Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Fast Are You?

"My goodness, Mildred, look how fast he types!"

I hear this all the time during my clinic visits. (What they don't realize is that many of those keystrokes are the backspace key to edit mistakes I make while typing.)

But I thought it would be interesting to take a poll for a pseudo-scientific study (i.e., just for fun) using my friends and family from the blog-o-sphere and our lab to determine one of the most important dependent variables influencing the use of electronic medical records (EMRs): typing speed!

The results from some of the staff in our hospital are listed below:

AgeStaff PositionWords/minErrorsTyping Class?
34EP Fellow716Yes
52EP Attending402No
50CV Attending302Yes
58CV Attending240No
38EP Attending526Yes

It would be fun to see what your typing speed is, too!

So here's how to add your data to the mix:

1) Go to typingtest.com.
2) Take the 1 minute typing test and record your typing speed calculated by the program and include the number of errors it found as well.
3) Enter your (a) age, (b) staff position, (c) Net typing speed in words per minute (the one AFTER the errors are subtracted out), (d) the number of errors you made, and whether you have ever had typing class or not, then enter the results in the comments section. If you make a mistake, take the best result from the first three tries from the test.

This might just become the single largest depository of documented medical errors on the internet!

Of course, it also explains why there is a propensity to keep EMR documentation on patients very, very brief.



Dharma said...

I like brief for privacy; don't like brief for lack of thoroughness. Then again, typing mistakes can foul one's EMR's. I liked doctor notes, ah, but wait, there was the risk that someone trying to interpret doctor's handwriting could cause mistakes and run the risk of a law suit too. I think you are in the spin of a rut. Damn government; they make everything more complicated, time consuming and expensive while jeopardizing the patient doctor relationship and effective medicine. Took the typing test though. Not such a good thing to hunt and peck with two long nail index fingers. I'll stick to my keyboard at home with spell check while my fingers tap away at high speed!
Oh, wait, spell check misses too!!!

Pluripotent said...

Age: 27

staff position: 3rd year medical student

Net typing speed in words per minute: 63

number of error: 0

I took a typing class in high school.

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...


Age : 55
Staff position - Attending
Net Typing speed 60 WPM
Errors - 4
No typing class

DrD said...

I did it twice. You know, interrater reliability and passage difficulty and presence of too many quotation marks.

Age: 33
Staff position: Emergency Medicine Attending
Net Typing WPM: 1st try: 52, 2nd: 59
Errors: 0 and 2 respectively

I also took a typing class in high school, but don't think it really sunk in, because I don't use that finger placement style. Or maybe it did, I don't know. I figure that I make my cerebellum do the typing.

rlbates said...

I had typing class (my only A- in high school).

First time: 49 wpm/ 2 errors
Second time: 55 wpm/ o errors

Mrs. Rose would be disappointed in me, but she is always thrilled when I tell her how much I use what I learned in her class. :)

Emily Lu said...

102 wpm, 5 errors.

First-year medical student, age 23, took typing classes in grade school (elementary/meddle)

Anonymous said...

Age: old
Staff: Attending, EM
26 WPM, 4 errors. (Ugh).
No typing class.

(I never type things that are already typed, that's what copy/paste are for).


Takeokun said...

Age 34
Staff Position EM Attending

1st attempt:
Net Speed 67
Errors: 24

2nd attempt:
Net Speed: 72
Errors: 0

Highschool typing.

If I try to rush and "beat the clock" the accuracy goes way down and not much change in the net. I have noted over the years that there are specific errors that I am prone too. Ususally it is that my right hand moves faster then my left hand and so letters get swtiched, usually "hte".

C_Elwood said...

Age: 25
Position: 2nd year medical student

Test 1: 77 WPM, 7 errors = 70 WPM corrected
Test 2: 86 WPM, 3 errors = 83 WPM corrected

I took typing in elementary school, but I think my biggest speed gains were the result of holding several simultaneous AIM conversations in middle and high school.

XE said...

Age: 22

Staff position: 1st year medical student

Net typing speed: 69

Number of errors: 3

I think we were briefly taught typing in elementary school, but I never took an official class.

medgirl2001 said...

Age: mid 30s
Staff position: attending
Net typing speed in words per minute: 89
Number of errors: 4
I took a typing class in 9th grade

PGYx said...

Age: Early 30s
Staff position: Intern IM
Net typing speed: 88
Errors: 3
Typing class in 10th grade

j.daniel said...

Age: 30
Position: 2nd year EM/IM resident
Net Speed: 54
Errors: 2
Typing class in 7th grade

elizabeth said...

47 with 0 errors
56 with 1 error.

Typing class in 9th grade.

Age: 42
Device Rep

The Happy Hospitalist said...

37 years old
The Happy Hospitalist-Attending MD
62 (67-5) WPM
Typing class in high school on an honest to God typewriter.

You know, you can use a program called "Dragon Medical" (iPhone/iPad App) to audio type your text into an EMR. Get your hospital to get a license. You just talk and the text is immediate. No typing. Just talking.

nycmedic said...

Age: 26
Position: Paramedic
Net Speed: 87
Errors: 3
No typing classes

Anonymous said...

Age: 37

Computer Engineering

Speed: 52 WPM (corrected), 2 errors

PS: English is not my native language (I'm from Brazil)

Dr. CW said...

Age: 47
Position: Oncologist, private practice (EMR pending; rural area)
Net typing speed: 74 WPM with one error

Typing class in high school; perfected in graduate school (basic sciences).
I'm fast on a good day, but always sounded slow next to one of my partners who worked as a transcriptionist pre-med.

Does Dragon transcription work? I used it a few years ago, and it could NOT translate my higher pitched voice even though I read it oodles of training stories .

Anonymous said...

Age: 37
Position: RN
Net speed: 81wpm (7 errors)
90wpm (3 errors)
91wpm (1 error)
Typing class: yes, 10th grade

(I'm competetive...was trying to top Emily Lu's mark but I think I'm maxed out in the low 90s...)

Zenfire said...

Age: 32
Job: rheum fellow
WPM: 77
Errors: 0
No typing classes but lots of computer gaming.

Anonymous said...

Age 35
Private FM doc
1st try 48 WPM 2 erros
2nd try 65 wpm 3 errors
No formal typing class


Anonymous said...

Age: 49

position: nurse practitioner

WPM 48 (50-2) - done on my laptop which is not conducive to typing. Would do better on desktop at work.

No typing class.
Intentionally did not take typing in school because I did not want to be a secretary like my mother.

Tony Chen said...

age: mid-30s
staff position: former director of business development
net typing speed: 80
typing class in 7th grade

Jay said...

Age: 46
Position: EP attending
Net typing speed: 46 WPM
Errors: 1
Typing class in high school

Anonymous said...

Age: 34
Staff position: 3rd year medical student
Typing speed: 75 wpm
Number of errors: 3
Typing Class: No

Anonymous said...

Age 62


Net 54, 0 errors

Took typing in high school and played with computers for 25 years.

Unknown said...

Age: 32
Staff position: Family Medicine Attending
Net typing speed: 69 WPM
Errors: 1
Typing class: Not since 6th grade's mandatory "how to type" block.

Likely could improve if I weren't typing over a sleeping baby on my lap, but these days that's how I chart half the time.

Christopher said...

Age: 27
Staff position: Paramedic
Net typing speed in WPM: 103
Errors: 1
Typing: No

Full disclosure: Software engineer full time and an avid Dvorak user :)