What is Medical Transcription, and Do Coders Need It?
There’s a good chance that you hear the phrase ‘medical transcription’ fairly often when it comes to healthcare documentation integrity, but many practice owners and other healthcare providers don’t even know exactly how medical transcriptionists work – let alone whether it’s important for their practice or not.
While healthcare documentation actually comes in a few different forms, this is still a major aspect of medical billing and coding that’s worth wrapping your head around.
So, throughout this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at all things medical transcription, covering what kind of role it plays in the healthcare industry and how relevant it is for medical coders to understand.
Understanding Medical Transcription
Kicking things off, let’s define what medical transcription actually is. At its core, this is essentially the conversion of any voice-recorded medical reports, typically from your doctors, into written texts instead.
Afterward, these transcribed documents can be put neatly together as part of a patient’s medical records, making sure they’re not only precise but easily accessible, too.
The Role of Medical Transcriptionists
Medical transcriptionists sometimes go under a couple of different names – registered healthcare documentation specialist or certified healthcare documentation specialist, for instance – and their primary role is basically to transcribe these dictated reports we mentioned earlier.
Obviously, this is a vital job to have in the medical industry as they’re the ones responsible for maintaining the overall accuracy and completeness of any given medical record. This undoubtedly makes them fairly indispensable members of your medical staff.
Still, given how often speech recognition software is used in the medical industry, you might wonder why medical professionals don’t solely rely on this to transcribe medical reports and save money?
Well, while technology has definitely made significant strides in this field, nothing beats the expertise of a trained medical transcriptionist – whether it’s the nuances of medical terminology, the intricacies of accents, or just the general ability to decipher context, these are all skills where human transcriptionists shine the most, a standard that can’t be replicated by a simple software.
The Imperative of Precision in Medical Records
It goes without saying that precision is pretty non-negotiable when it comes to the healthcare industry – whether you’re relying on accurate patient records for diagnoses, treatment planning, or even just providing ongoing care.
Naturally, any random errors or inaccuracies in some of these records can result in fairly severe consequences, from misdiagnosis to administering completely inappropriate treatment to a patient.
So, at this point, a medical transcriptionist would come into play so that each detail, from diagnoses to medication dosages, is properly documented – allowing healthcare providers to have all the relevant information to make accurate decisions about patient care.
Does Your Coding Team Need Medical Transcription Services?
So, now that we’ve covered why medical transcription is important in healthcare let’s explore how it works in tandem with the work of your medical coding team.
Similar to your transcriptionists, medical coders are also pivotal players in the healthcare industry, ultimately ensuring that your practice receives the proper reimbursement for your services – promptly, too.
Naturally, your medical coders rely pretty heavily on information from medical records, so any disparities, incomplete data, or general errors can massively complicate their work, potentially leading to things like delayed payments or other compliance issues.
So, by generating comprehensive medical transcripts for your coders, transcriptionists essentially give them a reliable source of information that’s crucial for their job.
Not only does this expedite the overall coding procedure, but it also means you’re far less likely to run into any coding discrepancies, which ultimately translates into a more seamless billing and reimbursement process for your practice.
Outsourcing Medical Transcription With PMN
Still, given how high the stakes are when it comes to transcribing patient medical records, there’s incredibly little margin for error here. What’s more, it can be fairly expensive to have a staff member whose sole job is to transcribe this information, so it’s not always the best approach if you’re a smaller practice that can’t always compete with the resources of larger practices.
So, to combat this, consider partnering with a third-party medical billing and coding company such as PMN for not only your medical transcription but a whole host of other physician services, too!
From managing your Accounts Receivable days to other forms of patient collection services, we’ve been aiding small practices like yours for over 20 years. Whether it’s by minimizing the number of claim denials you receive or generally helping you get paid faster, we can work with you and your staff to improve your bottom line.
If you’re interested in hearing more about our services, contact one of our helpful staff members over the phone at (949) 215-5055 or consider booking an in-person appointment instead at our office in Laguna Hills, Orange County, California.
How Do You Become a Medical Transcriptionist?
For anyone considering a career in healthcare documentation, you typically need specialized training in medical terminology, anatomy, and transcription skills. Generally speaking, though, Labor statistics show that there’s a pretty stable demand for medical transcriptionists in the healthcare industry, so it’s actually quite a viable option for any aspiring professionals.
What Is The Role of Medical Transcriptionists In Smaller Medical Practices?
Medical transcriptionists are just as crucial in smaller medical practices, as they still need to ensure that all patient records are maintained – as well as supporting effective patient care and general compliance. Furthermore, their transcripts massively facilitate the work of your medical coders, meaning that the overall billing and reimbursement processes run seamlessly.