Enhancing productivity is a key focus for every organization. The advantage of improved productivity lies in the ability to accomplish more high-quality work in a shorter timeframe. In the medical transcription outsourcing industry, productivity plays a vital role due to client expectations for fast turnaround and excellent accuracy.
Despite the advancements in speech recognition technology, effectively deciphering physician notes remains a persistent challenge. A reliable medical transcription company will have proper systems in place to capture detailed, accurate data and increase productivity.
Time-Saving Techniques to Boost Transcription Productivity
Here are some time-saving techniques that experts recommend to boost transcription productivity:
- Correct positioning: Typing ergonomics is a good place to start. Make sure you’re sitting upright in your chair and your feet are on the floor. Experts recommend that the keyboard should be placed just below elbow level, and flat on the desk, or gently sloping away from the user. Your elbows should be in an open angle, at 90-110 degrees, and that your hands and fingers are in the ideal position for keyboard access.
- Word expander use: Text expanders are the top tool when it comes to transcription. Text expander software for PCs and laptops work similar to autocorrect save key strokes. You can program your own shortcuts and type a few characters, and the software will complete longer words, sentences, and even whole paragraphs. Medical transcriptionists enter abbreviations that the physician dictates or even provide the correct medical abbreviation if the whole term is dictated. With a text expander, they wouldn’t have to type everything out, saving time while increasing productivity and accuracy. An expander can prove extremely useful for completing reports which have paragraphs with repetitive information.
- Prioritize accuracy: Though speed is important in medical transcription, the focus should be on accuracy. When transcribing patient records, even a single mistake could have a huge impact on the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Focus on keying in the dictated information correctly. Speed will pick up once typing accuracy is achieved. Canscribe recommends proofreading after each paragraph to get your editing done in a timely manner as well.
- Refer and research: To boost your productivity, consider installing a medical dictionary, spellchecker, and word book on your computer. While some medical transcriptionists and healthcare documentation specialists may prefer physical books for searching for words, electronic versions are also available. Regardless of your preference, this investment is essential and will pay off in the long run. Keep in mind that performing a search on your computer is faster than searching through physical books. So, use Google or other search engines to look up difficult/missing words and confusing phrases. Importantly, always confirm the results you found with another reliable source. You must be absolutely sure that what you heard is what the dictator said.
- Determine whether your workflow is impacting your productivity: Efficient workflow can have a significant impact, either positive or negative, on overall productivity in hospitals and medical transcription service organizations, notes an article in Radiology Today. For instance, if a transcriptionist is transitioning to an editing role but is given a minimal volume of editing, it can prolong the learning curve and reduce productivity. Similarly, if a transcriptionist is responsible for multiple highly customized accounts, all of which follow a first-in/first-out logic, it can hinder productivity. While a well-designed workflow is crucial for customer satisfaction, it should also be viewed as a tool to boost productivity. These are two fundamental workflow decisions that directly affect the performance of a transcriptionist.
- Consider total time to completion: According to a report from Radiology Today, it is important for professional transcriptionists to take into account the total time required to complete their tasks. This is particularly crucial when service providers have multiple layers of quality assurance (QA), as it necessitates additional time and resources to finalize a clinical document. In such situations, transcription managers often consider the level of QA utilization per transcriptionist as a determining factor for overall productivity.
- Eliminating extra tasks: Following the implementation of a data reporting system in the spring of 1996, the medical transcription and word processing department at Geisinger Medical Center achieved remarkable results (www.reliasmedia.com). Some of Geisinger’s goals for the data measurement program and improvements included:
- Analyzing the allocation of transcription staff’s time and determining the specific areas and activities where their time is being utilized.
- Identifying non-value-added tasks and streamlining the workload of transcriptionists to optimize their time.
- Recommending template modifications to physicians, focusing on commonly used reports, with the goal of reducing transcription time.
- Identifying sections of reports that can be automated, thereby eliminating the need for manual calculations in financial reports associated with certain documents.
- Conducting regular meetings with transcriptionists, actively seeking their input and ideas for process improvement.
Turnaround time was enhanced by 11.8%, and annual operating costs were reduced by half a million, according to the Reliasmedia report citing department manager Cynthia Taylor.
- Speech Recognition Technology (SRT): Speech recognition software can transcribe spoken words into text in real-time, eliminating the need for manual transcription. This instant conversion allows healthcare professionals to dictate their notes and have them immediately transformed into written form, saving valuable time. Many medical professionals use SRT to save time and reduce expenses, this presents additional difficulties. Whether working on the back-end or front-end, utilizing this technology necessitates a robust editing process to prevent potential harm to patients and financial losses for the organization.
Medical transcription is a time-consuming task that requires attention to detail. By outsourcing this responsibility, providers can free up their in-house staff’s time and resources to focus on core activities such as patient care, diagnostics, and treatment.
With their focus on improved accuracy and quality, a professional medical transcription company would have dedicated teams of trained and experienced transcriptionists who specialize in medical documentation. They have expertise in accurately transcribing medical terminology, abbreviations, and complex medical reports. Outsourcing to such services can result in higher accuracy and quality of transcriptions, reducing the risk of errors and improving the integrity of medical records.