Thursday, September 24, 2009

Medical Transcription - The Future

As I meet with prospective clients I am coming across a question which is growing in it's frequency: "Isn't medical transcription going away?" Folks marketing voice recognition and EMR technology have done a good job professing that their solutions are the nail in the coffin for outsourced transcription services.

I tell my prospective clients that it depends on the practice and physicians. Voice Recognition technology has become a tool which helps improve productivity, but it doesn't replace human intelligence. There is still a certain percentage of each document which needs to be edited. A study by the AC Group finds that traditional EHR data-entry is 9 times longer than narrative dictation/transcription. Users come to a crossroad where they need to weigh the balance between the cost of transcription and the loss of productivity.

Even with EMR and Voice Recognition technology there is still a need for human intelligence. Specifically, a practice that needs to remain productive and not lose patient visits due to productivity shortfalls will continue with dictation/transcription. Furthermore, although in it's infancy, Discrete Reportable Transcription - DRT is the answer many are looking for by combining the efficiencies and quality gains of medical transcription with the value of discrete data.

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