You are eager on making a foray into the medical transcription field, and are keen on seeking more information before arriving on a decision to join the profession or look elsewhere. In a nutshell the profession hinges on the report typed by the medical transcriptionist.
Not at All New
It helps to delve a bit into how the entire thing started, for starters one must bear in mind the fact that, keeping and handling medical records is not at all new, ancient cave writings bear testimony to the earliest medical records, ever since human beings started writing.
Medical Transcription as we know it today, has existed ever since the beginning of 20th century, this was necessitated by the need for standardization of medical data, which had become critical to medical research at that point in time.
The credit must go to medical stenographers who effectively replaced physicians as the existing recorders of medical information. They did so by taking shorthand dictations from doctors.
As time progressed and audio recording devices made their appearance, the possibility of physicians working asynchronously with transcriptionists finally became a reality, laying down the framework of the professional healthcare documentation, as we know it at the present time.
Over the Years
Over the years technology per se has undergone major transformations, the manual typewriter of yore gave way to electronic typewriters, word processors, and robust computer systems. On the voice recording front, digital recordings have replaced analogue magnetic tapes for the recording of voices.
In the present time SR, speech recognition, also known as continuous speech recognition is gaining significant acceptance, however only on very few instances– it has been able to completely replace the MT or the medical transcriptionist, even in medical jobs in India.
The next major advancement in this field is NLP or natural language processing, it holds immense potential of taking completely automatic transcription further ahead, by incorporating interpretive functionality as well, though not to the extent that Medical Transcriptionists are able to do. This indeed is a major advancement over SR or speech recognition.
Speech Recognition Software
To put things in perspective, the MT profession is that part of the healthcare industry, which is devoted to rendering and editing reports by physicians and doctors, along with procedures, notes and transform them into an electronic format.
These files represent the treatment history of patients, as an established practice, health practitioners dictate what all they have actually done, after performing the procedures on their patients, and it is the MTs who go ahead and transcribe that oral dictation as well as edit various reports that have passed through the speech recognition software.
Essentially speaking pertinent, up – to – date as well as confidential information related to the patient is efficiently converted to written text document by an MT, and hard copies may also be drawn from soft copies from time to time.
This work can be assigned to in house MTs, outsourced to offshore locales, or individuals who telecommute, although paper is still in vogue in hospitals either all by itself or in conjunction with electronic reports.
The manner in which it happens, for every instance the patient visits a physician, an entire medical summary is mentioned on the chart for that particular patient. This note is dictated by the doctor, and the all-important role of typing the same in the desired format lies with the medical transcriptionist.
Irrespective of clinical settings or medical specialties, physicians employ the services of medical transcriptionists everywhere. It must be borne in mind that the terminology used by doctors is quite different from the everyday speech we use in our communications.
It comprises of really complex concepts, terminologies and calls for specialized training, education and age will not get in your way provided you have good spoken and written communication skills. Openings abound as MTs, QAs, Proofers and you glean in a lot of health related knowledge.
You are likely to get flexible working hours; the only downside is salary hikes are not very substantial, few and far between to be precise. Poor listening skills are an impediment in your progress to the next level.
Another downside which many people find stressful is the constant use of headphones and consistent listening to voice data as well as typing for an extended duration, all of this takes a toll on the health of people working in this field and at times it causes considerable distress, leading to attrition, which again creates promising opportunities for newcomers.