1. Medical transcriptionists should never, on their own accord, insert a question mark within a document to denote a word they consider to be unclear or unknown. The appropriate way to flag a document for missing words is described under Flagging Reports.
2. On some occasions, a dictator may instruct the transcriptionist to insert a question mark into a document. This is appropriate if the physician is asking a rhetorical question or asking a question of another physician. If the physician is questioning a diagnosis, it is appropriate to enclose the question mark within parentheses.
Query: Is the patient experiencing a true seizure disorder?
The question that remains, Dr. Jones, is, does Mrs. Smith know the true extent of her condition?
Dictated: DIAGNOSIS: Carcinoma in situ, stage III, question mark.
Transcribed: DIAGNOSIS: Carcinoma in situ, stage III (?).