Transcribing dictated surgical reports is time-consuming and expensive. Free-form dictation often results in incomplete or inconsistent reports, and large institutions often spend millions of dollars on transcription. Despite this massive investment of time and financial resources, the traditional approach is far from perfect.
Synoptic reporting offers an alternative to traditional dictation and transcription, and benefits clinicians, administrators, patients and the medical profession as a whole.
Advantages of Synoptic Reporting over Transcribing Surgical Reports
- Guided entry into a pre-formatted template ensures that data entered into synoptic reports is complete and that no critical information is overlooked;
- Ease of report completion means that clinicians can enter surgical reports quickly, rather than amassing a number of reports to dictate in a block;
- The flexibility of a web-based reporting system means that clinicians can complete reports from nearly any location with Internet access, including tablets and mobile devices;
- Turnaround time for transcription is eliminated–once the clinician completes and signs off on the report, it’s ready to go;
- The high cost of transcription, whether in-house or outsources, is eliminated;
- Automated distribution ensures that reports reach primary care physicians, referrers, follow-up care teams and other interested parties promptly, improving patient outcomes;
- Entry into synoptic reporting forms allows for search and data-retrieval based on a number of factors, allowing institutions to track outcomes and improve best practices; and
- The same ease of access to sorted data assists medical researchers in assessing the effectiveness of procedures and devices, as well as identifying common characteristics in successful procedures versus those with complications.
In short, synoptic reporting:
- Saves you money;
- Improves the quality of individual report;
- Saves clinicians time;
- Results in quicker report completion;
- Ensures prompt and accurate report distribution;
- Allows for better follow-up care and improved patient outcomes;
- Creates a useful database for your institution; and
- Creates more thorough, searchable records for researchers.
Dictation and transcription is a time-honored practice in the medical profession, but times have changed and better options are available.
If you were choosing fresh today, it seems very unlikely that your institution would opt for a slower, more expensive means of report creation that is more work for your clinicians, more work for your administrators and more prone to errors.
Give yourself, your clinical team, your patients and the medical profession as a whole the benefit of enhanced reporting tools that will save time, improve thoroughness and accuracy and potentially save your institution millions of dollars in transcription costs.
Photo credit: Bernard Goldbach