Before getting into understanding the importance of medical transcription for the healthcare industry, let us understand what exactly Medical Transcription is. Medical transcription is a process that documents patient-physician encounters during hospital visits. A physician examines the patient, documents all the physical ailments and records his/her recommendations/treatment plan in a voice format which is then converted to text format by healthcare documentation specialists also called medical transcriptionists. These documents are securely stored in hospitals for future references when the patient visits the hospital again at a later point in time. Also, these documents are used as a base for coding and insurance processing which are a vital part of revenue generation for hospitals and their sustenance and growth.
Medical transcripts become the backbone of one’s medical history as each patient visit is recorded and stored securely for the lifetime of an individual. These documents include information regarding the patient’s past health, surgical history, allergies, medications that the individual is on, social habits, and details of all treatments that the individual has undergone in the past. These documents help physicians to make informed decisions and treat the patient efficiently as all these records are accessible at a click of a button.
To summarize, medical transcription is an integral part for both patients as well as physicians and forms a strong base for future reference and treatment. For the above-stated reason, medical transcription is widely used by physicians, nurse practitioners, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, etc.
Medical transcription falls under the KPO industry as this profession needs specialization and an in-depth understanding of medical language. Also, healthcare documentation specialists should have good English language skills and should possess strong logical and reasoning skills to ensure that error-free documents are delivered to the physician.
How is Medical Transcription Processed?
The patient schedules an appointment with a physician based on his/her ailment. Once the appointment is confirmed, the patient visits the hospital and appraises his/her ailment to the physician. Based on the input given by the patient and based on the previous medical transcripts, a physician examines the patient advises appropriate treatment/diagnostics, and captures the gist of the same in a note/scribble pad. Once the patient visit is complete, the physician narrates the entire patient-physician encounter via audio devices like mobile phones, fixed phone lines, computers, etc. The voice file then is processed through a secured automated speech recognition engine and converted into text format. However, the output from the automated speech recognition engine will not be completely accurate as it is processed by a machine. These documents are then accessed by healthcare documentation specialists who review the entire content once again with the help of a voice file provided by the physician/hospital. Healthcare documentation specialists look for the correctness of medical terminologies, drugs, dosages, lab values, past medical conditions, grammar, formatting, etc., to ensure an error-free transcript reaches the physician. These healthcare documentation specialists are trained rigorously to identify the above errors. Medical transcription is processed under multiple work types namely Emergency Room Reports, History and Physical, Consultation, Operative Reports, Letters, Progress Notes to name a few.
How do I Get Into Medical Transcription Field?
To get into the medical transcription profession, one needs a few basic skills. The aspirant should have a good command of written English with a strong willingness to learn and get updated constantly. Also, one should be able to understand multiple English accents. As this profession falls under the KPO category, it needs specialization which only comes by going through hours of dictations due to the many accents we come across. The aspirant should go through formal training which usually takes about 6 months where the aspirant is taken through basics of English language, human body systems, basics of medical terminologies, phonetics, accent training, Americanism, typing training, etc. Once the training is completed, the aspirant will be eligible for on-the-job training after successfully clearing the final eligibility test.