Tips for Using the Benchmark KB Resource
Tools are vital for a good medical transcriptionist—and not just having tools, but using them properly. Imagine trying to slice tomatoes with the blunt side of your knife. You’d probably give up pretty quickly, and make a mess in the process! Using a tool properly, like slicing with the sharp side of the knife, will yield much better results in much less time.
The Benchmark KB online resource is a valuable tool for a medical transcriptionist, but like any tool, it’s much more productive if you learn to use it appropriately. Here are a few tips to help you effectively use the Benchmark KB resource.
1. Searching for Terms
The vast majority of words and phrases in the Stedman’s database come from Stedman’s Wordbook series. These books do not provide definitions; they’re merely resources for spelling, phrase association, and confirmation of clinical specialty. Only those words found in Stedman’s Medical Dictionary include definitions, and those are readily identified in the results list by a checkmark in the “Defined” column.
A general search of the word “Hickman” yields the following entries in the “Suggestions” window: A checkmark next to the fifth entry (Hickman catheter) designates it as a defined term; click that term to view the dictionary definition in the window to right. All other options function only to confirm the correct spelling of the word you are seeking and to assist you in confirmation of associated clinical specialty.
2. Research By Specific Resource
The BenchMark KB allows you to narrow your search by resource. If you need a definition, for example, you can narrow your search to only include Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. To narrow your search, click on Choose Publications to select the book(s) you wish to specifically search. First, click “Select All” to clear your resource list. Now, manually select the reference(s) you want to include in your search. Once you’ve made your selections, hit Apply to initiate your search. Your results will appear in the Suggestions window.
3. Partial Searches
It is also possible to search for terms with only partial information.
1. You can search for any word by entering only the first few letters of the word. Note: the BenchMark KB search requires you to enter at least three characters in a search, so if you need to search for a two-letter abbreviation, you need to use an asterisk (or other wildcard character) in place of a third letter. The more letters you are able to provide, the narrower your search results will be. For example, a search of “hic” yields 57 results, a search of “hick” narrows the results to 33, “hickm” to 8, and so on.
2. You can also search for any word by entering only the last few letters of a word in a wildcard search. Use an asterisk to stand in for the missing letters that begin the word, again keeping in mind that the more letters you are able to provide, the narrower your search results will be. For example, a search of “*mann” yields 1479 results! Narrowing the search to “*ermann” results in 143 possibilities.
3. An asterisk can be used to replace any letters in a word you are unsure of. In the example above, the search for “*ermann” yielded 143 possibilities, which would probably require some time to sort through. If you narrow the search with an initial letter, as in “B*ermann,” you will get only 13 possible matches—a much more manageable list from which to choose. The more information you can include in your partial search, the more manageable your results will be.
4. Phonetic Search
One of the most useful features of the Benchmark KB resource is the phonetic search. Click on the Enable Phonetic Search function when you are unsure of a word’s spelling. Enter your closest guess and the search will provide all the words in the database that are similar to the spelling of the word you’ve entered. (Note: you cannot use wildcard search when the phonetic search is enabled.) Keep in mind that when the phonetic search function is disabled, you have to spell the word correctly to get the right match from the database.
5. Phrase Search
A very helpful feature of the BenchMark KB resource is the ability to search for a particular word in a common clinical phrase. Using a combination of words, wildcard symbols, and partial letters will allow you to narrow your search results. For example, if the phrase you hear starts with “atrial” and ends with
“ventricular,” but you cannot make out the word or words in between, enter “atrial * ventricular” and the search engine will yield several possibilities, allowing you to narrow the results based on context.
Sometimes you will have to try both a partial wildcard search and a wildcard phrase search before you find the right term. For example, if the physician dictates a reference to a “Jackson ___ drain,” you might first try a wildcard phrase search. Searching “Jackson * drain” yields zero results. However, omitting the space between “Jackson” and the asterisk, “Jackson* drain,” yields 11 results for Jackson-Pratt drains.
Of course, these are just a few of the basics for using your BenchMark KB tool effectively. For more in-depth information on utilizing this resource to the fullest, please click the Support tab within the resource site and choose Tutorials (for video tutorials) or Help for print tutorials.
As you learn to use this powerful resource more effectively, you’ll find your research time is better spent and your Career Step training is much more fulfilling.
-CS Student Support Team