One of the necessary hassles of medical practice is documentation. Whether running a small clinic or a full-fledged hospital, accurate and timely documentation of patient records is a must. It is required not only for billing and legal purposes but also for maintaining the quality of the treatment plan administered to patients over extended periods.
Healthcare practitioners must focus on diagnosing and treating the patients. However, at the same time, they need to maintain accurate patient documentation like history, consultation reports, procedure reports, discharge summaries, and prescriptions. It can cause burnout and high error rates, especially in cases where the practitioner is attending to many patients daily. It is where medical transcription creates maximum value.
What is Medical Transcription?
Medical transcription is a process in which the doctor dictates the contents that need to enter into the patient records to an audio recording device. This audio content is then converted to text and entered prescribed templates by
- Skilled transcriptionists who type the content OR
- Speech recognition software that processes the audio files
Why Should One Opt for Medical Transcription?
It provides many benefits for the healthcare practitioner, the staff, and the patients.
#1 Saves time and effort for the doctor
Medical transcription saves the time and effort of the medical practitioner and reduces burnout. The doctor feels relaxed and can focus on attending to patients without distractions.
#2 Ensures accurate medical records
Transcription also ensures authentic and accurate documentation. Transcriptionists correct minor grammar, punctuation, or style errors at their end. They also ensure that the medical records adhere to prescribed formats and templates.
#3 Ensures the timely flow of information
Transcribed medical records become available immediately to nurses, billing staff, and other doctors attending the patient in the same hospital. It reduces the chances of miscommunication and errors.
#4 Guarantees legal compliance
Accurate medical reports can prove to be of great value in medico-legal cases. For example, radiology transcription services are an absolute must because even a minor error in the documentation of the diagnosis can lead to major mishaps in the treatment plans and legal conflicts.
#5 Eases the processing of insurance claims
Impeccable medical records are a must for the smooth processing of insurance claims. Even a tiny error can lead to rejection of claims and unnecessary hassles for patients. Transcribed records are quality controlled and created as per regulatory formats.
#6 Lowers costs
Transcription can lead to lower wage costs if outsourced to a company providing medical transcription services. These companies offer trained transcriptionists and quality assurance executives at competitive prices. It cuts down on in-house employee and training costs.
Why are Dictated Medical Transcriptions in Vogue?
Some medical practitioners use speech recognition software for medical transcription with the expectation to lower costs. However, transcription by dictation to transcriptionists has many advantages.
#1 No user training requirement
With dictated medical transcription, the doctor only needs to record the content. This audio can be transferred to transcriptionists online via simple methods like Google Drive or Dropbox. Beyond this, the doctor does not need to worry about typing data or using any software.
#2 No software training requirement
Speech recognition software needs a lot of training before it can transcribe with reasonable accuracy. Some practitioners may dictate in a disorganized manner. There may be grammar or punctuation errors in the natural course of speaking. There may even be a heavy accent or background noise. A lot of training efforts are required to ensure that the software understands the voice and style of the dictation.
#3 Access to skilled transcriptionists
Specialized outsourcing providers provide skilled resources trained and well-versed with medical terminology, abbreviations, and protocols. These transcriptionists can understand the context better and adjust manually for grammatical or pronunciation errors.
#4 Higher Accuracy
Medical transcription providers also have quality assurance teams that double-check every record to ensure it is error-free. Manually transcribed records have an average error rate of lesser than 4% and are up to three times more accurate than those transcribed by commercial speech recognition software.
#5 Better patient privacy
Dictated medical transcription lets the practitioner choose if particular sensitive data goes into patient records or not. The doctor can decide to strike off certain information by just saying so into the recording device. The doctor can also choose not to dictate some information as necessary to protect patient privacy.
#6 Feedback loops
If the healthcare practitioner provides specific feedback before approval, the transcriptionist can easily incorporate the same in the future. The doctor does not need to change the dictation style or format.
You should try transcription services if your healthcare practice struggles to operate at maximum efficiency due to heavy documentation requirements. It is better to outsource transcription to an experienced and established firm providing dictated transcription services at competitive prices and low turnaround times.