From Medical Transcription Companies to Artificial Intelligence - A Journey Through Medical Technology
Finding the right medical transcription company — at the right price — may be an outdated and unnecessary practice for doctors offices as more AI scribe technology becomes more available and accessible.
Early Medical Documentation Technologies
In the early days of medical dictation software, doctors relied on their staff or a third party transcription service to double-check their notes. Medical transcription companies provided a final touch of validity to doctors seeking medical transcription services. More recently, however, medical transcription software has become increasingly more accurate and as the technology has advanced, the need for third party non-automated transcription has dwindled.
With increasing demand for thorough, accurate exam notes and generally for electronic health records, doctors’ offices around the country began outsourcing tedious transcription work to national and global medical transcription companies. After sending audio files to a select transcription company, a medical transcriptionist would document the recording as a written health record. The intent was to save money and gain flexibility while adding the value of a professional transcriptionist. Many doctors found outsourcing to be a better option than hiring staff specifically for transcription.
Medical Transcription Companies
Medical transcription companies vary greatly and provide different benefits and costs. While most provide a statement of HIPAA security authorization, much of the labor is outsourced to employees outside of the United States where security rules may be different and weaker. The transcription service must spell out exactly how it protects sensitive health information, while following HIPAA guidelines and protecting your medical office from potential violations.
According to Nir Kshetri and Nikhilesh Dholakia in their paper “Offshoring of Healthcare Services: The Case of the Indian Medical Transcription Offshoring Industry,” the demand for medical transcribers is shrinking and shifting. “The increasing sophistication of speech recognition and spelling and grammar checking software, however, offers stronger future capital-for-labor factor substitution prospects in [medical transcription] services.”
Beyond security, doctors must also consider efficiency. Turnaround time — the time from sending the audio file and receiving written records — varies depending on the workload and the medical transcription company. Doctors’ offices may wait for multiple days before receiving the transcribed records. This poses a direct threat to doctors and their patients, as transcribed notes are vital for continuing care. Only some of the popular medical transcription companies can offer what they call a “rush job,” and those come at a higher cost.
A Better Solution
Finding the right medical transcription company — at the right price — may be an outdated and unnecessary practice for doctors offices as more AI scribe technology becomes more available and accessible. With the rise of electronic health record (EHR) software providers are now looking for more efficient and accurate ways to combat the burden of documentation that has many physicians spending a third of their time on administrative tasks which largely do not improve patient care. Rather than completely solving for the inefficiencies of medical documentation, transcription companies replace one administrative task (typing notes) with another (editing & summarizing). While this may save some clinicians a bit of time, many still find themselves making the choice between efficiency and patient care.
Fortunately, transcription companies are not the only technology that can help lighten the administrative burden on medical professionals. In fact, a smarter and more automated alternative exists that allows you to completely offload the task of note-taking and instead focus on patient care. That solution is AI medical scribe software. AI Scirbes can assist with documentation, reduce your risk of malpractice litigation, and give doctors some much needed time for relaxation.
To learn more about how an AI Scribe can help your practice click here.