Medical transcriptionists often work at the periphery of the healthcare delivery system and have little to do with direct patient care. However, healthcare documentation, under which medical transcription falls, is one of the most significant functions in this industry.
Medical transcription – Why is it Important?
There are several reasons why medical transcription is considered an important area within the realm of healthcare system. Some of them are:
1. For the doctors and other primary healthcare providers, the importance of accurate medical documentation cannot be emphasized enough. For doctors treating patients, medical records are a means to help them assess the current situation, decide on the course of treatment and also take follow-up measures in the event of a relapse or development of related complications.
2. It’s not necessary that a patient is treated by only one physician. Healthcare providers from multiple disciplines of medicine may be involved in providing treatment to a patient. In that context, patient records prepared by medical transcriptionists help doctors involved in interdisciplinary treatment of patients communicate with each other. It facilitates the flow of information from one doctor to the next, so proper diagnoses and treatment plan can be arrived at.
3. Medical records are also the means to provide instructions to nursing and other support staff on how to care for the patient in question, what drugs to administer, warning signs to watch out for, samples to take for further testing, etc.
4. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are required by law to maintain proper patient records. It serves as the single most important piece of document in case there is a legal tangle at any point in time.
5. Patient records also form the basis on which health insurance carriers are billed and healthcare providers are paid for their services.
Significance of Accurate Medical Transcription
Not only is it important to have every medical procedure properly recorded and documented, but also maintain a hundred percent accuracy at all times. Without accurate documentation, health care could be compromised and patients can be at risk.
For standard care to be provided to patients there can be no concession on the accuracy of medical reports. Accuracy in patient records must also be maintained for proper and problem free billing.
For producing precise and accurate reports, one must be extremely skilled at medical transcription. Needless to say, understanding and putting into context medical jargon is not a job for an untrained mind and making a mistake can be catastrophic.
To make sure that accuracy of reports is not compromised, it is essential to undergo a formal training process. There are several ways of getting medical transcription training:
1. An Associate degree from community or junior college
2. A vocational medical transcription training course
3. Online medical transcription training
4. Medical transcriptioncertificate
Medical Transcription: The Outlook
The importance of medical transcription in the overall healthcare delivery system is only going to increase over the next few years led by aspurt in the number of older people in the country needing medical attention.
Even though outsourcing of medical transcription work and the development of speech recognition technology (SRT) are perceived as threats to the domestic medical transcription industry, they are not projected to have a significant impact on the demand for trained and qualified professionals.
In fact, they are expected to create new support roles for medical transcriptionist wherein they will be required to supervise work completed by back offices in other countries and ensure it meets U.S. quality benchmarks; review documents prepared by SRT for accuracy; and edit and format them into standardized styles.