healthcare techWith the progress of science and technology, medicine has also progressed making the lives of millions longer, easier and more comfortable. However, one of the lesser known advancements in medicine has been in the area of medical transcription. For those who haven’t heard of it before, medical transcription also known as MT is the process of converting voice reports by doctors into text. This is usually kept for patient records. To provide this service to healthcare professionals, there are many medical transcription companies which provide good quality and efficient services to the field of medicine.

Even though it sounds very easy, medical transcriptions require a great degree of expertise and know-how of medicine in general. While recording, doctors often use jargon and abbreviations. The transcriptionists have to be knowledgeable enough to decipher all that data.

The technology in MT

Doctors and other healthcare professionals record their notes in voice files. The job of the medical transcriptionist is to take the voice files and make them into text, in a digital format. Recently, the use of voice streaming has started. Here medical transcription companies receive the voice files immediately so that they can be transcribed as soon as possible. Transcription was taken up in the field of medicine after data transcribing had transited to the usage of typewriters, word processors and much later, computers.

Changing roads for medical transcription

Technology changes everything. As a result of further scientific advancement, even the medical transcription industry has changed. Of late, the advent of voice recognition technology has been threatening the existence of the field of medical transcription. However, the software is still not developed enough to completely eliminate human presence.

Earlier, doctors would voice record their notes using dictation machines. Then the transcriptionists would take these voice notes and convert them to text. Since the use of voice recognition, the role of medical transcriptionists has become largely editorial. Once the voice recognition technology auto converts the recordings to text, the transcriptionist will proofread the output checking if it is coherent and free from grammatical and syntactical errors.  Another important change has been the digitization of data. Nowadays, patient records are no longer preserved in paper files. Online systems have been developed for efficient and organised record keeping. As a result the field of medical transcription has also had to keep up with these changes.

However, voice recognition technologies like Nuance Dragon do not necessarily have to spell the end for medical transcription. In fact they can be used to increase efficiency of work. With the help of voice recognition technology, medical transcriptionists have been able to transcribe at a rate which is 30% faster than what it was earlier.

More and more medical transcription professionals are taking training classes to enhance their knowledge and practice at this voice recognition software.

What the future holds

Other than the changes listed above, one more change that the medical transcription industry has to adhere too are the rules laid down by the HHS (Health and Human Services). These rules refer to the proper use of electronic health records. Basically, this move has been an effort to standardize a certain format for maintaining health records. Earlier, simple transcription to a word processed document was enough, now, with the new rules, the data will have to be structured accordingly. For example, data on medications, smoking status etc. will have to be entered into corresponding fields and not just part of an unstructured narrative prose.

As they say, nothing is more certain than change itself. And so, even the medical transcription companies have to meet the forthcoming challenges of change.

Jenna has been in the medical transcription industry for the last fifteen years. Working with some of the best medical transcription companies, she has successfully created patient records for many hospitals and individual healthcare professionals. When she is not working, Jenna likes to kick back and watch movies.