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What is Medical Transcription Outsourcing?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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Medical transcription outsourcing occurs when hospitals and doctors' offices send out their medical transcription work rather than have transcriptionists type it up in-house. Medical transcriptionists prepare doctor's notes into official formats such as discharge summaries and emergency room reports. Most medical transcriptionists prefer to have outsourced work as they can work online from their homes. This is also convenient for physicians and hospitals since transcription turnaround is often 24 hours. Medical transcription outsourcing also benefits medical professionals in that it eliminates overhead costs and allows them to save money on their daily transcribing needs.

Outsourcing medical transcription can save doctors and hospitals up to 60 percent on what they would need to spend to have transcriptionists onsite. Medical transcription companies also save on their overhead since they can do business online and send the transcribed work through secure systems over the Internet. They can hire trained medical transcriptionists to work from their own homes. At-home medical transcription work has become very popular with women who are also parents, as it allows them to earn an income while being at home with their children. However, the parent must be able to have enough time to concentrate and produce good-quality work or a successful career in online medical transcription isn't likely.

Training to become a medical transcriptionist often takes less than a year and the best Internet transcription programs allow the learner to work for actual online medical transcription outsourcing companies as part of their graduation requirements. A medical transcriptionist may start his or her own business after a year or two doing online transcription for other companies. Medical transcriptionists have training in anatomy, laboratory procedures and many other medical subjects. They must have excellent grammar and typing skills as well as respect laws and ethics in terms of the confidentiality of medical records.

Although medical transcription outsourcing has great benefits for physicians and hospitals facing budget cuts as well as transcriptionists and transcription services needing to earn an income, there are some disadvantages when the work is outsourced overseas. India is a popular place to outsource medical transcription, but transcriptionists in their own countries then lose work. Many medical experts caution against outsourcing overseas not only for that reason, but that patient confidentiality may be at risk. Laws that affect the patient privacy of medical records are difficult to enforce overseas.

Doctors and hospitals should be aware of who their transcriptionist is and make sure the medical transcription outsourcing company subcontracts to transcriptionists within their own country. Doctors must edit the transcriptionist’s work as well as approve it with an online signature. As long as ethics are considered, medical transcription online outsourcing can work well for everyone.

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