National Medical Transcriptionist Week: Have You Read Your Medical Record?

Vol. 15 •Issue 9 • Page 10
AAMT Track

National Medical Transcriptionist Week: Have You Read Your Medical Record?

Since 1978, the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT) has been the professional organization for MTs. AAMT has worked to set and uphold standards of practice in this industry. Our goal is to provide quality patient documentation, thus ensuring patient safety, quality patient care and protection of the privacy and security of patient health information. It was in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed into proclamation National Medical Transcriptionist Week, occurring each year during the third week of May. This year MT Week is May 15-21, and AAMT has created a timely theme and message to the general public, “Have You Read Your Medical Record?”

Every consumer has seen advertisements or been contacted about obtaining a copy of his/her credit history report to review its content and ensure accuracy. While I agree that one’s credit history is of great importance, how important is every consumer’s medical/surgical history, allergies to food and drugs, or family history? When life-and-death decisions need to be made regarding health care—or even relatively basic decisions of changing medications or undergoing a surgery—it would behoove today’s consumer to be aware of the complex health information contained within their medical record. In concert with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), AAMT has created a strategic outline for the average consumer of health care services to know what to look for in his/her medical record and how to go about changing information if it is found to be incorrect.

This year’s MT Week theme will also educate the public about the HIM profession and the critical role of the MT in patient care documentation. The ad campaign clearly defines the expertise of today’s certified medical transcriptionists in documentation management and the specialty of the medical language. It delineates the importance of quality health care documentation and proper maintenance of medical records.

AAMT is encouraging all components to schedule an event during MT Week to pass out flyers to the general public that address the quality of the medical record and the role of the MT. They will also be given a “Quick Tips for Reading Your Medical Record” document to assist them in requesting and reviewing those records.

With the excitement of this year’s theme and MT Week fast approaching, plans are underway for a delegation of MTs to visit the “Today Show” at Rockefeller Center in New York City on Wednesday, May 18. If you are in that area, come and join us early that morning to share with the millions of viewers the wonderful world of medical transcription!

• To learn more about the 2005 MT Week theme, visit To learn more about managing your personal health information, visit You just may be interested to “Read Your Medical Record,” too!

Cathy L. Baughman is manager, transcription services, at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and a director with AAMT.