Medical Transcription – Career Prospects

If you are searching for a fruitful career in the healthcare industry, then medical transcription is a good choice. Many people choose this career primarily due to the immense flexibility the job allows in one’s schedule. Below mentioned are some points on how to become a transcriptionist and other important facts that you need to know about this profession.

Medical transcription services are of great help to physicians or medical practitioners as it helps them to create and maintain separate records for each patient they treat. Each time a patient leaves a doctor’s office, the doctor dictates or records his/her patient notes into a digital tape recorder or Dictaphone. Medical transcription companies also provide the option to dictate via a toll-free number. Medical transcriptionists listen to these audio recordings and generate accurately typed reports and documents. These transcribed reports that include history and physical reports, clinic notes, consultation reports, diagnostic test reports, procedure notes, ER reports and other follow-up notes become a permanent record in the patient’s file. Accurate and top quality medical transcription services allow physicians to save time and prevent documentation errors.

Qualifications of a Medical Transcriptionist

A two year associate degree or a diploma degree in medical transcription after high school is essential to become a transcriptionist. You can also attend tests to become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or Certified Medical Transcriptionist, but they are not essential requirements to work as a medical transcriptionist. In addition to this, distance learning programs, vocational schools and community colleges offer transcription training in the form of one–year certificate program or associate degree.

Flexibility of schedule is one of the major advantages of this profession. Normally, transcriptionists can either work in an office or from a work–from–home setting. Employment opportunities also exist in hospitals, corporations and healthcare facilities. Also, some transcriptionists may choose to work on a freelance basis.

Normally, transcriptionists work for about 40 hours a week. Payment for this job is either by the hour or by line. So, the more you work, the more payment you receive. A transcriptionist is required to strictly meet the set deadlines.

Medical Transcriptionists – Key Skill Set and Personal Qualities

  • Thorough knowledge of important medical terminology (as well as abbreviations and medical jargon used by physicians)
  • Fast typing skills
  • Good listening skills
  • An ear for accents
  • Excellent command over English language
  • Good hearing faculty
  • Computer skills
  • Attention to detail

Moreover, medical transcriptionists need to follow certain rules to protect the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI). They need to comply with the rules set under HIPAA guidelines. As per this rule, transcriptionists are prohibited from using or disclosing any protected health information (PHI) in any manner that would violate the privacy rule. An HIPAA compliant medical transcription company ensures:

  • Guaranteed data security
  • Privacy of patient records and data
  • Increased data efficiency

The job prospects for medical transcriptionists are promising. As per the findings of the Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), a 14% growth in medical transcription is projected for the 10 year period ending 2016. Even with the introduction of speech recognition software, many physicians still prefer professional medical transcription companies for transcribing their patient notes.

With Voice recognition software, the only difference is that rather than typing documents from scratch, transcriptionists are now editing them as electronically typed documents by listening to the original dictation to make sure it matches the draft document originally transcribed by the software.

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.