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Tips on Improving the Skills of Medical Transcriptionists

Posted by Kristia Smith on Apr 26, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Skills of Medical Transcriptionists


Transcription is a highly specialized field. A person needs to have a keen sense of hearing in order to transcribe data accurately. But it is more complicated when a person is doing medical transcriptions. The process of listening, interpreting, and typing medical voice recordings becomes more complex because a person needs to be knowledgeable about the medical terminology. And they need to be familiar with the medical lexicon, anatomy and physiology. But why is medical transcription important?


Why Medical Transcription is Important

The importance of accurate medical documentation and records cannot be emphasized enough. Without accurate medical documentation, the health of patients could be compromised and patients could be put at risk. Medical records are a way for physicians to assess the current condition of their patients and decide the best course of treatment for them. And for physicians to properly treat their patients, it is critical to have accurate medical documentation.

Patient records also help doctors involved in the interdisciplinary treatment of patients communicate with each other. It facilitates the flow of information from one doctor to the next, so a proper diagnosis and treatment plan can be made. Patient records are also a way to provide instructions to nurses and other medical personnel. It is also the basis on which healthcare insurance is billed and healthcare providers are paid for their services. And it is important to note that the medical records are prepared by medical transcriptionists. That’s why it is important for medical transcriptionists to be as thorough, accurate and precise as possible. If you’re already in the medical transcription industry, or if you oversee a medical transcriptionist, here are six tips to help improve the medical transcription process:


  1. Focus on the audio.
    Focus on the audioListening is not just an activity; it is a process. It may seem like you’re wasting a lot of time if you don’t immediately start working on the audio recordings you need to transcribe. Therefore, you simultaneously transcribe audio files while listening to them, often without having a clear picture of what you are transcribing. This will just get you in trouble. It is one of the reasons why many medical transcriptionists make mistakes. You should listen to the whole audio first before scribing it. This is more efficient and effective, especially if there are words that are unclear or inaudible.
  2. Concentrate on transcribing one sentence at a time.
    When you’re done listening to the whole audio, then you should start transcribing it. However, do it sentence by sentence and not a few words at a time. If you do it this way, you will get the whole context of the sentence. This would be advantageous as it creates less errors and reduces the likelihood of mistakes. And this is important especially if the audio file is using abbreviations. It is not possible to understand which abbreviation a condition is used for unless you listen to the whole sentence. If you just assume that a certain word was used, you are likely to make a mistake. Then, you’d have to delete it and retype it, which would only take up more time.
  3. Always go for accuracy over speed.
    Speed is important in the medical transcription industry, but accuracy should always be the first priority. Medical transcriptionists should realize that they are transcribing patient records. A single mistake could have a huge impact on the diagnosis and treatment of that patient. It is true that speed increases the turnaround time of medical transcription, however typos or errors due to fast typing will just slow you down since you would have to correct them later. When transcribing, you can use any touch-typing software available online should you want to improve your accuracy without compromising your speed.
  4. Practice your typing skills.
    If you already know the ins and outs of medical transcription, the only thing left to do is to improve your typing skills. You can practice your typing skills in your free time. It doesn’t have to be anything about the healthcare industry; you can practice on any type of content that you want. You can also use free training programs online to practice your typing speed and technique. Improving your typing skills ensures that you can transcribe within the delivery time and increases your turnaround time.
  5. Be knowledgeable on medical terminology.
    If you’re already a medical transcriptionist, then you should already be familiar with some of the medical terms used in the healthcare industry. To provide the most accurate medical transcription, you need to have a thorough understanding of all the relevant terms. Not only does it improve your speed but it can also help you avoid confusing similar terms. It will also make your job easier as you will be able to differentiate between abbreviations. Building a solid foundation and understanding on the medical language makes it easier to avoid transcribing the information incorrectly.
  6. Proofread everything.
    proofreadingWhen all the audio files have been transcribed, you have to proofread everything to make sure that you have not omitted anything and don’t have any typos or grammatical mistakes. The most common errors a medical transcriptionist commits are omitting important dictated words, scribing the wrong words and misspelling words. And honestly, it is even more complex since you are dealing with medical terms. And let’s admit it, medical terms can sometimes be confusing. This means that you have to be an expert in the medical field. When you see that something is missing or lacking, go back to the recording and edit the file. Proofreading will ensure that you have included all the important information and that your transcription doesn’t have any errors.


Final Note

Being part of the medical transcription industry can be challenging, but it is also exciting and a chance to do something very meaningful. And of course, it is also an important part of the healthcare industry. Medical transcription is an essential step in creating a patient’s medical history, helping doctors evaluate the patient’s current condition and chart out the best treatment.

DrCatalyst is a leading medical transcription company. As a service to our clients and other medical professionals, we also offer helpful healthcare articles of interest, such as this one. Additionally, we provide detailed transcription services that help medical practices across the nation improve their patient record quality, have a fully-digital workflow, and save time and money. If you’d like to learn more about our company or get more medical transcription advice, reach out to us.

Topics: Medical Transcription

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