8 Common Transcription Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

It’s no secret that transcriptionists make mistakes. But the good news is that most errors can be avoided.

Homophones (words that sound the same) and atomic typos are common transcription mistakes. They can be easily prevented by double-checking names of people, cities, company and brand names online.

Creating templates and checklists for yourself and your staff can provide structure for dictation and ensure nothing gets left out.

1. Not Listening to the Audio

One of the most common transcription mistakes is not listening to the audio. This can be a big problem, especially if the transcriber is trying to keep up with someone who is talking fast or has an accent that is difficult to understand. Having great audio equipment is essential to avoid this mistake, as it allows the transcriber to hear every word and sentence clearly.

Another common transcription mistake is not using the correct tense. This can cause confusion for the listener and can make the transcription sound unprofessional. It is important to use present tense for words that are currently being said and past tense for words that have already happened or will happen in the future. However, on the bright side, police departments can now outsource their report typing needs with transcription.

Spelling mistakes are also very common errors in transcriptions. These can be caused by misspellings, homonyms (words that sound the same but have different spellings), or transposition of letters and numbers. To avoid this, it is important to look up names of cities and people online, and always double-check patient records to ensure spellings are accurate.

2. Missing Words or Phrases

When transcribing, it’s important to be as thorough as possible. Unfortunately, a transcriber can unknowingly leave out words or phrases from the transcript. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including poor audio quality or misheard words. Regardless of the reason, this mistake should be avoided at all costs.

Another common transcription mistake is confusion of similar-sounding words (homonyms). This is a big problem for medical transcribers, as it can lead to incorrect medication dosages or even improper treatments.

This can be avoided by using high-quality equipment and creating templates or checklists for your staff to follow during dictation sessions. It’s also helpful to use a professional transcription service that offers proofreading services. This way, you can be sure that all the important information is included in your transcripts.

3. Misheard Words

One of the most common errors medical transcribers make is mishearing words. This is due to many factors such as low audio quality, background noise, and other external influences. Mishearing a word can lead to a misunderstanding in the transcript which could then result in the wrong medication being prescribed for the patient. For example, if a physician accidentally says “doggy dog world” instead of “day in age,” it can change the meaning and have serious implications for the patient’s health and well-being.

Atomic typos are misspellings that your spell checker doesn’t catch because they sound the same. These include words like cheque/check, their/there/they’re, bare/bear, and effect/affect.

Using active listening skills is the best way to avoid a transcription error that is misheard. This involves paying close attention to the audio and pausing it when necessary to clarify certain phrases or words. It also means taking the time to double-check your work for spelling, grammar, and jargon mistakes. In addition, it is important to familiarize yourself with equipment and medication names so that you can understand what the physician is referring to.

4. Atomic Typing

Atomic typing refers to the use of atomic operations for variable access (write, read). This means that a single process can only write to a variable in the presence of a memory barrier. Then, any subsequent reads of the variable must use a different memory address that has not been written to by another process.

Grammatical errors can be a big issue for transcriptionists. They can be caused by many things including forgetting to capitalize a proper noun, mishearing something that was transcribed, or misunderstanding grammar rules.

A common grammatical error that often occurs is incorrectly framing a sentence concerning verb tense. For example, a transcriptionist might type “walked” instead of “printed.” This error is easy to avoid by simply looking at the context of the sentence and what was actually said.

In addition, it is helpful to know the differences between similar-sounding words (homophones) as this can also lead to transcription mistakes. You can avoid these issues by learning the meaning of these words and taking the time to carefully proofread all of your work.

5. Misheard Phrases

Often, transcription errors happen because of mishearing what is said. This can be a big mistake because it can alter the meaning of the transcript or make no sense at all. For example, if someone says game instead of name, it could change the entire tone of the conversation and change its context. These errors aren’t recognizable by spellcheckers because they are spelled correctly, but have changed the meaning of the word. This is why it’s important to double-check your work!

Medical transcription errors are especially serious because they can have real-world consequences for patients. This can include billing denials, lawsuits, or facility closure due to non-compliance.

One of the most common mistakes in medical transcription is transcribing numbers incorrectly. This can be caused by typing too fast or misunderstanding what is being dictated. For example, if someone says 30 and you write 3, it may mean that the patient is receiving a much lower dose than they need to be. To avoid this error, you should always slow down and listen closely to what is being transcribed.

6. Incorrect/Misspelled Names

Mistaking words that sound the same for one another is a common transcription mistake. This is known as homophones and can cause problems with the transcript, especially when it comes to names. Using a spell checker is a good way to avoid these errors. However, it is also important to double-check names by looking them up online. This is especially critical in medical transcription where mispellings can be dangerous for the patient.

It is also a good idea to reference the patient’s records to ensure that names are spelled correctly. For example, you should write “Ashley” not “Ashleigh.” Similarly, it is best to use the patient’s given name rather than their family name.

Grammatical errors in a transcript can be embarrassing and reflect poorly on the transcriptionist. To help reduce these mistakes, transcriptionists should take the time to practice their grammar skills and follow basic transcription rules. By doing so, they can produce a more accurate transcript and avoid costly errors.

7. Conflicts

It is important for a transcriptionist to be able to listen attentively and write clearly in order to transcribe correctly. If the transcriptionist is rushing through the work, it will eventually cause them to make mistakes that could be costly.

Mistyping words is a common transcription mistake that can be avoided by taking the time to listen carefully to the audio recording and make sure that each word is typed accurately. This can also help reduce the risk of misinterpreting punctuation or grammar. Mistyping words also happens when transcribing homophones, which are words that sound the same but have different meanings (check/chec, their/there, bear/bare).

Medical transcription errors can be particularly problematic for healthcare providers, as they can lead to patient safety issues or even facility closures due to billing denials. To avoid these mistakes, it is important for healthcare providers to create clear and concise instructions for their transcriptionists, provide a high-quality audio file, and check the transcripts for accuracy and consistency.

8. Not Double-Checking Your Work

It is important to proofread every transcript carefully after you are done transcribing it. Spellcheck may not catch all errors and sometimes words sound similar but have different meanings (for example, discipine and discipline). Also, homonyms can also cause confusion. Make sure to look up words that you are not familiar with before using them in a transcription.

In addition, you should also check for grammatical errors. For example, a word like “walks” can be mistaken for past tense when the speaker actually meant to say “printed.” Similarly, the difference between the IPA symbol [c] and the English pronunciation of ng can be easily overlooked.

Transcription mistakes can be a big pain in the neck for everyone involved, especially when it comes to medical documents. They can affect patient care and result in erroneous information being published which may lead to disciplinary action, lawsuits or even hospital closures for non-compliance. Hence, it is important to know the most common transcription mistakes and how to avoid them so that you can provide quality transcripts for your clients.