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THE MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION BOOM
Publication :Data Quest
Dated :June,2000
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Medical Transcription the Concept:

The US law makes it mandatory for doctors to maintain reports of their patients and in turn submit these reports to insurance companies. The lack of in-house secretaries, high costs and time factor made it difficult for reports to be prepared by the transcription companies in the US itself.

With the Internet boom, availability of skilled manpower and sound English speaking population, medical transcription made its way to India.

Medical Transcription the Process:

In its simplest form, medical transcription is a process where doctors in the US need to merely dictate notes into a Dictaphone, which is connected to a central server that reaches the server in India through satellite.

The medical transcriptors in India listen to these voice files and prepare reports in a presentable format and send it back through the same procedure, so the doctor in America has his patients reports the first thing in the morning.

Chennai Scene in Medical Transcription:

The medical transcription concept in Chennai, although six years old, has gained momentum in recent times with a number of institutes springing up; to name a few, Nittany, which is one of the pioneers in this area, Shapre, Apex School of transcription, Zentech Solutions, Lords, The scribe, Rapid Care and several others.

Nittany, the first center in Chennai, established in 1994, started its production center and today has its own marketing offices in the US. Most of their work comes from transcription companies in the US itself.

Having being in the market for six years. Nittanys cutting edge over other growing transcription centers is its long survival, thereby having a better understanding of the medical transcription market and its growing trends.

Setting up a production center says Venkat, MD, Rapid care, a one year old transcription institute and production center. calls for an investment upto a crore of rupees on networked computers, a lease line to increase speed and connectivity, in-house software to manage files as well as gateway back ups.

The training period, which varies according to institutes focuses mainly on medical terminology, workable knowledge of English, transcription skills and on-the-job training, that trains students on live files.

As the first training center in Chennai and a five-month old production center, Lords school of medical transcription is one of the institutes which has an associate office in the US, that helps update day-to-day course material. With offices in Hyderabad, Visage, Chennai and Coimbatore, Lords transcripts for three hospitals in New Jersey and California as many as 35,000 lines per day, says Shivakumar, Director, Lords.

Manickam Nambi, Business Manager, Apex School of Transcription stresses, ours is a comprehensive and flexible training and we make sure our students emerge with high accuracy levels and move on to be editors and quality assurance professionals.

With this IT-enabled service making waves, more and more transcription companies are mushrooming. Milenix Solutions, a month-old transcription company is currently training students to be transcriptors, who can be absorbed immediately into their own production center, which is likely to take off in October.

We want qualified medical transcriptors who can give us 99 percent accuracy. Says Srimathi Viswanath, Executive Administrator, Milenix solutions. Offering its trained professionals a starting salary of Rs.4,000, Milenix has plans to tie-up with hospitals in Pittsburgh, USA.

Says Venkat, MD, Rapid care Transcription Pvt. Ltd. It is indeed the cost factor, geographical location of our country, being 12 hours ahead of US. Largest English-speaking population and cultured workforce that make India, more so Chennai, a good center for medical transcription.

With a whole load of paramedical and medical colleges in and around the city, medical transcription today presents interesting career opportunities for students.

As new media technologies are developing, man is developing to accommodate these changes and make the most of them. We are witnessing a revolution where communication is no longer interpersonal but computer-mediated. Medical transcription represents one of the new and merging forms of new media technologies

Investing in medical transcription today is indeed a high-risk because it calls for complying with 89-90 percent accuracy in transcription. It is equally important to understand the parameters of transcription before investing here.

The industry is on a boom today says Manickam Nambi. Medical transcription is going to grow and if it does fall, it sure will be because of our sub standards.

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