Turnaround time or TAT is the time it takes for a report to be dictated, transcribed and verified by the physician. As pointed out in a study conducted by the American Health Information Management Association and Medical Transcription Industry Association, several challenges exist in the timely delivery of medical transcriptions:
- Different types of medical reports – stat, current, and aged – have different turnaround times.
- Specialties like radiology and cardiology have unique TAT requirements. The turnaround time of these reports plays a crucial role in clinical decision making for patient care and treatment.
- Failure to meet the TAT for medical report delivery could result in legal problems for the healthcare facility.
- Healthcare facilities undertaking in-house transcription may find that there are many factors that stand in the way of TAT compliance. These include staffing issues, work volume changes, errors in transcription, implementation of new technologies and TAT expectation changes.
A majority of the respondents in the above-mentioned study listed medical transcription outsourcing as the most significant action to improve TAT. An established and experienced medical transcription company would have:
- A team of skilled transcriptionists that can provide services for any medical specialty
- Quick and safe file transfer methods such as browser-based encrypted transfer or secure FTP
- Document flow management system for easy tracking and editing of files
- Efficient archiving and file retrieval system
- Facility to meet transcription needs in custom turnaround time
Utilizing advanced transcription technology, a competent service provider can easily meet the increased demand for quicker TAT of patient information. Achieving TAT will help healthcare providers attain greater financial and clinical benefits. It will also facilitate seamless integration of documentation with electronic health records (EHR).