This article discusses why it is important to be accurate in medical transcription. A medical transcriptionist should consistently be able to deliver error-free transcripts even if she comes across different accents, mumblings in the conversation, slow or rapid speech, or dictations with disturbing background noises.
Why Precision in Medical Transcription Services is Necessary
The medical transcriptionist (MT) is required to maintain a minimum accuracy of 98% on all reports that are to be included in a patient's medical record. Given below are some reasons why this precision is necessary:
- To Avoid Misinterpretation and Wrong Treatment – Errors are possible in the use of left for right and vice versa, errors in lab values and errors related to names of drugs. Sometimes, it may happen that information pertaining to a particular patient is placed in another patient's record. If at any time a specialist or doctor in an emergency room peruses a record with such errors and takes the errors to be the correct data, it can cause grave health risks for the patient.
- To Avoid Legal Consequences – Minor or major errors relating to language errors or use of the wrong medical terms may be used by plaintiff attorneys in definite or threatened legal proceedings against providers of healthcare services.
- To Safeguard Credibility and Reputation – Even the slightest mistakes in transcription can cause a medical practice or physician to be accused of lack of discipline and dedication. This can lead to serious repercussions in the form of reduction in the perceived proficiency and capability of the healthcare provider.
Measures Adopted by Companies that Provide This Service
Having now realized that precision is important, here is a look at some of the measures that a reliable medical transcription company takes to achieve the required level of precision in its work:
- Capable Professionals – The company ensures that the people it employs are fluent in English language use and punctuation and have adequate knowledge of medical terminology, laboratory values and procedures, signs and symptoms, anatomy and physiology, medication, and disease processes. The staff performing this task also requires exceptional listening skills. The work of newly recruited staff would be monitored and checked for accuracy.
- Advanced Software – The firm will make use of advanced software such as medical spell checker, American Drug Index and Stedman's Electronic Medical Dictionary.
- Research and Good Judgment – Professionals working in a reliable company will willingly do research using online resources to search for medical terminology and names of medication for other purposes. They would also be able to spot errors or anomalies in the dictation and would correct those using skills of good judgement and intuition.
- Quality Assurance – After transcription, a comparison will once again be made between the dictation and the transcribed output. The transcripts will also have to pass through three levels of quality control before they are sent to the client.
- Flagging – If the MTs are unable to understand a particular phrase or word in the dictation, they would flag the report to get the correct phrase or word rather than try to guess it and make a mistake.
- Feedback – The company will ensure that it is always getting feedback from the clients. This will help it to improve its service quality.
This article highlights why medical transcription is important to the healthcare industry. It is important to realize that for ensuring precision in this back office task, there should be excellent co-ordination among the healthcare provider, the patient, and the documentation team.