How to Calculate the Overall Error Rate in Medical Transcription


Medical transcriptionists typically listen to dictated recordings made by medical professionals and create text files from the material. They use a headset and a special pedal for controlling the recording speed as they type. A good transcriptionist makes few mistakes, but no one's perfect. Typical errors include misspellings or wrongly inserted words. Since transcription errors occur on single words, you can determine a transcriptionist's overall error rate by calculating the percentage of words misspelled or misheard. Although more elaborate systems are available, this method provides a quick way for supervisors to evaluate the accuracy of their workers for purposes of performance evaluation.

  • Use the following equation for calculating the error rate as a percentage:

    Error rate = (M/T) x 100 percent

    M = number of mistakes in the form of misspellings or misheard words
    T = total number of words in the sample

  • Analyze a sample of the medical transcriptionist's work to determine the number of mistakes made and the total number of words. For instance, consider a document containing 500 words and 10 mistakes.

  • Input the numbers into the equation to calculate the transcriptionist's error rate:

    Error Rate = (10/500) x 100 percent = 2 percent

    This transcriptionist has a 2 percent error rate. An error rate of 2 percent or lower is an acceptable rate for non-critical information, according to the transcriptionists' professional association.


  • Photo Credit green typewriter image by timur1970 from
Promoted By Zergnet

You May Also Like

Related Searches

Read Article

This Is the Beauty Routine of eHow Editor Kelly Dawson

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!