proper process improvement of all of it. We have no idea which is better than the other, it isn’t analyzed properly. Thanks for commenting. So sorry for the loss of your hospital family.

  3. Debbie - October 13, 2015, 8:59 am

    Yes, I mean, we just have to make some effort! Thanks for trying. If everyone tried a little, I think we could turn this thing around with persistence.

  4. Wijsneus - October 12, 2015, 4:00 pm

    Okay, I’m not the most articulate writer out there, but give me a few days to come up with a letter, and then I’ll start shooting some out. Heck, what can they do? Say no?

  5. alawrence - October 12, 2015, 9:01 am

    I have spent two weeks grieving. Grieving the loss of not only my job, but the disappearance of the industry that I love and have been dedicated to for 30 years. My employer, a local hospital, has outsourced our transcription to an MTSO. This is my last week to work for this hospital. Concurrently, I am recertifying my CMT credentials, which involves studying current trends in the industry. What a dichotomy I am seeing. While learning about dangerous abbreviations which should not be used, I glean the EMR and see the point-and-click automated reports created by physicians and ancillary staff fraught with not only the use of these abbreviations, but many inconsistencies that endanger the patient’s health. The gap between the precise accuracy of a transcribed medical record and the technological capabilities made within a record with a computer are wide. This issue needs exposure!

  6. maggie27377 - May 27, 2014, 6:11 pm

    For a long time, I mean at least a year, my medical record showed I had a previous hysterectomy. I had to rant and rave and become a sarcastic bitch in order to get it removed from my record. In my mind, that’s serious. Suppose I was being worked up for abdominal pain or something and my doctor thinks, hmmm, well it couldn’t be a fibroid or uterine problem because she’s had a hysterectomy. Maybe that sounds silly, but really, we aren’t privy to the doctor’s thought processes when he/she is trying to diagnose us. I also have allergies listed on my chart to things that I AM NOT ALLERGIC TO!! The hysterectomy error comes from a platform that was created by a clinic’s IT dept and it was set up so that past histories and surgeries were brought forward each time, whether the MD said to or not, so once the original error of my “hysterectomy” was in the past surgery section, it was pulled forward every single time and followed me around.

  7. maggie27377 - May 27, 2014, 6:05 pm

    MACMOM6 — EXACTLY in-house MTs could look at the record. I did that more times than I can count when I was an in-house MT. Right now I’m just sitting here crying and crying, over my job situation and not earning enough money and working really hard trying to do a good job for the sake of patient safety because that is how I would want to be treated. I’m SICK TO DEATH of working so hard for not much more than minimum wage.

  8. Ann - May 16, 2014, 1:10 pm

    Teresa:

    My gut reaction to your proposal of questioning one’s doctor as to how or by whom his/her transcription is being prepared, is that . . . they more than likely won’t have the first clue. Why should they? Quality of P-A-T-I-E-N-T C-A-R-E; that’s why. beenlivingthisfor20years. Ann, MT; Indianapolis, IN.

  9. macmom6 - May 16, 2014, 12:31 pm

    I just typed the PERFECT example of what is wrong with our healthcare documentation situation. It was dictated that this particular patient was on a 7 different medications, some of which were by G-tube and some of which were injection but then goes on to say the patient is not taking any medicines but directly before that states they will continue the patient’s aspirin and after says to continue Reglan. The patient is said to be receiving sliding scale Novolin insulin in one area but then in another states he is on a different insulin. It kills me. One single phone call could clarify this patient’s record and I can’t make that call. Even better, in-house transcriptionists could talk to the dictator face-to-face to further ensure the highest level of care and the most accurate records further protecting the patient.

  10. Sue-Ellen Hawn - April 30, 2014, 1:19 pm

    I cannot tell you macmom6 how many times I have gone back to a prior report to try and figure out what a med or another word is and find things that scream out at me right away as being incorrectly transcribed… the latest one was one that actually went through QA because it was a new account, so 2 people’s eyes were on it and the blood pressure read 120/880…… so should we be calling the ambulance for this poor person??? I mean that is a glaring mistake… how could a competent QA person miss it… It gets more and more frustrating by the minute..

