Medical transcription is an important part of healthcare. Doctors and other medical professionals can utilize dictation and transcription to finish paperwork faster, allowing them to dedicate more time to patient care and increase overall productivity. So, how can healthcare providers and medical facilities achieve the most benefit from transcription companies without spending too much or choosing the wrong provider?
In this article, you’ll learn how:
- In-house medical transcription may be too expensive for medical facilities to consider. Medical transcription outsourcing, meanwhile, presents the best value.
- Not every transcription company can provide the best service for medical facilities. Factors like the type of transcription service provider, accuracy levels, HIPAA compliance, and patient information protection must be considered.
- The benefits of outsourcing medical transcription services are well worth the cost—but only if the prices are reasonable. Finding a good medical transcription provider is a must.
What Is Outsourced Medical Transcription?
Medical transcription is the process of converting content recorded by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals into text or transcripts. This deceptively simple process can actually be quite difficult to pull off with acceptable degrees of quality and accuracy.
Listening and typing for long hours is not for everyone. Making sure that every word and sentence is correct adds to the difficulty. That’s why hospitals often look for professional medical transcriptionists instead of having an admin clerk transcribe audio recordings.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do the transcribing yourself. You also don’t need to resort to hiring an in-house staff to handle your transcription needs. Outsourced transcription services can take that type of work off your plate, streamlining your workflow so you can focus on your medical practice.
So, how exactly does that process help? Let’s talk about it.
Benefits Of Medical Transcription
The advantages of using medical transcription are well worth the effort and cost of finding a reliable provider. Here are just some of the benefits of using transcription services for medical practitioners everywhere:
Hiring in-house medical transcriptionists can become very expensive. Hiring costs, salaries and benefits, equipment, and office space expenses can cost as much as $100,000 per year per transcriptionist.
Outsourcing your transcription to a reliable medical transcription provider lets you reduce those costs by as much as 60%. Medical facilities looking to streamline their documentation process will be hard-pressed to find a more cost-effective way than outsourced transcription solutions.
Let’s play a game and see if you, a healthcare professional, have experienced any of the problems below:
- Illegible handwriting, including the dreaded “doctor’s handwriting”
- Lack of documentation (i.e., missing entries, treatment notes, etc.)
- No date/time of entry on medical notes
- No signature or indication as to who did the paperwork
- Incomprehensible orders, prescriptions, and dosages
- Entering the wrong details in the wrong field/place/chart
I’m willing to bet that you’ve encountered more than one of these problems during your career.
Medical providers are well aware of the headaches of paperwork and documentation. Documentation of medical records is a difficult multi-step process, and all the issues listed above can negatively affect the whole procedure. Thankfully, all these problems can be addressed with one solution: accuracy.
One of the most valued advantages of medical transcription is its accuracy guarantees. Professional transcription teams work on the audio files, produce the most accurate transcripts possible, and ensure that grammar and spelling are all correct and that every nugget of information is taken down and placed in its proper field.
They Save A Lot of Time
Doctors spend an inordinate amount of time manually recording patient histories, consultation notes, lab data, and various records by hand. Administrative staff also spend hours organizing details, assigning codes, filling forms, and handling other record-keeping tasks. Research has found that healthcare professionals spend between two and six hours documenting for every eight hours of working with their patients.
Transcription services eliminate the need for manual documentation, reducing time spent doing essential, pesky paperwork. Doctors, nurses, and other support staff can provide verbal accounts and recordings, and a professional medical transcriptionist who understands medical terminology can take over the process and provide accurate transcription. It doesn’t end with clinical documentation and patient records, though.
They Improve Document Consistency
Consistent medical transcription from quality providers can help improve record standardization procedures outside EMR/EHR systems. Uniform records take the guesswork out of paperwork, enhance readability, and improve data structure so doctors and other private health professionals can peruse records with little fuss.
In this case, healthcare industry members are encouraged to enlist the services of a reliable transcription company, like Ditto Transcripts, to handle their medical documentation.
They’re Compatible With EHR/EMR
EHR and EMR systems require medical staff to input patient information into designated boxes. It should make things faster, but not everyone is familiar with the process.
