Most Common Transcription Errors, and How to Avoid Them

One of the most challenging, yet interesting, careers today is transcription. Transcriptionists are responsible for transcribing information, such as medical terminology, that has been recorded into a written form. This is a job that involves listening to audio and typing what is heard.

However, mistakes can happen. Serious implications could really impact patient well-being and care.

This guide will provide you with some of the most common transcription mistakes and ways to avoid them.

Most Common Transcription Mistakes

Here are some of the most common errors in transcribing:

Typing Mistakes

Typos can occur, no matter who you are. They easily occur when pressing the wrong key. For instance, a common typing error would be described as typing “paitent” instead of "patient."

Atomic Errors

Atomic errors are very easy to miss but can really impact the final transcription document. Atomic errors occur when a person types a word that exists but means something totally different from the word they initially intended to type.

Typically, your spellchecker would miss these words since they are still “actual” words that were spelled correctly. However, you may end up altering the meaning of the sentence altogether.

For example, an atomic typo would mean typing "peace" vs. "piece." It may also consist of leaving out one letter in a word entirely.

Not Hearing Words Correctly

Another common transcription mistake involves mishearing words. This ultimately means that you end up using the word incorrectly.

For instance, you may hear the word "name" instead of "game." This is an error that is similar to atomic typos. Misheard words can alter the meaning of any sentence or cause it to make no sense at all.

Words that Sound Alike

Words that sound the same are also known as homophones. They are common mistakes in the world of transcription.

For instance, typing "it’s" when it should be "its." A few other examples of homophones are:

  • Lose and loose
  • Not and knot
  • Your and you’re
  • There, their, and they’re
  • Break and brake
  • Too, two, and to

Names Spelled Incorrectly

There are several different ways in which one name can be spelled. For example, Ashley or Ashleigh. Another example is Brittany or Brittney.

The best way to prevent this mistake is to look up the names of cities, people, and company names online. It is also critical that you reference the patient’s medical records to ensure the spellings are correct.

Ways to Avoid Mistakes

Here are some ways to prevent or avoid the above-mentioned transcription errors.

Proofread More than Once

One of the biggest things you could do to avoid mistakes and errors is to proofread everything at least twice. Try reading it out loud or backward to catch spelling errors.

Create Checklists

Checklists and templates can be useful for you and other staff to follow for structure purposes. This ensures that nothing is left out.

Deactivate Autocorrect

Autocorrect can be the cause of many common transcription errors. To turn off autocorrect, go into your settings or system preferences depending on whether you have a MAC or Windows computer.

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