Funny Medical Transcription and Dictation Errors and Stories.

Medical transcription artists have got to be some of the most patient people ever placed on this earth. As a physician, I look forward to finding the next humorous dictation errors.  I have watched in horror as physicians dictate on their cell phones.  I have done it myself as a resident years ago.  I have watched fast doctors and doctors with thick accents plow their way through dictations as if they had a plane to catch.  I have watched and wondered in silence how painful this must be for the transcriptions struggling in silence, sitting there and hitting rewind one hundred times to try and figure out what the heck the doctor was trying to say.   I'm wondering if these folks are required to take courses on how to deal with  the difficult doctor.

I have seen medical transcriptions with half of the history left  blank because they couldn't understand what the doctor was saying. So how do you make sure what you said is what gets typed?  Here are a few courtesy rules  all doctors should follow when dictating:
  1. Dictate on a land line. Cell phones are a no-no.
  2. Don't eat or chew gum or drink while dictating, except coffee at the nurses station.  That's OK.  
  3. Find a place with low nuisance noise.  Sometimes I find myself dictating while the cleaning lady is vacuuming the floors.  That's frustrating.
  4. Speak slowly.  Ha!  Ha!   I know. That was a good one.  
Of of the funniest medical transcription error or dictation errors I've seen in a long time was the description of a transbronchial aortogram with runoffs, which for the non medical types out there would involve placing a camera  into the lungs, then proceeding to pass a needle from inside the lung into the aorta, the main blood vessel of the body.  I'm pretty sure they meant transbrachial aortogram.  Ok, maybe it wasn't THAT funny.  How about the double stranded dizziness titer?  OK, just kind of a funny transcription mistake.