Reliable outsourced medical transcription providers like Ditto Transcripts can interface with almost every single EHR system on the market. We can take the burden of documentation out of your hands so physicians can take more time to focus on their patients.
Here’s how we do it.
- Doctors, nurses, and medical staff can dictate patient information, chart notes, histories, treatment plans, medication, and other relevant EHR data.
- Audio recordings are sent to us via our secure cloud interface.
- We assign a skilled medical transcriptionist to produce and proofread the transcripts. Transcribed dictations are converted into PDFs, RTFs, or other text file formats as required.
- We send the completed work back to you. The transcripts, formatted into structured EHR templates, allow your system to read and auto-populate proper text fields using an HL7 interface.
This entire process removes the need to force doctors and nurses to spend hours and hours typing away at their devices, taking away precious time with their patients.
They Ensure Patient Data And Medical Record Security
Some medical providers might question the safety of the process I outlined above, which is fair enough. Data confidentiality and privacy in healthcare are held in the highest regard. Laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, aim to protect patient data by requiring everyone involved in the medical industry to meet stringent security protocols. Failing to meet such measures can lead to severe consequences like:
- Civil penalties that range from $100 to $250,000, depending on intent and efforts to rectify the violation
- Criminal penalties that range from $50,000 to $250,000
- Imprisonment of up to ten (10) years
- Paying restitution to affected parties
- Irreversible damage to reputation
- Loss of medical license or certification
This is why saving time and money shouldn’t be the only consideration in transcription.
Working with HIPAA-compliant transcription services for healthcare like Ditto Transcripts is absolutely essential to protect your practice from these consequences.
We offer clients a wide range of security and privacy protocols, all 100% HIPAA compliant, to protect every byte of data that passes through our transcription platform, such as:
- Detailed Reporting and Tracking Features
- Individually Defined User Access Levels
- Individual User Names, Passwords, and PINs (immediate deactivation upon request)
- Scaled Network Redundancy
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) Integration
- Dedicated Data Centers
- SSL 256-bit Secure Encryption
Issues With Automated Medical Transcription Services
The benefits of medical transcription are largely universal. Well, “largely” might be a bit generous in this regard. Not all providers offer the same level of advantage or quality of service, as some types are better than others. As a healthcare facility or provider, you must be able to find a professional medical transcription company that ticks all the boxes above without compromising on important matters.
Case in point: automated transcription solutions.
Automated transcription uses voice recognition software to transcribe recordings of medical procedures and various dictations. They’re mostly easy to set up and use. Also, speech recognition is fast—there’s no doubt about that.
However, fast isn’t everything in medical transcription.
There’s a time and a place to use speech recognition software, and medical transcription IS NOT IT. AI transcription, for all its flash, can only reach up to 86% accuracy.
Remember, accuracy is non-negotiable in medical transcription. Imagine having errors in documents involving treatments and medications: one wrong word or number can have serious repercussions for the patient and healthcare practitioner.
Voice recognition software alone is not advised. That’s why some providers use humans to “intervene” with automated transcripts to check for errors and improve accuracy rates. In that case, the difference in speed between AI and human transcription becomes moot, as it will generally take the same amount of time to produce transcripts of similar quality.
Why Human Transcription Is The Way
Human transcription is simply the best option in the medical field. The process utilizes people for every transcription task. They might use medical transcription technology, but humans handle and check most of the process.
Transcribing content in specialized fields in the medical industry requires someone who can understand and interpret the subject matter on a deeper, more intellectual level. A transcriber with the proper medical knowledge and training can provide more accurate transcripts than any AI. Experienced service providers can also offer expanded services like customized formatting and translation.
Here at Ditto Transcripts, we guarantee 99% accuracy rates with all medical transcription we provide for the healthcare industry, all delivered in a timely manner. We don’t use automated transcription or speech recognition technology; we are a 100% human-powered medical transcription company. This allows us to stay above the industry average in accuracy.
However, we wouldn’t be considered the best if our sole claim to fame was accuracy. We also offer HIPAA-compliant services, excellent customer service, affordable rates, and quick turnaround times, and we accommodate customization requests for medical transcripts.
So, let us take care of your medical transcription outsourcing needs, and you can focus on what you do best: saving lives.
Ditto Transcripts is a HIPAA-compliant Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.