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June 11, 1997

Merriam-Webster's Medical Office Handbook

Author Affiliations

Tucson, Ariz

 

edited by Joseph Hamburg, 2nd ed, 523 pp, with illus, $18.95, ISBN 0-87779-235-6, Springfield, Mass, Merriam-Webster, 1996.

JAMA. 1997;277(22):1814. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540460080040
Abstract

Office Management

This book trades on the name Merriam-Webster, and the best part (recommended for both transcriptionists and physicians) is the 155 pages on the English language: punctuation, grammar, frequently confused words, and abbreviations.

However, the advice on medical office management is decidedly generic, dangerously incomplete, and diametrically opposed in its underlying principles to what is manifested in Noah Webster's dictionary.

Helpful sections include a discussion of filing methods, record disposition, and scheduling systems. Sample reports will serve as useful guides for transcriptionists.

The computer sections are marginal at best. While emphasizing the need for frequent backups, the book gives little information about the types of systems that are available. The discussion of computer security is restricted to reprinting the American Medial Association position, with no practical advice on implementation and no mention of the potential third-party abuse of personally identifiable data entered into a networked computer. However, there is

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