Medical Transcription Services: Why Outsource and How to Choose a Provider

    Danilo Coviello

    Medical practice has the most significant number of reports generated in any one day. They vary from charts to patient notes to meetings among practitioners. As a physician, transcribing dictations to text can take up a lot of valuable time. That’s why you should consider medical transcription services.

    Although outsourcing transcription is a relatively new trend in the medical field, it’s what every medical provider needs to become more efficient. It’s fast, effective and saves both time and money.

    What is Medical Transcription?

    Simply put, medical transcription or MT is the conversion of a physician’s dictations into a written form by listening and typing. As a medical practice, you have three options:

    1. You can choose to have a full-time in-house medical transcriptionist to take care of all of your transcription needs for physicians. Although this may seem convenient, there would be times when transcription requirements are lower than others, but you’ll still need to pay them a full salary as a permanent employee. When the workload increases, the person may not finish the transcriptions within the required time due to overload.
    2. Another option is to buy a medical voice recognition software or a digital recorder that can convert your verbal dictation into text. However, nothing beats the quality of a human transcriber. You’ll still need to go through the document to check and correct misunderstandings, misspelled words and punctuation.
    3. Outsourcing corporate medical transcription services to a transcription company are the future for medical transcription. You’re guaranteed an error-free document that perfectly reflects your dictation. An outsourced company has many professionals working around the clock, thus it can honour your requested turnaround time.

    The Downfalls of Speech Recognition Software

    Some hospitals and medical practices prefer to do their transcriptions in-house through a speech recognition software for medical records or medical transcripts or documents. Same happens for legal transcription. While this sounds like the most convenient route to take, the software has numerous disadvantages that could disrupt work-flow.

    1. Compromised Document Accuracy: The software understands your voice over time. This means your voice, the speed at which you speak, and your tone must remain consistent, which is not always the case. Therefore, until it learns to recognize all of your different tones and accents and changed speed of speech, you’ll have to spend a lot of time editing documents.
    2. Time Factor: Though the software is meant to save you time, you’ll discover that you’ll spend more time initially understanding how it works, to edit pieces and to have it get used to your voice. It’s a long process and as a medical practice, do you have the time?
    3. Background Noise: In most cases, especially in meetings with other doctors, the audio will lack clarity. Software cannot separate conversations or differentiate your voice from other background noises. A muddled document can be a source of unwanted frustration, confusion and stress.
    4. Price: Software is expensive, and it comes with specific hardware requirements for proper functionality that will need to be updated over time.

    Why Outsource Your Transcription Needs

    1. Reduce overhead costs:

      Medical dictation transcription services will remain a part of any hospital that adheres to correct documentation practices. Hiring full-time medical transcriptionists is expensive because one person cannot finish the workload on time alone. Additionally, if you outsource the work to medical transcription services agencies, you’ll only pay for the individual transcripts.

    2. Have Digitally Available Content:

      Transcribed medical content is relevant to shareholders, patients, insurance companies and members of staff. Medical transcription services convert your content into a digital format that is easy to find and use.

    3. Timely Turn Around Time and Quality Work:

      Regardless of the length of your file, you get an assurance of rapid turnaround time and quality work. Transcription outsourcing companies have multiple review procedures that screen your work such that the end product matches the original dictation accurately.

    Choosing The Best Medical Transcription Services

    1. Affordability: The company should be affordable without compromising on the quality of work delivered. At the same time, you should have a clear understanding of any additional costs on quick projects that require less than the initially agreed turnaround time.
    2. Accuracy: Quality Assurance – Support Services – Glaring grammatical errors show carelessness and lack of proof-reading. The company should be able to deliver high-quality documents that match your requirement. Try asking for a 30 second test before choosing a provider. Medical transcription companies should always be accurate and timely with their services.
    3. Timely Results: Lateness and constant deadline extension is an alarming trend. Ensure the company can deliver content with the agreed time without failure and check whether you get a discount if they don’t meet the deadline.

    Medical Transcription Services – Tips for the Experts

    1. Do your Research: Do not rush to hire the first company that pops up in your search results. Find out more about transcription companies and their reputation and ask for a free quote to evaluate them. Most medical outsourcing companies rely on their reputation for repeat customers. Check out their medical transcriptionists and online reviews and contact their references.
    2. Spell Out All of Your Expectations from The Word Go: Before you commit to a specific organization, leave no room for misunderstandings. Clearly outline what you expect and enquire if they can accommodate your demands. You can request to have a service agreement drafted also.
    3. Consider the Best Alternative for Your Business: While outsourcing may work for some medical practices, others can make do with a voice recognition software. Understanding your workflow will help you make the best choice that is most favourable to you and your staff.