What Is Medical Transcription and Why Is It So Important?

Being a healthcare provider isn’t an easy job. Between patient care, counseling, and taking regular exams, healthcare practitioners have a lot on their plate. But that’s not all – they must also keep accurate patient records… which is not an easy thing to do when you have to write down everything.

So, to make their lives a little easier, doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners use voice recorders to take notes. But since you can’t use audio files in a patient’s medical record, they have to be transformed into text somehow. And this is where medical transcription comes in.

Medical transcription is the process of typing the voice records of healthcare professionals into text files. And although that sounds trivial, it brings a huge relief to healthcare practitioners. Because unlike back in the day, now they don’t need to worry about creating hand-written reports and discharge summaries.

Here’s everything you need to know about medical transcription.

Medical Transcription: When It All Began

Medical transcription can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. At this time, physicians who didn’t want to take their own notes employed stenographers, who could document almost anything using shorthand.

As the wave of technological advancements erupted in the 20th century, “cool” devices such as typewriters were developed. And this replaced shorthand for a while before voice recorders and word processors came along and stole the show. These days, more cutting-edge technologies like speech recognition software and are also being used to facilitate medical transcription (More on that in a moment).

Why Medical Transcription is So Important

Okay, for starters, medical transcription makes it way easier to keep accurate medical records for patients. And as stated earlier, doctors are required by law to keep accurate medical records of all their patients. These records show the medical history and health information of patients, allowing them to get proper care when they see other practitioners.

But that’s not all – most hospitals have switched from the traditional paper filing system to electronic health records. And medical transcription makes this so much easier to do as well. Transcribed files are available as text documents that can be saved directly to the hospital’s server or the cloud. So, anytime a provider needs to issue medical reports, all they need to do is download and print the files. What’s more? These transcribed records are also used to bill insurance companies for patient care.

Alright, cool – medical transcription is super important. But do you need a human to do it? Let’s see.

Medical Transcriptionists vs Speech Recognition Software: Is There a Difference?

Speech recognition software (SRS) is a computer program capable of converting the words you speak into a written document. And this is all thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). But as intelligent as AI currently is, the results of SRS is still far from perfect.

And here’s why — for starters, automated tools can’t proofread or edit transcripts. They can also get a bit squirrely when certain accents are involved. So, even in the best of speech recognition software, the accuracy is usually less than 90%.

And that’s why computers won’t be taking over the jobs of medical transcriptionists anytime soon. Because unlike automated tools, medical transcriptionists undergo specialized training and possess a tremendous knowledge of medical terminology. Plus they’re humans, so they can hear what computers can’t.

Should You Outsource Medical Transcription?

Well… it depends. If your clinic has competent medical transcriptionists in-house, then you don’t have to. But if you don’t, then you definitely should consider outsourcing your transcription needs to the pros.

Here’s why – first off, you’ll be getting super accurate and neatly structured medical notes. Secondly, it’s way cheaper than employing a full-time transcriptionist. Thirdly, these guys typically use a secure server to send and receive files to protect the privacy of your patients. This is usually done either through a secure smartphone app (like we do!) or a direct upload via their website.

So, if you’re looking to save time, cost, and energy, but still want a professional job done, then outsourcing is your way out. However, to get the best, you need to choose the right transcription company.

Recorder & Transcription App

Here at IncrediScribe, we offer the secure IncrediScribe Voice Recorder app that allows you to record high-quality audio notes. Once recorded, you can order a transcription directly from the app and the file will be sent to us via our secure server. The best part? You can expect the job to be completed by our professional transcriptionists with 99% accuracy and returned to you within 12 hours.

If you already have an audio file you’d like transcribed, you can upload it online here and order a transcript that way.

We also offer a voice-to-text solution with an accuracy rate of 80-85%.