  11. macmom6 - April 26, 2014, 5:09 am

    I want to share something that happened recently and where my brain went with it. I also happen to think it is worth exploring as one of the problems in our industry as well as one of the problems in healthcare as a whole. I think situations like these need to be part of the conversations taking place.

    I sent a report to QA because, among other things, the physician (ESL by the way) dictated “staphylococcus anginosa”. I found STREP anginosus but not staph. The next day when I checked my editor reviews it had been filled in exactly as dictated. I sent an e-mail to my mentor with a question about that and if there was a resource I had missed. I HATE making the same mistake over and over. Anyway, I was told point blank “it’s not our job to second guess the dictator.”

    In another situation, I had a psych report in which a term I was unfamiliar with was used and I was unable to find what I thought I heard. I put a blank in both places the word was used and sent it to QA so I could find out what it was and would not be stumped in the future. Later that day MyMT.Me posted some online psychiatry references. I searched through them and found the word I was hearing. The next day I checked the editor reviews and the blanks had been filled in with another word, one I felt was incorrect. I emailed my mentor and my production manager both (on April 20th) about it and explained why I felt it was incorrect and requested that the information be corrected. I never received a response from either of them and it is no longer in my sent folder indicating it has been deleted by both recipients. The dictation was “He may be having some _____. I see him pacing a lot and moving his feet frequently. He says it is anxiety, suspecting more _____.” As of today, April 24th, the incorrect term is still in the report – achalasia (a motility disorder of the esophagus). It SHOULD be akathisia (a syndrome manifested by an inability to sit still).

    Our medical records are FULL of errors that are perptuated by the MTSO’s and their blanket “it’s not our job to second guess” policies. If there was a more direct line of communication between physicians and transcriptionists, or even editors and physicians, these types of errors could be drastically reduced, the accuracy of our records would be dramatically increased, and the overally quality of our healthcare would be improved.

  12. Teresa - April 23, 2014, 6:29 pm

    Everyone should make it a point to ask your physician at your next office visit if your transcription is being prepared by a company that outsources to India. Not only are they taking American jobs, some are actually being paid to QA “proofread” our work that is typed in the US. Yes, people from India are checking Americans’ work for accuracy. All because it is cheaper. Your health should not suffer because a transcription service wants to save a dollar. Please check with your medical provider and make sure the transcription company they have hired is not outsourcing their work. I could not believe this was actually happening and it has to be stopped.

  13. Linda - April 23, 2014, 2:04 pm

    Maggie, I’ve worked as a medical transcriptionist nearly 30 years. What is happening now is that facilities are trying to replace us with voice recognition which is fraught with errors to your reports. The few of us who are still employed are working as editors and our pay has been reduced to less than ONE THIRD what it was THIRTY YEARS AGO. The financial hardships we have suffered, especially those of us who are self-supporting, are horrific.

    What we send back is an accurate record and errors and inconsistencies are flagged, something voice recognition is not capable of doing. People are dying due to medication dosage and other errors. The public needs to know that their personal medical records may be going to India for transcription or are being edited here by people who make less than minimum wage, some as little as $2.00 per hour. Medical Transcription companies can get away with this by calling us independent contractors we are not covered by minimum wage requirements. We have production requirements that are not able to meet.

    It is important for the public to ask to see their medical records, for their own safety.

  14. maggie27377 - April 22, 2014, 7:54 am

    I was very surprised when I viewed MyChart from my surgeon’s office to find that my history listed a “coagulation disorder.” Yes, I have a past history of a DVT in my leg, but I’m thinking a coagulation disorder would mean something different than that. This same record also contained a family history of kidney disease in my brother and sister, which is not true at all. Maybe these are significant concerns, maybe not, but it’s my healthcare record and I think it needs to be accurate! I did contact the hospital that maintains the MyChart system for this office and never heard back. At my next appt with this surgeon’s office, as the nurse went over my history and I pointed out these errors, she commented that she was not authorized to change the record. So frustrating. In my mind shoddy record keeping equals shoddy healthcare.

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