Healthcare providers are up on their feet around the clock serving their patients every day. Their hands are already full of handling tasks, doing rounds, and managing patient care and treatments.
Preparing medical reports from their findings is one of their crucial tasks. Doctors cannot simply rely on text-to-speech and transcription tools for this. They hire reliable professionals to ensure the quality and accuracy of their reports.
So while the doctors and nurses observe and analyze patients, medical transcriptionists help them prepare reports and collate data. Fortunately, there are now different ways to hire medical transcriptionists.
Medical transcription: what you need to know
Medical transcription refers to transferring medical data from audio files to written reports. It requires additional knowledge in terminology, physiology, pharmacology, and compliance with patient confidentiality.
Healthcare providers transcribe audio dictations in different ways. They either use third-party text-to-speech software or hire a transcriptionist who will directly transfer dictations into written records.
Medical transcription services
Medical fields and related institutions rely on transcription. Usually, medical transcriptionists work in offices such as:
- Diagnostic laboratories
- Public and private hospitals and clinics
- Physician offices
- Government’s health department
- Insurance companies, and
- Healthcare BPO companies
Why hire a medical transcriptionist
Healthcare providers spend hours transcribing notes and preparing medical reports. However, they can’t focus on this alone.
With the advanced technology these days, healthcare providers now use automated text-to-speech and automated transcription software. But they have limitations.
Transcription software cannot always accurately comprehend every dictation, especially when it comes to medical terminologies and jargon. Healthcare providers dependably course this workload to medical transcriptionists.
A medical transcriptionist, also known as a registered healthcare documentation specialist, listens to audio dictations and precisely converts them into medical reports. They also edit, verify, and proofread data from transcription files to collate them efficiently.
Duties and responsibilities
Some of the duties and responsibilities of a medical transcriptionist include:
- Listening to the doctor’s dictations on the audio file
- Edit and verify drafts saved from text-to-speech software
- Translate medical jargon and abbreviations into long-form
- Identify errors in spelling, grammar, consistency, and syntax
- Follow up with healthcare providers to ensure records are accurate
- Submit written reports to physicians and other healthcare workers
- Enter medical reports into an electronic system
Skills needed by medical transcriptionists
Nowadays, medical transcription roles look beyond the educational backgrounds of applicants.
Applicants only need a registered healthcare documentation specialist (RHDS) certification, medical transcription training, and the following skills to qualify for the role.
Knowledge of medical terminology
Applicants must have a vast knowledge of medical terminology to transcribe their documents. At the same time, they know how to elaborate complex jargon to make it understandable.
Experience in transcription tools
A certified healthcare documentation specialist knows how to operate speech recognition software, audio playback equipment, and other tools to make their work more efficient. At the same time, they know how to maintain healthcare documentation integrity in handling medical documents.
Organization and attention to details
Medical transcriptionists handle volumes of audio files and complex medical records in a day’s work. This is why they must be organized and pay close attention to small details in their files to produce accurate outputs.
Medical transcriptionist salary
The median salary of a medical transcriptionist in 2020 was around US$35,000.00 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. But this varies based on a candidate’s experience, skills, field, and location.
In-house transcriptionists usually earn as low as US$29,730 annually in administrative offices and as high as US$42,070 for those working in diagnostic laboratories.
Their freelance and offshore counterparts, meanwhile, earn at least US$24,000 annually.
Benefits of hiring a medical transcriptionist
A medical transcriptionist improves the services of a medical institution or insurance company. Having them around helps healthcare workers in ways such as:
Shorter turnaround time
Doctors, nurses, and insurance companies would only need a shorter time to produce and release patient’s medical records.
Doctors are assured that someone knowledgeable in the medical field handles reports for them. Medical transcriptionists further improve the quality of medical reports they produce.
High level of security
Healthcare providers also ensure the accuracy and level of security in handling patient data through medical transcriptionists.
They follow Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance in data confidentiality.
How medical companies can hire a medical transcriptionist
Medical institutions and insurance companies can now hire medical transcriptionists in several ways.
Hospitals and physician’s offices hire in-house medical transcriptionists so their employees can work closely with the doctors and nurses on board.
In-house hiring is ideal for large institutions and specialized offices that are starting to build their teams. Healthcare providers usually take care of the equipment, online tools, office space, and employee salaries.
Compared to outsourcing, in-house hiring is not ideal for receiving high volumes of reports in different specialties.
Outsourcing to a dedicated firm
Outsourcing to a dedicated medical transcription firm is ideal for dealing with high volumes of files to transcribe. Most of these transcription service providers work with their clients online and on a pay-per-use service.
Companies only need to upload their audio files to the firm’s website. The transcription firm will then transcribe and convert these files into written reports within a specific timeline.
Outsourcing to BPO companies
Business process outsourcing is the best way to delegate an entire medical transcription project or department offshore.
Compared to hiring in-house, healthcare providers can flexibly scale their teams and operate more efficiently by outsourcing medical transcriptionists.
Outsourcing companies make sure that they hire the best talents for medical transcription roles. They diligently follow industry regulations to ensure the utmost safety and security of their data.