Surprised Morguefile.comI’m not sure if I’ve had a stroke and am slurring my speech or if the Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition engine is just messing with me, but lately I’ve had to triple check my charts to make sure some bad transcriptions don’t get finalized into the record.

Earlier this month, I tweeted about one case where part of my discharge instructions to a patient suffering from GERD symptoms included: “Bland Diet.”
The Dragon NaturallySpeaking program translated that to: “Plan to die”.I could only imagine those instructions hitting the front page of our local newspaper if I hadn’t caught them.

The latest Dragonism was during a recent physical exam of a patient who fell.
He fell down some stairs and injured his ankle. I examined the rest of his body to make sure that there were no other injuries.
I dictated: “Left lower extremity with no pain to the hip or knee …”
Dragon transcribed: “Unfortunately with no pain to the hip or knee …”

Another one that probably wouldn’t look too good while blown up on a courtroom exhibit or in front of a state medical board.

I suppose typing has its advantages sometimes.



  1. Last night, I dreamed I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know. –Groucho Marx

  2. Pre-dragon I had a transcriptionist make a similar error on a disability report.

    I dictated:

    “..is disabled because he is unable to maneuver around the house”

    But it was transcribed as:

    “..is disable because he is unable to MANURE around the house”

    I guess either one would qualify for disability! 🙂

  3. I laughed out loud at the “plan to die.” :)I heard it in my mind as “Plan to D-I-E-E-E BWAHAHAHA” (EVIL LAUGH) 😉

    Must be so annoying and yet simultaneously hilarious. Throckmorton wrote about Dragon recently and said you have to be care full what you say on the phone too because it picks it up.

    You docs should have a Dragonese of the Month section. Too funny! 🙂

  4. It is funny, but remember that bureaucrats and prosecutors have no sense of humor. I suggest that a disclaimer be placed with each chart, or even with each transcription, that malapropisms may appear in the chart as a result of the transcription process, and should not be interpreted literally unless confirmed by the transcriber.

    As I was eating breakfast with my wife this morning, I meant to say “Please pass the salt,” but it came out “You ruined my life, you bitch.”

  5. On a work note what was said:
    “you will need to be off until you see the neurologist”
    “You will need to beat off until you see a neurologist”

    Nurses and patient all got a good laugh.

  6. The Hamburglar on

    I see many faux-paus on chart notations composed using template formats every day. Those are even more dangerous because some of the programs don’t allow the user to edit or correct mistakes; data is generally locked in. I’ve had a quadriplegic listed as having ‘AROM with normal muscle bulk/tone; denies gait abnormalities’ and another patient with AKA’s listed as unable to wear prosthetics but with ‘normal gait pattern’. I imagine none of them are intentional but are evidence of impatience. This happens more often than you think.

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