What are Medical Transcription Services?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Medical transcription services are individuals and agencies that convert audio presentations of medical data into a predetermined text format. The medical transcriptionist normally works with an audio recording, although it is not unusual for a professional of this type to also work in a real-time setting, such as during a consultation or discussion that is taking place during a conference call. Complete accuracy and attention to detail is essential in order to work in the field of medical transcription, as the data is often utilized as part of permanent medical records in hospitals, clinics, research facilities, and patient records in doctor’s offices.

More frequent medical consultation and treatment has led to an increase in the demand for medical transcription positions.
More frequent medical consultation and treatment has led to an increase in the demand for medical transcription positions.

While larger medical facilities may choose to employ a transcriptionist full-time, it is more common for this type of service to be outsourced. In general, medical transcription outsourcing involves contracting with medical transcription services or independent contractors that offer this type of business service. While the terms of the working agreement between the buyer and supplier vary, just about all will define information on how the cost is calculated, how long it will take the service to deliver the text document or electronic file, and the format that must be used for the final product.

In times past, medical transcription services operated by providing a client with simple recording equipment that included a microphone. The client would activate the recording device and speak into the microphone to provide the information that needed to be transcribed. At a pre-determined time, the service would pick up the recording, transcribe the data, and return it in typed form to the customer. While many medical transcription services still offer this option, other methods of collecting and delivering the data are now available.

One popular approach used by medical transcription services today is the use of VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. The client logs into a secure web site provided by the service and initiates a recording session. After completing the session, the file is named by the client and forwarded to a transcriptionist working for the service. In turn, the service creates and delivers an electronic document in the format specified by the client. Often, medical transcription services also forward an electronic copy of the original audio file as well. This approach makes it possible to complete the project in much less time and have the final product back to the client for review much quicker than more traditional methods.

Real-time medical transcription online is also an option today. Using Internet based conference services, medical professionals can gather together to discuss a given topic or case, with a transcriptionist also logged into the live meeting. As the discussion takes place, the entire session is transcribed as it occurs, making it possible to provide a text file shortly after the meeting adjourns. As a backup measure, the session is usually recorded, allowing the transcriptionist to review a portion of the discussion if necessary.

Medical transcription services tend to hire people who are conversant with medical terms, can type at an acceptable rate per minute, and are able to follow instruction completely and accurately. In many instances, the transcriptionist can work from home, making this one of the more desirable ways to earn money without leaving the house.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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