Several Gazette readers wanted to talk about the electronic medical records articles that published Monday, March 5 in the Business section.
Claudia J. Gordon, president of the Physicians' Choice Transcription Service Inc. in Colorado Springs, said technology is not eliminating the job of medical transcriptionist. Rather, the job is evolving to that of editor.
"To expect physicians to type narratives for clinical notes, history and physicals, procedure notes, and discharge summaries is not only unrealistic it is counter-productive. Many physicians consider even the time spent in dictation of these notes as a 'necessary evil,' and for them to sit at a keyboard and enter the data is a poor use of their time.
"Since this kind of information still needs to be input by someone, we are brought to consider the subject of speaking into a computer and having technology generate documents containing those words (called 'voice recognition').
"The bottom line with this technology is:
1. The technology is still not where it needs to be in order to be accurate and cost-effective for the provider;
2. The technology will never be able to compensate for unclear speech and other extraneous sounds recorded in the dictation process.
"For someone to say that electornic medical records is cost effective because it replaces transcriptionists shows a lack of understanding of how the spoken word accurately becomes part of the patient record."