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4 Tips For Error Free Records in Healthcare

24 OCT 2013
Career Path : Health and Technology

It’s easy to say “to err is human,” but when you’re in the medical world, an error can be the difference between life and death. Many of the skills you learn in pharmacy technician courses and medical transcriptionist courses will help you be more proficient and more accurate — you just need to know how to apply them. Here are four tips that should help you reduce errors in your medical records:

Always Double Check

This may seem obvious, but one thing school doesn’t prepare you for is how fast-paced the medical environment is. As a patient, you may have long periods of time where you don’t see anyone, but as a hospital or pharmacy employee, you’ll be dealing with people and paperwork all day long. That doesn’t mean you should ever cut corners. If you’re working in a pharmacy, make sure to double-check the patient’s allergies no matter how long the line is. If you’re doing medical transcription, make sure the orders you’re typing up actually belong to the chart you have open! It only takes a few seconds, but can save a life.

Something Feels Off? Ask

You may not be a doctor, but chances are, you’ll start getting a feel for what tests are ordered regularly and what dosages are common for different medications. If the doctor’s handwriting is kind of hard to read and things feel weird, there’s no shame in making sure that the order you’re reading is the right one.

Go Electronic

Almost every hospital these days uses electronic medical recordkeeping, which is why so many pharmacy technician courses and medical transcriptionist courses cover many of the systems. Still, even with the computerized records, many doctors still write out their orders and prescriptions the old fashioned way. When hospitals choose to go fully electronic, they usually find errors drop and everything gets more efficient.

Always Report Errors

In a perfect world, errors would never happen, but it’s a fact that medical errors happen every day. Many hospital and pharmacy employees are unlikely to report an error, most often because they think someone else will or because they don’t think the error will cause a patient harm. Some employees won’t report errors even because they’re afraid to admit they screwed up!

No matter how small the error or whose fault it is, it needs to be reported so that it can be fixed and addressed. Unless errors are taken care of, it’s impossible to keep them from happening in the future.


In the end, error free records are a win for everyone. Patients get better care and costs are reduced. There’s a lot everyone can do as a team, but that means putting your best foot forward first.

Visit Thompson Career College for more information  on other career paths like nursing unit clerk courses.

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