Most health care organizations and physicians’ practices rely on professional medical transcription services to ensure timely and accurate clinical documentation. A slew of new technologies are now transforming the medical transcription process, allowing physicians to work more flexibly and spend more time caring for their patients.
A recent Health Management report describes how video is transforming medical transcription so that physicians don’t have to find extra time typing on a computer and entering data into electronic health records. There are new technologies that transform a cell phone into a microphone for dictation. The physician simply dictates into the microphone and the audio is seamlessly and safely transferred to his Ultrabook – the slim, lightweight laptop that is fast and easily portable. The speech is instantly transformed into text in the medical record via voice recognition software. These sophisticated, powerful and use-to-easy technologies are designed to improve physicians’ command and control over the electronic health record (EHR).
With these powerful tools, physicians are no longer tied to a specific location, far away from their patients. A single, easy-to-use microphone allows them to work from more places and seamlessly move between patient rooms and workstations. Ultrabooks have no wires and come with a variety of features and display resolutions wide enough to suit anyone’s needs. They allow physicians to share their screens with large displays and collaborate with other providers on complex cases. By projecting the image in their Ultrabook on to a common display, physicians can review and discuss diagnostic results and relevant images with their patients as well as with their students.
Another recent innovation is the live-steaming of office visits and physical exams for immediate transcription. The Washington Post recently reported on how Google Glass is reinventing reporting of the medical office visit. The doctor wears the titanium, WiFi-connected glasses as he examines the patient and a medical transcriptionist watches the office visit live through a tiny camera attached to the doctor’s glasses. This allows the medical transcription service provider located in a distant offshore destination to transcribe the physician’s dictation instantaneously. The transcriptionist can also provide the physician with any information he needs about the patient’s history from the medical record.
While Google Glass eases the physician’s burden of spending the entire patient visit typing information into the EHR, many experts have expressed concern about how it compromises confidentiality. Is Google crossing the line here?
The Washington Post report cites a health care security expert as saying,” “You’re taking something that was in the doctor’s office and now you’re streaming it across the world.”
Outsourcing medical transcription to a HIPAA-compliant medical transcription company is still the best way to ensure that the patient’s health related information is protected.