Medical Transcription – Importance and Security

Medical transcription, which involves the creation of patient records from voice dictations delivered by physicians that pertain to their meetings with patients, is an essential service for the healthcare industry. More and more healthcare providers are outsourcing this back office task and achieving cash savings of 30 to 40 percent.

The Significance of Patient Medical Records

The patient medical records/transcripts are important considering that they:

  • Provide information about any pre-existing disorders or diseases, symptom records and previous diagnoses and treatments
  • Contain details about allergies and prescribed formulations and medication
  • Provide data pertaining to lab tests, examinations or procedures performed in the past
  • Are a basis for referrals and for medical billing and coding
  • Can be used as valid proof in cases of litigation
  • Provide statutory specification

Medical Transcription Services – The Security Aspect

Maintaining privacy and security of protected health information (PHI) is an essential aspect of the medical code of ethics. Indeed, this is where HIPAA compliance comes into play. Medical transcription outsourcing companies take several steps to ensure that they adhere to the HIPAA stipulations. Steps include:

  • Providing training in this respect to the employees and making them hand in signed commitments
  • 24/7 manned security
  • Password, firewall and virus protection of computers
  • Non-employment of sub-contractors
  • Back-ups are done of computer data and securely kept in locked premises
  • Minimum 128 bit encryption for file transfer
  • Employees are searched on entry and before exit
  • Random checking
  • Periodic technical assessments to ensure compliance with security requirements

When outsourcing, healthcare providers should ensure that their medical transcription company is HIPAA compliant.