Medical transcription services have been subject to multiple changes and challenges since its inception in the 1960s. Technological inroads in the healthcare sector, evolving complexities in healthcare regulatory frameworks, and process changes have necessitated regular round of changes, thereby disrupting the normal workflow followed in the medical transcription services sector. Here’s looking at the top medical transcription challenges and ways to mitigate them.
Synchronization issues– The entire process of medical transcription involves using various devices and programs. However, these devices do not necessarily synchronize with each other which creates a major challenge in processing the dictated input into an actionable output. For instance, recording devices do not properly get linked with the dictation server that inhibits automatic uploads.
Solution– Medical transcription services providers are using smart synoptic reporting system that aids in direct entry of data. With its improved design checklists, the synoptic reporting system aids to create complete and error-free medical reports. Medical transcription technologies help in transmitting the complete data to the desired destination such as the records room or the front desk. Secure transmission devices also ensure complete data protection while it is en-route from the transcriber.
Issues with speech recognition software– There are two scenarios that create challenges in a proper transcription while using a speech recognition software. In the first scenario, physicians hailing from different ethnic backgrounds will have their own unique pronunciation of medical terms. In the second scenario, during an active dictation, a physician may cough, sneeze, or yawn. A speech recognition software lacks the intelligence to isolate such scenarios and capture the pronunciations and sentences. This creates conflicts in transcription for different physicians.
Solution– It is necessary to get the reports vetted by professional medical transcriptionists who should thoroughly scrutinize the reports to detect and flag any anomaly. It is a fact that a majority of technologically progressive healthcare organizations rely on human experts to execute medical transcription work rather than solely depending on a speech recognition software.
Lack of medical transcriptionists– A majority of the developed nations such as the US face a stark shortage of qualified medical transcription professionals. A low payscale and skewed professional growth are considered to cause the shortage. A major decline in the payment reimbursements rates in the US hospitals have limited their budget which is one of the reasons for the low pay scale offered to medical transcriptionists. A poor work setting makes medical transcriptionists vulnerable to stress, vision-related issues, and other ailments that directly hit their productivity. This results in wage losses for them and is thereby further demotivating persons from aspiring to be a medical transcriptionist.
Solution– Healthcare organizations need to outsource medical transcription tasks to developing nations that can provide a wide talent pool at reasonable rates. Medical transcription services providers in these nations effectively reduce the excess burden on their professionals by adopting electronic health record systems and speech recognition software. This allows the professionals to deepen their focus on conducting a thorough scrutiny of transcribed reports.
There is no doubting the fact that outsourcing has emerged as one of the easy answers to a large part of medical transcription challenges. However, the onus lies on organizations and individual practitioners to make a careful choice while selecting a vendor. Ideally, they should prefer a medical transcription services provider who is located in a region that experiences a high rate of medical tourism. Such a region is expected to witness a rise in medical transcription services which will make it cheaper to afford.