How Does Medical Transcription Work and How Can it Help to Improve Productivity?

Ever since HITECH and Meaningful Use changed medical documentation forever, healthcare professionals around the United States have been searching for a tool that helps offset the documentation burden and improve productivity. Among the many solutions that have risen in popularity, medical transcription is by far one of the most popular.

Medical transcription is the process of converting spoken words from a clinical encounter or dictation into written documents. Medical transcriptionists are specialized professionals that can accurately transcribe clinical notes, patient history, and medical data into standardized notes. But does medical transcription actually help improve productivity or clinical efficiency?

The answer is yes, but only to a certain extent (more on that later). Medical transcription can help streamline the documentation process by alleviating clinicians from burdens such as typing notes during a visit, which allows them to be more present with their patients, and conduct visits more efficiently.

However, with ever-increasing demands for documentation accuracy and detailed coding, medical transcription has become less efficient. With these new standards, the shortcomings of medical transcription - turnaround time, information recall, difficulty of use, and cost - are in the spotlight now more than ever.

Turnaround Time

Turnaround time is a major issue when it comes to the productivity and efficiency of medical transcription. The time it takes to complete a transcription is usually between 12-72 hours, which can lead to delays in patient care plans, follow-ups, test orders, prescription fulfillment, and insurance reimbursement. These pitfalls ultimately put undue strain on the financial health of a care organization and can lead to low patient satisfaction and reduced care quality and continuity.

Information Recall

Information recall is another of the major drawbacks of medical transcription. At the end of a busy day, clinicians often have to recall medical information from patient visits and dictate it into a recording device for transcription. This not only takes up time but also puts pressure on the clinician to accurately recall the highly important medical details of the visit hours after it happened, which can lead to cognitive overload and may result in missing or inaccurate information in the documentation, heightening the risk of a malpractice suit.

Difficulty of Use

Another shortcoming of medical transcription is the difficulty of use. The process of dictation for transcription can be time-consuming and complicated, requiring specific vocal commands and verbal prompts, and special equipment and software. In addition, medical terminology can be complex and difficult to dictate and transcribe accurately, which can result in errors and miscommunication in the documentation. This difficulty of use can lead to increased frustration for healthcare professionals and decreased efficiency in the documentation process. At the end of the day, transcription still requires clinicians to document patient visits through dictation. Instead of typing, the documentation is dictated, which does not improve productivity or clinical efficiency to the extent promised.


Cost is another factor that makes medical transcription a less attractive option for healthcare professionals. Transcription companies often charge by the line, word, or completed transcript, which can quickly add up, especially for clinicians with high patient volume. This cost can be substantial, especially for private practices or small organizations that may not have the budget to pay for transcription services or scale them throughout their practice. This, in turn, can lead to additional financial strain for these practices, and discourage healthcare professionals from utilizing medical transcription services to improve their productivity and clinical efficiency. When combined with the lack of productivity gains, medical transcription begins to lose its appeal.

In conclusion, while medical transcription can help streamline the documentation process, it also has several drawbacks, most notably, turnaround time, information recall, difficulty of use, and cost. These drawbacks are increasingly driving clinicians across the United States towards other documentation solutions that are more robust and have a more positive impact on clinical productivity and efficiency.

DeepScribe's AI Medical Scribe Solution

DeepScribe has developed an AI-powered medical scribe solution that addresses the shortcomings of traditional medical transcription and other documentation tools. Through an easy-to-use mobile app, DeepScribe captures the natural conversation between clinician and patient, transcribes it in real time using advanced speech recognition technology, and then extracts the medical information from the transcript and formats it into a standard medical note using proprietary AI and natural language processing.

Compared to medical transcription services, DeepScribe, at 1/2 the price, is very cost-effective for clinicians and care organizations. Combined with a highly efficient AI process that pushes medical notes directly into a clinician's EHR in just a few hours or less, DeepScribe is also highly efficient when compared to transcription and other tools. Because DeepScribe captures clinical encounters as they occur, it eliminates information recall and the need for vocal commands or special equipment, making it user-friendly for clinicians from any background.

It is for these reasons that medical transcription is rapidly losing popularity among clinicians and why DeepScribe is the most widely adopted AI medical scribe in the world. Reach out to us to learn more about how DeepScribe helps practices of any size automate medical documentation and maximize clinical efficiency and productivity.  

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