Electronic Health Records have truly transformed Medical Transcription and the Transcriptionists Role! Let’s discover how?

July 3, 2019

Ever since the health care system of United States initiated an infrastructure to establish and develop a national database for the maintenance of health care records, the field of medical transcription and medical transcriptionists themselves have found their roles to be transformed but before we get into that, let’s understand what has brought about this transformation? Well, the answer is Electronic Health Records.

Electronic health record commonly abbreviated as EHR is a digital record filing system for patient data. Today, through EHR, it is possible to securely access a patient’s health information and medical data.  Electronic health records also make it possible within the health care professionals to share patient’s health care data almost instantaneously – This is extremely beneficial in terms of second consultations or when doctors require emergency consultations. But, how does this change anything in the medical transcription industry? And what are their subsequent impacts on the role of a medical transcriptionist?

Even though many fret that the integration of EHR’s into the health care system will completely digitize the processes and replace the services themselves, the reality is that the transcription services are now more secure than ever! So, how has the integration of EHR’s affected the technological aspects of the medical transcription industry? Well, with the implementation of EHR’s, the medical transcription software’s can safely and directly create an interface with the EHR’s – This allows the software to analyze data more effectively which eliminates any static information or any kind of flat files. The integration of Electronic health records has managed to create data fields that are not only secure but also discrete. The implementation of EHR’s required the medical transcription process to comply with HL7 data requirements which means that a demand was created for medical transcription software’s – These medical transcription software’s could recognize and analyze an advanced level of speech! This is one of the first few ways in how the implementation of EHR’s has transformed the medical transcription industry.

EHR has not just upgraded the medical transcription industry on the technological front but it has also altered and upgraded the process with which medical transcription is carried out. Due to the integration of Electronic health records within the health care system, demographic information of the patient is now easily available and it can be merged in a systematic manner with the medical transcription software. Thus, the patient demographic can be easily available for transcribing the medical reports and this in turn has significantly increased the speed of the medical transcriptionist thereby lowering the turnaround time for transcribing a medical report. In addition to integrating the information of patient demographics, electronic health records also include details of the admission and discharge of the patient. They also include any current ot other prior medical data that was deemed as necessary information for patient’s health and medical records. This information is available for access to the medical transcriptionist thereby making the EHR records like reference documents to transcribe medical reports. The Medical transcriptionists can refer to the EHR records as source files to understand the patient history and create a detailed transcribed report for the doctor if required. Though the integration of EHR records has altered the medical transcription process to an extent, the most significant change has been observed due to the editor which has reduced the process of manual transcription. This is the factor that has affected the role of today’s medical transcriptionist!

As the speech recognition software’s gain increasing popularity and this factor coupled with the transition to the EHR editor has significantly reduced the activity of transcribing a medical report from the scratch. This sought of has had negative implications to an extent but if we deem this change from an evolutionary aspect, we will be able to adopt the integration of EHR with an embracing vision! Though the process of creating a transcribed document from the scratch is now going to be extinct, transcriptionists can upgrade themselves to understand medical terminologies better. They focus on developing their editing skills which is now a core requirement. Although, the integration of EHR records into the health care systems and other technological inventions have transformed the role of medical transcriptionist, one aspect to factor in is that these technological advances may save time to develop a report but they will not be able to deliver a 100% accurate report.

The above mentioned aspects of the integration of EHR records have truly transformed the process and technological front of medical transcription as well as the medical transcriptionist’s role! But how have they brought about this transition? Well, as it turns out that the technology infrastructure needed an update as well so that the transcription reports were not simply digitized texts but they were patient data that could be used by the physicians for future data analysis and treatments which is why the narratives are subject to NLP.

NLP abbreviated for Natural Language Processing is a technology that understands the doctor’s dictation and converts it into digitized texts that is then entered into the specific data fields. NLP when paired with the medical transcription software integrates the dictation of the doctor directly into a pre-defined template – This has proven to be extremely beneficial when medical transcriptionists are working with various transcription vendors because a significant portion of the time that used to be invested in formatting the article according to the clinic is now saved. Thus, the integration of EHR records and technological advancement has not only increased the productivity levels but they have also standardized the processes and increased the turnaround time.

By: Anna williams Category: blog


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