What is a C-Phone?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2020
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When it comes to managing health care information, physicians and lab technicians use a variety of methods to record patient care and laboratory notes for later reference in medical files. One such method is the use of a C-phone, which is a digital recording device remotely accessed by telephone in order to record spoken words. This is an efficient way that doctors and other health care professionals can record information safely so that it can be accessed by transcriptionists and transferred to hard copies via dictation and transcription equipment.

The C-phone gets its name from the way the recorded notes are transmitted from the phone to a digital recording device. A coupler, which is a special cord that connects a telephone system with a digital recording system, is where the ā€œCā€ in C-phone comes from. The coupler also allows the physician or lab technician to record notes by way of a centralized dictation system in a hospital or laboratory setting or to an outsourced secure telephone network managed by a transcription service.


The workings of a C-phone are actually quite simple. A doctor or lab professional dials a special number which connects him or her to the dictation service. Once the telephone line accepts the call, generally through a special code punched into the telephone keypad, the coupler connects the telephone line to the digital dictation device and the spoken medical notes can be entered. During the call, the caller has the ability to back up, review and delete sections of the digitally stored notes. At the completion of the call, the caller simply presses a code to end the recording session or hangs up to disconnect.

Presently, C-phones are managed by way of a computerized system which can handle multiple phone lines coming in simultaneously. While callers may be assigned a special number to call or a code that is unique to their account, others allow for as many as ten lines coming into one computer which stores patient case notes in individual digital files. These files are stored securely on a single server which can only be accessed by authorized staff, such as other medical personnel or transcriptionists.

With the rise in mobile telephone technology, remote records management via C-phones is becoming the preferred method for recording records by many professionals in a wide range of industries. Physicians like using this system due to its convenience and efficient manner of recording patient care. In addition, other professionals such as attorneys, law enforcement officers and general business administrators may use some form of C-phone technology when recording meetings, court hearings and case notes for later processing by skilled transcriptionists.


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