Medical transcription outsourcing: A sustainable model for creating patient medical records

A commonly acknowledged fact about the healthcare sector is that it is a complex service involving a series of healthcare related and other factors that enable the delivery of quality healthcare on a timely basis. Therefore most healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals focus on lessening the burden of factors other than the actual process of healthcare on healthcare professionals and support staff. Creating patient medical records is one such function. It is essential for not only timely and efficient delivery of care, but also for other aspects like receivables management, risk management and meeting statutory obligations but is not part of the core functions.

Healthcare professionals and other support staff have various options for creating patient medical records, but over time medical transcription has proven to be one of the most efficient methods of documenting the care process. Moreover medical transcription is one such function that lends itself to being outsourced. Outsourcing medical transcription to a professional medical transcription company has many advantages one of the main being the sustainability of this model.

How do outsourcing transcription services provide sustainable support to healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals?

To understand how medical transcription services provide a sustainable model for creating patient medical records it is important to understand the main components of quality medical transcription. Quality medical transcription is defined as accurate, timely, secure and cost effective transcription. The main requirements for quality medical transcription are:

• Team
• Technology
• Processes

By outsourcing medical transcription to a professional medical transcription company, the onus of all these three resources is shifted to the medical transcription service provider, lessening the burden of healthcare facilities. However the process of choosing the right medical transcription service provider needs to be based on the right criteria to ensure seamless services.

Given below are the criteria on which the medical transcription company needs to be evaluated:

Team

• Sourcing: It is important to assess the service provider on the basis of their policy for sourcing and hiring the right talent. This needs to be continuous process to ensure that there is no dearth of medical transcriptionists to meet the changing needs of healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals.

• Developing: Once the right talent has been sourced it is important to provide these medical transcriptionists with the right training to ensure accurate and timely transcription. Considering that medicine is a vast subject with various specialties, it is important to train medical transcriptionists on different specialties based on their acumen to make them domain experts.

• Work allocation and continuous education: Apart from sourcing and developing the right talent it is important to allocate medical transcription work based on the specialty of medical transcriptionist team. It is also important to provide resources for medical transcriptionists to keep their knowledge updated.

Technology

• Maximum benefits: Considering the hectic work schedules of healthcare professionals it is important for medical transcription companies to use technology that provides maximum benefits. This should have options for collection of audio files as well as options for delivery of transcripts

• Easy to use: It is equally important for medical transcription companies to keep the technology as easy to use as possible to ease the burden on healthcare professionals and other support staff.

• Secure: Another aspect of the right technology includes providing security during the entire process of transcription

• Updated: Keeping in consideration the changing healthcare documentation scenario, medical transcription companies should constantly update technology and services to include the latest developments like HL7 interface, proofreading and editing services for speech recognition software transcription

Processes

• For quality: It is important to assess whether the medical transcription company subjects transcripts to multiple level quality checks to minimize errors
• For security: As protecting the confidentiality of patient information is both a legal and ethical responsibility it is important to source a medical transcription company who has processes in place to ensure HIPAA and HITECH compliance.



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