Doctors and nurses have some of the most important but also some of the most demanding careers. Their patients trust them with their health and lives. To handle such a huge responsibility, they need to keep up with the latest research and technological advances in the medical field. They never stop learning.
To comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards, they also have to keep diligent notes on the care they provide. Mankind has had medical records ever since we’ve learned how to write.
These medical records used to be written by the doctors themselves. Later on, they would dictate them to stenographers. The typed information was added to the patient’s file, which was then stored with records from other patients in filing cabinets.
The emergence of audio recording devices made it possible for doctors and medical transcribers to work asynchronously. The way medical records are stored has also changed. Desktops computers have replaced filing cabinets since this allows immediate remote access by authorized personnel.
Nowadays, most transcribers work with audio files sent to them digitally by healthcare practitioners. Smaller providers may still have in-house transcriptionists, but that’s very rare. It’s far more common to work with a medical transcription service provider. In this article, we will explore the importance of this service for healthcare.
Communication and Collaboration
Medical transcription is essential to healthcare because medical professionals need to communicate and collaborate with each other. Even if you go to a small clinic, chances are that more than one medical professional will work on your case. Maybe your primary care physician will want to refer you to a specialist, which means they will need to send your medical information to that specialist.
The specialist will review your medical record, consult you and perhaps prescribe further tests. They will add their findings to your record. Medical transcriptionists facilitate the transfer of information between medical professionals so everyone is on the same page and you get the right diagnosis and treatment.
Once the diagnosis is made and the treatment prescribed, it’s usually the responsibility of nurses and supporting staff to make sure the patient receives the recommended care. They also rely on medical records to avoid complications and keep you healthy.
Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists all need accurate medical records. They rely on it to assess the health of their patients and make an informed decision on the best course of action. In other words, accuracy is vital. Having these records allows them to take into account previous medical conditions and treatment strategies, so their recommendations don’t cause more harm than good.
To ensure this accuracy, medical transcriptionists go through formalized training to obtain certification. During this training, they learn medical and pharmaceutical terminology, as well as the HIPAA standards they must comply with.
Similarly to how doctors specialize in a certain field, so do medical transcriptionists. This is because there is such a high amount of terminology in every single field that it would be impossible for one person to gain a reasonable level of expertise in all of them. There are close to one hundred different medical specialties.