In a nutshell, medical transcription is a process of translating medical records from voice format to text format.
In developed countries like the US, patients medical records are computerized so that individuals entire medical treatment history can be accessed by Physicians and health care institutions anywhere. It is also mandatory for the US hospitals to prepare record of each and every procedure and operations performed on patients in a prescribed time frame. However, preparing a detailed report by Physicians and other healthcare providers employ state-of-the-art electronic transmission methods to dictate highly technical information summarizing medical histories, diagnoses and treatments for their patients.
Then, professionals called Medical Transcriptionists (MT) transcribe the recorded voice into comprehensive records that accurately reflect medical procedure records. The practice of utilizing MTs has been present in the US for the past 3 decades. In USA, the American Association of medical Transcriptionists (AAMT) stipulates certain standards for excellence in the job, Medical Transcriptionist form an important component of the health care system in USA. Recent advances in telecommunication, specifically in computer data transmission have opened up opportunities to offer such specified services to the US from India.
A first look at the medical transcription job profile may look like an ordinary data entry work, however, it is like comparing oranges with apples.
The medical profession requires technical as well as analytical skills. A variety of skills are required to transcribe medical dictations and produce quality medical records, Primarily, MTs should have very good medical knowledge and understanding and ability to detect and rectify any discrepancy in dictation. A well-trained medical transcriptionist should be able to participate in medical seminars, lectures and comprehend them easily.
MTs need to have in-depth knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, disease processes, and the Internal organization of medical reports. They must be aware of standards and requirements that apply to the medical record as well as the legal significance of medical transcripts.
There are a variety of medical reports including history and physical examinations, operative procedures, chart notes, emergency room notes, consultations, discharge summaries, referral letters, radiology reports, lab reports, pathology reports etc. Thus, and MT must be well versed in the language of medicine and surgery.
Medical Transcriptionists need to acquire knowledge in medical related areas such as: Medical Terminology including how medical words are formed. Human body system and its functions, Medical and Surgical procedures, instruments, supplies, appliances, and prosthetic devices, Laboratory Values, correlating, laboratory test results. Use of medical reference materials, apart from Medical Knowledge MTs are required to know medical records formatting rules. Fluency in English including American Lingo and phrases. Excellent listening skills and pick a variety of accents, typing skills, Basic computer operations, Analytical skills and sound judgement.
The quality of services rendered by medical transcriptionist is measurable and it is done everyday. One is fit to be an MT if he/she possess qualities and characteristics such as those interested in medicine, word specialists, perfectionists, committed to continuous learning, long hours of concentration, ready to accept time bound assignments and dedicated to professional development and achievement.
Medical Transcription as an intellectually challenging and highly demanding career. It gives an opportunity to learn and understand the human body and its functions. Healthcare industry in the US, is rapidly growing, however, the number of quality medical transcription professionals to support this growth is not available. Hence, transcription works are outsourced to countries like India, where people with required skill are readily available. A study predicts that in a couple of years, medical transcription industry in India will require around 2,50,000 qualified transcriptionist. Medical Transcription industry is a new and upcoming field in India, therefore, the scope for people who choose this as a career now, have a very good opportunity to shine in this industry.