In today’s busy world, it is increasingly difficult for individuals to stay on schedule. Fortunately, many medical practices are turning to telemedicine to help ease the stress of a busy day. Telehealth is the delivery of health care services, diagnostic testing and clinical assessment through telecommunications technology. It can be used to connect patients to health specialists, provide continuing education for doctors, and connect people in rural areas with the necessary healthcare options. It is an ideal option for medical practices that are looking to cut costs and improve convenience by reducing travel time and increasing access. Telemedicine allows patients and doctors to connect remotely and discuss treatment options, test results, and other details. Treatment through telemedicine requires a substantial amount of documentation so that the patient can be properly monitored and the doctor can remain within legal and privacy requirements. The patients take part in video calls with their healthcare providers; the audio and video recordings created have to be transcribed into physical and digital files for reference and future use. With the help of a medical transcription service, the process of generating accurate medical records becomes faster, affordable, reliable and easier for everyone involved. Telemedicine requires a change from paper records to electronic medical records (EMRs). Once a medical transcriptionist converts an audio file into an electronic text file, they can upload their completed file into the correct EMR system, freeing up the doctor’s time.
Telemedicine Consultations and Their Transcription
Here are some of the ways in which telemedicine consultations are carried out, each of which involves audio or video recordings. Telehealth transcription services can help medical practices embrace these processes by providing timely transcripts of the recordings.
- Telemonitoring: Telephones are an important part of tele monitoring system. The VA medical centers in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have operated telephone pacemaker monitoring systems since 1962. This monitoring system acts like pacemakers that are designed to transmit at different frequencies and an electrocardiogram (ECG) can detect the difference. A device can be attached to a telephone and transmit ECG readings to a health clinic. This helps the physicians diagnose the patient without seeing him/her in person.
- Telehealth with video: Telehealth is possible from anywhere using your browser. It is easy to use, requires no apps to be downloaded for patients or doctors, provides group call facility up to four participants, and ensures comfort and ease of use. Telehealth helps in creating digital documentation and the documents can be saved in PDF format, which can later be added to the patient’s file. The patient records can be related to medications, diagnoses, allergies and immunizations, lab tests and results, care plans and upcoming and past appointments. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, telehealth has become popular. This facility is useful for patients who are immunocompromised and patients who have difficulty accessing healthcare. There are also many situations in which patients have shown greater benefit from telehealth care than from face-to-face healthcare alone.
- Teleradiology: The field of radiology is image oriented and images are transmitted electronically. Using telecommunication, radiographs or X-rays of broken bones and other internal ailments can be transmitted. Teleradiology process includes producing digital images or converting film images to a digital format along with patient information. This is compressed into transmissible size, transmitting and reconstituting them for evaluation and diagnosis. These images and patient information can be sent to radiologists’ work laptops so that they can view them from anywhere when they are on call.
- Remote mental healthcare: Telemedicine is used to provide critical mental healthcare to remote patients. A successful program Rural Options for Development and Educational Opportunities Network (RODEO NET) uses this method to deliver mental health services in rural eastern Oregon. These telecommunications are transcribed accurately to be maintained as medical records.
- Home health care: This facility allows patients to sit at home and receive patient care through a telephone or webcam. This system enables patients to communicate properly to the doctors about their symptoms and concerns. The doctors can get these conversations transcribed into medical records.
- Prison healthcare: Telemedicine is useful for treating patients in prison. Prisons have very limited medical staff resources. Using telemedicine, physicians can provide proper care to prison patients and the recordings made can be transcribed into medical records. These can be transmitted between the prison and hospital facility.
Medical Transcription Services Have an Important Role to Play
Medical transcription services have an important role to play with regard to assisting medical practices in adopting telehealth.
- Now that most practices have adopted EHRs, they can utilize EHR-integrated medical transcription for telemedicine. EHR systems can accommodate the transcribed digital files; most providers of transcription services automatically upload their completed transcripts into the correct part of the electronic health record system. This automated process is a huge time- and labor-saver for healthcare professionals.
- Real-time medical transcription facilitates consistent record keeping. All the data related to patient interaction and record-keeping procedures can be maintained in the same electronic format to ensure a consistent practice. Electronic medical transcription allows the physician to store and locate all the electronic data in one place on the network.
- Medical transcription providers can assist telemedicine practices in ensuring patient confidentiality and protection. Telemedicine is mostly internet based, and providers have to make sure that there is no breach of patient confidentiality or security. Typically, medical transcription is provided over a secure network and this security is ensured when receiving and sending files.
Medical practices have to deal with a lot of documentation. Doctors fill out charts, write prescriptions, and record patient data. Medical transcription companies help to keep this process as efficient and effortless as possible. Medical transcriptionists are professionally trained in effectively and accurately transcribing conversations between doctors and patients. They can also ensure that the information is properly aligned with legal and privacy requirements.
Medical transcriptionists ensure that the information fits on a computer screen. They also make sure that the text is easily searchable. In addition, they help eliminate miscommunication when converting audio files into text and ensure that everything is interpreted correctly and appropriate medical terms are used. Value-added medical transcription helps physicians focus more on the patients, and understand their actual concerns instead of having to wrap up the consultation quickly to document patient interactions.
With the advancement of internet technology and the ubiquity of mobile devices, it’s now possible to deliver health services via phone, email, chat, and video. These audio and video recordings can be transcribed into error-free medical reports with the assistance of medical transcription providers, and it also makes it easier for healthcare professionals to find what they need quickly in an electronic file. So, from the above-mentioned points, it is clear that telemedicine and medical transcription service have a significant role to play in the future of healthcare.