Your Medical Transcription Service Company Messed Up, What Now?

It happens. It just happened to you. Once a medical transcription error is identified, it is essential the issue is corrected. Here is a guide for what to do once you find a transcription error.

Typical Types of Transcription Errors

  1. Poor quality transcription, including simple mistakes (e.g., hour vs. our)
  2. Incorrect template
  3. File returned late
  4. Significant number of blanks in the document

Finding The Source of the Information

If you identify a transcription error, it is essential to provide them with all the pertinent information. The more information you can provide, the better. If you infrequently dictate, telling them the date may suffice. If you do multiple dictations each day, then ideally provide them with the job number.

With 2Ascribe, our jobs are named LAST, First mm-dd-yyyy INITIALS Job# (6 digits). For example, SMITH, Jane 09-19-2017 SC 456789.doc. So, 456789 would be the job number. This consistency in file naming makes it very easy to track down a job number.

The job number or another identifier should provide the transcription company with:

  1. Transcriptionist name or group name
  2. Editors name or group name
  3. Time the file was dictated or uploaded to the transcription system, and the time it was returned to you (loaded on a server, e.g., WEBscribe for 2Ascribe) or securely emailed to you.

Timely Information

If you want the transcription company to correct or edit a particular document, you need to do it in a timely fashion to ensure they have the original audio record to work form. Give them time to make the situation right, especially before an important deadline like an Independent Medical Evaluation.

Pinpointing the Issue

After you ask to have the issue(s) investigated, it is essential to find out what happened. There are several options to find the problem.

  1. Ask them to play you the audio file, so you can hear the quality of the recording and determine if that is an issue.
  2. Request to have the job sent back to be re-edited and then returned to you.
  3. Request to have the job transcribed again if there are too many mistakes or the wrong template was used (and you had indicated the correct template).
  4. Ask to have a different transcription group or editing group assigned to your account going forward if it happens more than once.
  5. Ask for a credit for that particular document. If the issue is with the transcription company, they should be happy to not charge you for it.
  6. If you already edited the document yourself, send them a copy (just the body to protect identifiable patient information) of what you did so they can provide detailed feedback to their transcription teams so they can learn from the mistake.

What Happens If The Issue Is At Your End?

It happens. You dictated while a child was screaming in the background, and the file is not audible. Aging telephone lines can add static and crackle to a recording, making it difficult to discern specific words. Again, ask the transcription company to play the audio for you, so you can hear for yourself if there’s an issue with the audio quality.

Perhaps you selected the wrong template when you called in to dictate. To help with this, it’s proper protocol to state your name and the type of dictation at the beginning of the recording. For example, by saying that it is Dr. Sue Mills and it is a progress note, the transcriptionist should be able to pull the correct template.

What To Avoid

Threatening to change transcription companies probably won’t get you what you want. You have significant time invested in working with them to get your account setup and working the way you want. It takes less time and energy to work with your existing company to make things right, versus switching to a new company and starting over.

Be prepared to listen. Things go wrong. Technology fails. People have bad days. If the transcription service is down, find out what to expect and ask to be updated.

If you email, provide enough information for the company to respond appropriately. Emails can be a good communication system, but only for facts, not for emotions. If you’re unhappy, call and explain what the nature of the problem is. For example, if you selected priority transcription for a job and you didn’t get it back when you expected, call them. The priority transcription queue might be unusually busy that day. Maybe you can get your job moved up the list.

What You Can Do

Make sure the audio recording is the best possible quality. Dictate where it’s quiet. Use a handset, not hands-free. Don’t move papers while dictating; flip through the file, then speak. Try not to dictate when you’re tired. Your voice will be more difficult to understand as most people tend to have weaker diction and speak more softly when they’re tired.

Understand what services the transcription company offers, these will differ from a secretarial service. Do they provide templates? Will they type into your letterhead, or set up margins so that your staff can print a letter directly onto your letterhead? Do they offer email or fax service for documents? How do these services work? How can you maximize the services that they provide?

If the issue persists with poor audio quality when using a telephone line to dictate, consider using a digital recorder or purchasing Dictate + Connect from the App Store for your Android or iPhone for dictating.

And, if the issues with quality or timeliness persist, then maybe it is time to look for a new transcription service. But call and talk to them first. You might be pleasantly surprised at how you can work it out.

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 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

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