In order to understand the difference between Discrete Reportable Transcription and ‘standard’ transcription, it is important to understand the difference between ‘narrative’ and ‘data.’
To understand the importance of DRT, it is important to understand the current political environment. We will briefly address both in this article.
Most physicians have been taught to dictate in a long continuous stream of phrases and sentences. As an example, a phrase might be uttered as “Blood pressure is 120 over 80.”
When dictated at 120 words per minute directly into a digital recorder or telephone, and transcribed in a ‘standard’ fashion, these words will become part of the narrative of the patient’s chart.
However, with Discrete Reportable Transcription, this will become “120” and “80” and those numbers will be in the systolic and diastolic data fields, respectively, of the patient’s chart or electronic health record.
In this fashion they will be both readily searchable and reportable from within your own office, as well as more easily transmitted as data to other offices.
It is this latter concept which is so critical to the governmental agencies which are trying to encourage the use of EHRs. With data maintained in your office you can more readily share this data with other physicians utilizing differing healthcare information systems.
If you are interested in obtaining any portion of the stimulus funding available for physicians, I would strongly advise you to start considering discrete reportable transcription as your method of documentation.
Please note that this can be done through a variety of mechanisms, including sophisticated technology as well as human interaction. Once again, our recommendation would be to understand the options, to rely on technology for a major portion of the task, and to utilize, when necessary, human intelligence to get the data where it belongs.