Why Use a Medical Transcription Service?
Why Use a Medical Transcription Service?
Charting is a task that can sometimes take up the most time out of a shift for many medical practitioners. For physicians in small- to medium-sized practices and clinics, charting might be just one of many roles and responsibilities they have in helping the practice run. Outsourcing medical transcription to a medical transcription service can help free up time and resources for physicians, allowing them to place more focus on their patients and giving them a peace of mind that their important documentation is accurate and secure.
With medical transcriptions, you want a service that can return your completed documents as quickly as possible with minimal or no errors. Not only are errors dangerous to patients, but they create liability issues for your facility. Additionally, inaccurate charting and slow turnaround times can result in thousands of dollars in lost revenue due to mistakes or delays in insurance billing. Medical transcription services from companies like MedScribe, Acusis and World Wide Dictation can offer both security and accuracy with their combination of technology and transcriptionist services. To learn more about the industry, you can read our articles on medical transcription services.
Medical Transcription Services: What to Look For
When choosing a transcription service for your facility, you should consider one that is compatible with your current electronic medical records (EMR) system if your practice has one. Many services offer EMR integration and free technical support so that transferring and filing patient records is easy.
A quality dictation service should offer flexible dictation-capture options and transcription-delivery methods that fit the needs of your office. The best services take dictations from mobile devices, handheld voice recorders and by telephone. The following criteria factored into our rankings:
The best services offer online editing and electronic signatures. That allows doctors to make changes to documents and sign them without printing them out. Before using a service, watch for hidden fees. Make sure there are no charges for faxing or customized templates. Additionally, look for companies that offer free backup and storage so that you have added protection against data loss.
Accuracy & Privacy
All of the transcription services we reviewed are HIPAA compliant. In order to meet HIPAA requirements, specific security features must be present to protect the sharing of patients' medical information.
Secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption maintains privacy while exchanging data online by scrambling a patient's personal information, making it illegible to unauthorized recipients. HIPAA requires at least 128-bit encryption, though some services use even stronger encryption.
The best dictation services offer three or more several levels of quality assurance. This way, a supervisor and clinician in addition to the transcriptionist screen your dictation for errors. The more sets of eyes that review your documents, the less chance errors might go through. Look for services that offer a dedicated transcriptionist. Since every physician has a unique dictation style, an assigned transcriptionist grows accustomed to a doctor's technique, resulting in increased accuracy and speed.
Dictation Capture Methods
There are several methods for dictation capture. Traditional phone-in dictation is still popular, because it is easy to access and you don't have to buy any extra software or hardware. Another dictation method uses digital handheld recorders, which allow for mobile dictation, but an extra step is required since someone has to upload your recordings to a computer to send them. Many services offer mobile applications that support the use of smartphones. Most of these applications are compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices. You can use them anywhere there is a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. Additionally, some services let you dictate using microphones connected directly to tablets and laptops.
Most services offer varying levels of EMR integration. With many services, you may have to copy and paste your transcribed documents into each patient's electronic chart. Other services may offer methods to directly or easily input information into the EMR. All the services we reviewed offered a web-based account for each client to access the finished transcriptions. You might also consider services that fax or automatically print documents at specific machines in your office or in referring physicians' offices.
Medical transcription services free up staff and resources to spend more time with patients. These cost-effective services lower overhead costs, reduce errors and improve insurance billing. A good medical transcription service protects both the patients and the practice staff while ensuring your practice is paid and your charts are accurate.