For a little help at some good home 'ol fashioned hospital humor, I asked my thousands of  Facebook readers to provide insight into their funny medical transcription and dictation errors and stories.  They did not disappoint me.  Below is a detailed list of responses I received from their experiences.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
  • "The last day the patient took their meds was for beaver."  Should have been forever.
  • The patient was transported to the hospital by swan (squad).
  • The medical record had "heart replacement" instead of hip replacement!
  • One doctor dictated that a diabetic patient in DKA had an "illicit moon pie hidden in his underwear".
  • "History of sick as hell disease" (sickle cell), "The penis was circus sized" (circumcised). Heavily accented doc. Also asked for charts from the "wrecker" room (record).
  • Smoker. The patient, like Bill Clinton, does not inhale.
  • Patient is alert and oriented, sedated on Propofol. This was from one of my favorite pulmonologists.
  • The patient's malodorous pu**y wound was stinky to the bandage.
  • Not a transcription error, just opinionated dictation."Atrocious hygiene, terrible dentition, atrophied testicles and a foul odor about his person" "He claims to drink 5-6 beers a day. I would dare to say that is more like 25-26 beers a day along with some cheap whiskey". This from a very straightforward neurologist who has absolutely no use for foul smelling drunk men. I love her H&Ps.
  • I once abbraviated BM for black male on an H&P, but didn't get to dictate it until the next morning when call was over and I was exhausted. Yep. The report read "This is 68 year old bowel movement."
  • "We checked the Baby Jesus," for "we checked the ABGs."
  • Head CT shows no hemorrhoids!  And, urine intake is low.
    • Facebook humor-->  The other day I heard a lady who works at Walgreens talking about the most shoplifted item at their store: Hemorrhoid cream and suppositories. I can only imagine what a pain in the ass it must be for those employees to run the inventory numbers at the end of the month.
  • Pt was successfully intubated with a kaleidoscope.
  • Man leaves with a diagnosis of vaginitis.
  • In a colonoscopy report: patient had retained foot, peas and carrots. In an H&P: patient is admitted to the cervix of.
  • 57 year old woman presented with ruq pain after eating a fatty male.
  • History and physical said 'normal female genetalia' on a male patient.
  • Head CT was remarkable for a buzz haircut. Not really a transcription error but a wonderful sense of humor by an intensivist.
  • "Eyes and nose continue to be within normal limits" (I & O).
  • We consulted psych OT (occupational therapy) was transcribed as, "We consulted the psycho team".
  • "She was a bitch and grinned" (she was a bit chagrined). Referring to a patient who had been intoxicated (and behaved badly) the night before. That's thanks to an ER resident I knew in medical school who was called before his program director.
  • 49 year old occasional male (on one if my dictations). Thank goodness I caught it. Should have read, 49 year old Caucasian male. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
  • "Rectal suction" for "erectile dysfunction".
  • "Phenyl Afrin was started to maintain an inappropriate blood pressure."
  • Grandma seizure
  • I once said "Chest X-ray of the pelvis shows..." And they transcribed that. And since transcription is in-house they must have had a laugh at my expense. Or not.
  • "This patient has an allergy to Lantus....OH S**T".  Doctor turns to me giggles and says, "I just dictated s**t."
  • Respiratory is here now sucking the patient.
  • Patient was admitted with CHF. Transcription report stated " Monitor and record eyes and nose."
  • Woke this am complaining of right eye red, itchy and matted s**t.
  • I once read an ER report that was handwritten that had the discharge diagnosis of scrotal pain when it was a woman who came in after bumping her head.
  • Read an xray report once that talked about the uterus.....of the heart.
  • "The chest xray has regrettably improved".  I think it was the radiologist's mother -in-law.
  • On an ophthalmology report - "the barium enema bone..."! Even the MD couldn't figure out where that came from!
  • "Pancreatitis of unknown ideology".
  • Not a dictation but a funny Freudian slip. Oral surgeon to patient who was mildly sedated : "In a few minutes you will feel my tongue in your mouth".   He meant thumb.
  • Borderline respectable pancreatic cancer.  What do you do with that???! (Resectable?).
  • As a student on psych rotation I was dictating when very, very tired. I thought that I had backed up the dictation and recorded over. But alas, when the attending read the H&P, it said "axis IV...CRAZY" Yes it was in caps. Fortunately, he had a very dry sense of humor.
  • I am to supply the patient with a chilled container of Bood if he doesn't eat his meal.
  • Answering service paged this out to the fellow one night. "Patient in the office with fever and patiki eye".
  • 89 yo female with history of remote middle cerebral ornery smoke. Dragonspeak to the rescue...
  • "Noted 2 skin tear, superficial opening on patient's scrotum".  The patient is a female.
  • I could add hundreds, but alas my memory is shot from all those years of transcribing ESL dictation!
  • This wasn't dictated, thank God, but the nursing assistant at our University hospital told my husband that blood in the urine was common after catheter removal because it irritated the lining of the uterus. WHAT? I don't have a uterus! Oh! Did I say that? I was thinking about my wife!
  • Nothing compared to the Dragon dictation that dictated Mrs. Potts for missed the bus.
  • Walking Leonia instead of Walking Pneumonia and 2413 as a time rather than 0013.
  • Not transcription related but funny none-the-less.  Just a handwritten progress note after the MD heard his on call partner had to come in at 2am to see this child who wasn't doing too well: "Ruff night last night." -- The nurses might have been tempted to bark upon next rounds.
  • Those damn respiratory therapists are always sucking patients!
  • Dragon..."The patient has had a hard time breeding" (breathing).
  • We will be strictly watching her eyes and nose.
  • NEHI (New England Heart Institute) was transcribed as Dr Knee High. Lol.
  • Olecranon was dictated and transcribed as "ole crayon". I can't help but to give the P.A. and transcriptionist a hard time about that one today, but all in fun. I caught the error on QA before it went out, thankfully. LOL!
  • Surgical history: hysterectomy (on a male patient).
  • Last week, while reviewing history and physical on a patient, I read that she had "community required pneumonia" (it should be "community acquired"). My fellow Respiratory Therapist co-worker and I had a giggle at that. Didn't know it was required before you came to the hospital.
  • I once accidentally dictated he word "but" then to fix it I dictated "scratch that but".  Had to stop as I laughed for awhile.
  • Patient was admitted under the car of Dr...
If you have any other funny medical transcriptions, dictations or stories, feel free to leave them in the comments below for all to enjoy.  Now, please enjoy these Happy Hospitalist ecards, part of the complete collection on Pinterest.

"The penis was circus sized (uncircumcised)."

The penis was circus sized transcription ecard humor


"Is it just me or is calculating the patient's age from their date of birth harder in 2013 than it was in 2010."

Is it just me or is calculating the patient's age from their date of birth harder in 2013 than it was in 2010 doctor ecard humor photo.


Facebook humor:

--> You know you're tired when you call the primary care doc and leave a voice message in the form of a dictation, complete with run on sentences, and an occasional interspersed "period" or "new paragraph". Come on. We've all done it. Right?  

Some humor is only understood by healthcare professionals and my be offensive to others.  Read at your own risk.  

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