by Dr Matthew Robinson, Ready Vet, Atherton, QLD
My wife Catherine is our practice manager. She’s a lawyer by trade and she found it surprising that vets spend a lot of time typing medical notes. Lawyers dictate everything and then get it typed up. We were getting busier and busier so Cat went online and purchased this Olympus voice recorder and the software.
What’s good about it
It just sits on my desk in a recharge cradle. I grab it when I want to record a medical note and then return it to its cradle. It automatically loads my recording into the software and a message pops up on the receptionist’s computer. When it’s not so busy at the front, the staff can put on their headphones and type up my notes.
I use it for all medical notes, consults, vaccinations and surgeries. At the start of each recording, I simply say the date and name of the patient. If it’s a very short note—along the lines of ‘Stitches out. Looks good. No issues.’—then I’ll type it up myself. I’m just a two-finger typist so the typing was taking up quite a lot of my time.
It takes a little while to get used to dictating notes. It’s a very different skill to typing them. You need to think logically and refrain from adding information at the end of the recording. It’s taken a little bit of time but the medical notes look and read well now.
What’s not so good
If we’re very busy, the transcription records can fall behind. If that happens and I’m recording medical notes for an ongoing case, I don’t have access to those notes. It’s not an ideal situation but I can find the relevant recording and get it transcribed before the client’s visit.