· While transcribing decimals, periods are to be used “.”
· While transcribing quantities less than 1, zero (0) is placed before the decimal followed by the numeral value.
Clonidine.25 mg (Incorrect):
Clonidine 0.3 mg (Correct):
· While transcribing metric measurements, like cm, mg, mm, if fractions are dictated, they should be converted to decimals and transcribed.
(Dictated): The cyst was two and a half cm in size.
(Transcribed): The cyst was 1.5 cm in size.
· But when only whole numbers are dictated and fractions are not dictated, then decimal point and zero should not be placed though it does not changes the value.
(Correct): The patient was given dexamethasone 5 mg IV.
(Incorrect): The patient was given dexamethasone 5.0 mg IV.
But there is an exception to this as mentioned below.
· However, laboratory values and pathology specimens should be transcribed as dictated, even if decimal point and zero are dictated following the whole number. Similarly, if they are not dictated, one should not place them on their own.
(Dictated): The cyst measured 2.2 x 3.0 x 2.3 cm.
(Transcribed): The cyst measured 2.2 x 3.0 x 2.2 cm. (Correct)
The cyst measured 2.5 x 3 x 2.8 cm. (Incorrect)
Now take the second example.
(Dictated): The cyst measured 2 x 4 x 1.5 cm.
(Transcribed): The lesion measured 2 x 4 x 1.5 cm. (Correct)
The lesion measured 2.0 x 3.0 x 1.6 cm. (Incorrect)