Patient care and health care documentation go hand-in-hand. The demand for accurate and timely reports has become massive over the years. Medical transcription is the specialization of healthcare documentation and medical language, where medical transcriptionists (MT) provide documentation services to a number of health professionals. The transcribed voice files shall then become a patient’s medical records.
A Little History
In the early days, medical records were written by hand and stored in huge cabinets (pity those secretaries who worked in those days), but as the patient care industry grew and became more sophisticated, documentation of patient records needed some catching up. Whereas physicians used to do the documentation themselves, this practice became increasingly impractical.
Physicians realized that doing voice recordings of patients’ care management and having others do the documentation part freed up their valueable time and increased their productivity. This trend paved the way to what we now call as “medical transcription”.
Medical transcription in a nutshell is converting medical dictations to text. Physicians would dictate information about patient encounters on a hand-held recorder or a telephone connected to a server and these recordings would then be sent to medical transcriptionists for them to transcribe. Soft copy of these transcribed documents, called “transcripts”, are then sent back to the physicians for them to review and store in their local database. Having the transcripts in soft copy results to a more organized filing of patient records for easy access for future use (good bye cabinets!).
With the advent of electronic medical record (EMR) and speech recognition softwares, the medical transcription industry also evolved, particularly with regards to the medical transcriptionist’s role in the documentation process. Instead of being the “typists”, medical transcriptionists now take on a more holistic role in the documentation process, acting now as editors responsible for making ensuring the quality of the documents.
The demand for medical transcription services will continue to grow as the general population grows in number and age. The health industry in general is on an upward movement and this promises to carry medical transcription with the