Are you leaving money on the table?
Doctors don’t make money.
Procedures don’t make money.
Documents make money.
How good are your documents?
There’s a final product whose quality determines the success or failure of any business. This is true in the auto industry and it’s true in the imaging industry. For radiologists, the end product is the final report. This document resides in the patient chart, is sent to referring physicians, determines treatment plans, and saves lives. Yet the quality of this document is often ignored.
The radiologist’s final report is the source documentation to support the services performed, and that report is relied upon extensively in the billing process. Proper coding and billing correlates directly with the quality of information provided by the radiologist. When dictating, close attention to the following areas can have noticeable effects on practice finances. When radiologists are disciplined in their dictation style and conform to the established documentation norms, reimbursement is higher, coders and insurance companies can more easily identify the work performed, there is less likelihood of denials, and proper documentation will exist for Medicare compliance reasons.
(November 30, 2006 | Practice Management)
More importantly, the dictated report is used to determine treatment and directly impacts patient care. Inaccuracies in reports can lead to poor patient care, expensive litigation, and death. Can any facility afford the risk of patient harm due to poor documentation?
The reality is simple: Radiologists spend over 24,000 hours training for their profession. However, they spend an average of 1 hour learning to dictate – and even LESS learning how to edit draft documents. They didn’t go to school to be secretaries, but radiologists are often the only eyes that see reports before they are finalized. By being forced to self-edit speech recognition documents, radiologists lose a layer of defense that was previously in place – transcriptionists and editors. However, if trained properly, doctors can increase efficiencies, maintain productivity levels, and decrease turnaround times and expenses.
This task is not as impossible as it sounds if radiologists are trained on the best practices of both dictation and editing in a speech recognition environment.
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