Will medical transcription become obsolete?

In healthcare, constant technical innovations and knowledge growth make for a landscape that is often shifting. For many clinicians, getting comfortable with one tool, one system, one solution, only means closer proximity to its next iteration. Over the past ten years, nothing embodies that ever-changing reality more than medical note taking solutions and medical transcription.

From medical scribes to virtual scribes, to dictation devices and speech-to-text solutions, alleviating the medical documentation burden may seem like chasing the impossible. With each new iteration comes new promises, but only rarely are they delivered. Since HITECH and Meaningful Use came into effect in 2010, medical transcription has been one of the more trusted documentation methods that providers use to reduce the administrative burden. But in a world with technology in constant flux, is medical transcription here to stay? Will medical transcription become obsolete?

The short answer is no, but not in the way you might expect.

There’s two ways to look at medical transcription as a documentation solution. On one side, you have traditional medical transcription, which leverages the power of human involvement. On the other side, you have medical transcription that relies on advanced technology like artificial intelligence and speech-to-text. To understand the future of medical transcription, we must examine each of these variations closely.

Traditional Medical Transcription

The most common way of using medical transcription is in conjunction with medical dictation. As mentioned above, this traditional method relies on the power of humans (third-party medical transcriptionists) to turn dictated recordings from providers into written medical documents that eventually become part of a patient’s electronic medical record. The process of dictation and transcription is an ancient practice, one that had great utility in the medical field as recently as a 10 years ago. But as documentation standards evolve and health recordation changes, traditional medical transcription no longer meets the mark for clinicians who see multiple patients each day.

Why? Documentation quality, note turnaround time, cost, security risks, efficiency, and scalability to name a few. Traditional medical dictation and transcription simply can't keep up with the documentation demands of the modern clinician.

Recommended Reading: Pros and Cons of Medical Transcription Services

In combination, these factors have led to a sharp drop-off in the popularity of medical transcription among clinicians. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that medical transcriptionist jobs will decrease by 7% over the next 8 years — a sharp decline from where those numbers were a decade ago. So, will traditional medical transcription become obsolete? Yes. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not by 2030, but, yes — it's an industry that, as constructed, can't keep up with modern clinical demands.

Yet, medical transcription as a process isn't dying out — far from it — it is simply evolving.

AI, Speech-to-Text, and the Future of Medical Transcription

While traditional medical transcription fizzles out, massive strides are being made on the technological front that are relieving the documentation burden in a more complete way. Today, many young companies are leveraging the power of AI and speech-to-text to automatically transcribe clinical speech by analyzing dictated recordings or real-time vocal commands. With this more automated approach, clinicians are often able to complete their notes faster, more accurately, and at a lower cost than if they were to use traditional transcription.

Still, these solutions are only a bandaid solution. While they successfully transcribe speech, they fail to truly augment the medical documentation burden. Not because they are bad tools, but because they don't offer an all-encompassing solution.

At DeepScribe, we've set out to create a documentation solution that automates the most mundane parts of a modern clinical visit and gives adequate space for clinicians to do what they do best — provide authentic, engaged, quality care to their patients.

Here's how it works:

Using our app, DeepScribe unobtrusively listens in on the natural conversation between you and your patient and transcribes it in real time using speech-to-text. After the visit, our AI combs the transcription and automatically extracts medically relevant information spoken by you and your patient. That information is classified into a traditional note (including billing codes) and uploaded directly into your electronic health record system per your preferences. All while being 100% HIPAA compliant.

Ask yourself, what would you do if you got back three hours in your day? What would you do if you never had to worry about your medical notes again?

Focus on your patients? Spend time with family? Focus on yourself? Simply fall asleep at night knowing that your documentation is taken care of?

That's what some of our partners are doing every day.

At DeepScribe we are committed to more than just helping you with your notes. We are committed to bringing the joy of care back to medicine. To allow you to untether yourself from documentation and EHRs and get back to delivering face-to-face care and focusing on what matters to you — whatever that may be.

Contact us today to learn more about how DeepScribe can help you bring joy back to your practice.

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