Medical Transcription? Outsourcing May Lower Costs and enhance Quality
Want to organize physicians’ handwritten notes and prescriptions into electronic documents without spending a fortune? An outsourced medical transcription service is the perfect solution for you.
All medical institutions require computerization of medical notes for clean and compact record-keeping, insurance claims processing, quick reference, conferencing and various other reasons. Hospitals and clinics have long been hiring complete time transcriptionists to do the same. But this is an expensive option and not the ideal solution if you have varying quantity of transcription needs. Alternatively, you can give transcription duties to other clerical staff or use voice recognition software. But these solutions can be quite inaccurate, putting the health of your patients at stake. Your clerical staff may not be well trained for medical transcription and accuracy of voice recognition usually is too low to be useful. A medical transcription service gives you the best combination of expense, quality and accuracy.
How does a medical transcription service work?
- Physicians dictate their notes into a recording device, usually a toll-free phone line or handheld digital recorder. Most medical transcription sets sustain both these methods. Some sets also accept recorded cassettes. Mp3 is the preferred sound format when using digital recorders, though other formats can also be used.
- The recorded information is then sent to the medical transcription service provider. Information security during move is basic. Your patients’ personal information must not be leaked out at any cost. Digital recordings are submitted via the Internet. This can be done using a obtain web site and file move protocol (FTP) using custom software from the provider, or already by encrypted email. In case of a toll-free line, the information is directly recorded on the providers’ servers.
- The recorded notes are then transcribed and returned to the hospital or clinic. Information is usually returned as information files, though other formats like pdf can also be stated. Delivery methods include obtain web sites, FTP, custom software, encrypted email and in some situations fax.
More comprehensive medical transcription sets are also obtainable. They offer an online system that stores both the audio files and transcripts, organizes them by date, doctor, or patient, and keeps track of progress as they are being transcribed. These sets are more expensive but offer substantial management benefits.
Accuracy: The returned work must have accuracy close to 100 per cent. Select a medical transcription service that employs experienced and skilled medical transcriptionists and quality assurance professionals who review the transcriptions before delivering them to you. Your doctors should review and estimate each transcript on delivery to prevent any damage to your patients’ health and well-being.
Turnaround Time: It refers to the maximum time within which medical transcripts will be delivered to you after submitting the audio recordings. Most medical transcription sets offer a turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours. Most also include a STAT service that allows you to specify a turnaround time of one-, two- or four-hours at an additional cost. Different types of notes can have different turnaround times.
Security: Medical transcription sets are unprotected to HIPAA rules about patient confidentiality. The industry standard for internet security is 128-bit SSL security. Physical security at the provider location is also important. Careful employee screening and tracking is basic. Audit trails can assist in tracking employees. An audit trail keeps track of each individual who accesses a given set of notes and the modifications they make.
Sound Quality: Good quality of sound recording is basic for performance. Digital handheld recorders provide better sound, though they carry an additional hardware cost. Some medical transcription sets charge lower prices if you provide them with better quality recordings.
Location of Service: Many medical transcription sets use both domestic and international transcriptionists. There is generally no difference in quality and accuracy between the domestic and outsourced sets. Having transcription teams all around the world enables the service providers to meet deadlines. You will most like pay more for service if you insist on using medical transcriptionists located in a developed country like the US.
How much will you have to pay?
You are charged per line of text. The industry standard is 65 characters in a single line including spaces. Some service providers however, include lesser number of characters in a single line. Price usually ranges from $.05 to $.20 per line. Before you hire a vendor, compare price quote from multiple medical transcription sets at a B2B Marketplace. Also ask your friends and other doctors for recommendations.
Most medical transcription service providers offer free trial runs. Carefully estimate the providers’ ability to meet deadlines, the accuracy of transcripts, and ease of interaction with their customer service representatives during the trial run. Many providers assign a dedicated team of transcriptionists for long term contracts and also offer lower prices. Carefully estimate your requirements, the providers and the obtainable sets before making a decision.