Differences Between Transcription and Copy Typing

The terms ‘transcription’ and ‘copy typing’ confuse most people and they wonder what exactly makes them different. They also doubts as to why the cost of transcription is higher than that of copy typing. After all, both involve typing. However, transcription involves much more than typing from copy. One of the sectors where transcription is widely used is healthcare. Physicians need to convert their dictation or audio files into well-written text documents. It’s important to know what exactly transcription and copy typing involve and why they are priced differently.

Copy typing typically involves typing from a written document. The document could be a hand written one or one that was typed on a typed writer. Copy typing is usually done to enter the information into a computer. Not much hard work is needed in this case as the typist simply enters what’s in the written document. If the handwriting is clear and legible, copy typing services will be relatively cheaper.

Transcription, on the other hand, is the conversion of audio or video files (that contains recorded voice) into digital format. As recorded speech is the input for transcription services, it should be clear and coherent to provide accurate results. It can be single person dictations or group dictations.

So the core differences between copy typing and transcription are:

  • In copy typing the input is in the form of paper documents, whereas in the case of transcription, it is audio/video files.
  • Transcription is more complex while copy typing needs just simple typing skills. Specific training and skill is required to handle medical transcription.
  • Due to their greater complexity, transcription services are costlier.

When it comes to medical transcription there are even more specific requirements:

  • Client Demands: – The transcription should be carried out to meet the client’s specific requirements. Medical transcription involves the documentation of dictation for various medical specialties such as cardiology transcription, pain management transcription, and much more.
  • Input Quality: – The quality of the audio recordings is another factor which impacts the quality of the transcript. Recordings with too much noise are often challenging to transcribe.
  • Interpretation of medical terms: – Interpreting dialogues are much difficult than reading the content from a document. Moreover, when transcribing for any medical specialty, the transcriptionist should be familiar and well-versed in the relevant medical terms and jargon.
  • Dealing with strong accents: – If the speaker has a strong accent, the transcriptionist should be able to decipher what is being said.
  • Special Infrastructure: – Medical transcription requires special infrastructural facilities
    • a workstation with a computer, transcription software and a sound card. The software would feature word processing programs and programs for labeling, segmenting and transcribing voice files, speed typing software
    • Noise canceling headphones and a foot pedal for managing dictation playback
    • Medical dictionaries are necessary for references on medical definitions and abbreviations
    • Networking software and a high speed or (minimum) dial-up Internet connection are also necessary
    • Additional servers and large storage devices may be necessary for feeds to Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
    • Encryption software and paper shredders are crucial to ensure the confidentiality of patient information

It’s quite obvious that medical transcription is much more than simple copy typing and that’s why it costs more. Outsourcing to professional transcription company that have a team of qualified and trained medical transcriptionists is more affordable than doing the job in-house. Physicians can save on staffing and training and setting up the needed infrastructure as well as get customized transcripts in minimum turnaround time.

Julie Clements

About Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.