What’s a Style Guide and Why Should You Have One for Medical Transcription?


We all probably know about style guides such as The Chicago Manual from essay writing in university.  But as a physician, you can benefit from having your own, personalized style guide for your medical transcription.  A Style Guide is a document that explains exactly how you want all your documents set out and formatted.  It can include everything from your preferred font style and size, to your closing remarks and signature block.  It defines how you want to handle capitalization, bold, quotation marks and headers and footers. 

By defining at the start what you want, you’ll save time in editing or reformatting your documents. 

Your letters to colleagues or third-parties are basically your marketing tool for more referrals.  A well laid out, professional and organized document makes a better impression than one that isn’t.  It helps to maintain consistency of fonts and sizes, and helps to organize the information in an easy to read format.

For example, do you want the transcriptionist to keep typing at the end of a header, or space down one or two lines from it.  Which you prefer is up to you, but maintaining consistency is what matters.


PAST MEDICAL HISTORY:  Non-contributory









Do you prescribe drugs that are not commonly prescribed?  Provide a list of them to add to your Style Guide.  Do you have acronyms or abbreviations that you dictate?  Do you want them typed out in full, or left as an acronym?  What about quoting a patient?  If they use profanity, how do you want it handled?  Do you want it typed verbatim or abbreviated to, for example, s— or f—, or [expletive].  What about lists?  Do you like them bulleted, numbered, or indented? 


And lastly, is your Style Guide updated?  If you change your letterhead, does your medical transcription company charge you to create new templates?  If you decide you prefer a different font, can your transcription company accommodate your request?

Ask your transcription company if they have Style Guides for each of their clients.  Ask what information it contains, and if you can have it customized to your specifications, or if everyone gets the same formatting. 

At 2Ascribe, every client has their own Style Guide.  There’s never any charge to change or update your templates and Style Guide.  You can have up to nine templates.  We’ll work with you to develop the best possible format for you.   We welcome feedback from you.  The more information you give us, the better a job we can do for you, producing high quality medical transcription.  After all, our tag line is “Medical Transcription Your Way!”


2Ascribe Inc. is a medical transcription services agency located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, providing medical transcription services to physicians, clinics and other healthcare providers across Canada.  Having recently introduced WEBscribe, a client interface portal for document management, 2Ascribe continues to implement and develop technology to assist and improve the transcription process for physicians and other healthcare providers.  As a service to our clients and the healthcare industry, 2Ascribe offers articles of interest to physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical transcriptionists and office staff, as well as of general interest.  Additional articles may be found at http://www.2ascribe.com


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