Providers at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus dictate more than 1.6 million medical notes each year. It might seem hard to find a standout performer among all of that activity. But each quarter, the Dictation Quality Recognition Team in Documentation Services honors a "Good Author" who stands out for "dictation skills that contribute to patient safety, quality medical record documentation, and cost-effective transcription." (We were met with blank stares when we suggested they call it, "Best Dictator." Not sure why.)
The goal of the award is to "share appreciation" for Mayo care providers who dictate medical notes using Mayo's best practices techniques, according to Tanja Taff Morello, documentation liaison. And to reinforce that practice. It's a big deal to the transcription team that sees more than 8 million minutes of dictation from providers each year.
And it's important to patients. "When they create a high-quality audio file using clear dictation and precise instructions, their documentation is clear for all down-stream providers," she tells us. And that, of course, affects the quality of care that Mayo Clinic delivers. Every "Good Author" receives a plaque that reads, in part: "Thank you for putting the needs of the patient first through your excellent dictation practices."
And so it was on Aug. 3, 2015, that Edward Loftus Jr., M.D., Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, became the latest "Good Author" award winner for his "outstanding" dictation. In addition to the award, he received "a token of appreciation" in the form of chocolate-covered strawberries. (That's a message even we can understand.)
Members of the team dictated some notes for Dr. Loftus. "Dr. Loftus dictates the components of where he wants the data. He speaks in a very clear voice and dictates at a pace that is very easy to follow," Sue Tottingham said of the dictation hero. "There is absolutely no background noise which is very nice! He pronounces his words very clearly. It's a pleasure transcribing his dictations!" Mindy Parker added, "I'm always thrilled to get Dr. Loftus's notes. He speaks clearly and at a perfect pace and tells where the information belongs."
When asked what receiving the award means to him, in true Mayo fashion, Dr. Loftus deflected the praise away from himself and onto others. "At Mayo, we're a team, and one of the critical pieces of our team approach to taking good care of patients is to have high-quality notes," he tells us. "Our colleagues need to read our notes to understand various aspects of our patients; therefore, I don't mind taking a little extra time to do a high-quality dictation. While I'm honored and delighted to receive this award, I appreciate all of the hard work of the transcriptionists who contribute to the excellence of Mayo Clinic."
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