Outsourcing medical transcription can be a mind-boggling exercise. It not only involves extensive analysis of the healthcare facility, but once this is done it also entails careful and detailed examination of the options available. On the face of it this could seem like fairly simple and straightforward exercise.
The process of analyzing the options available becomes complicated due to the following reasons
- Varying needs of a healthcare facility could comprise of the following:
- Different specialties requiring different report formats, turnaround time etc
- Unpredictable inflow of patients
- Weekend and holiday requirements
- Flexible options required for expansion plans
- Integration with existing systems.
- Healthcare professionals wanting to retain their current dictation modes.
- EMR adoption Imedical Healthcare Solutions
- A service provider needs to be evaluated on the following:
- Quality/Accuracy: The quality of the transcribed document refers to the percentage of accuracy in the transcribed document versus the audio files.
- Turnaround time: Turnaround time is the duration between uploading dictation to the server and when the final transcribed document is made available to the healthcare facility
- Price: Pricing refers to the price per line of transcription
- Security: Security refers to the means by which the transcription service provider protects confidential patient data during transmission and during the transcription process.
However these are just the basic criteria for evaluating a service provider a healthcare facility needs to look for qualities that make a medical transcription service provider exceptional.
The qualities that make a good service exceptional are as follows:
- Billing method used: Billing methods used by the service provider have a direct effect on the bottom line of the healthcare facility. Billing methods vary from charging for a page, a gross line a report or that of a character line. The billing method used needs to be verifiable, measurable, definable, consistent and fair & honest.
- Quality assessment methods used: The quality of the transcribed document is measured by the percentage of accuracy of information transcribed. Minimum or zero error means that the records of patients reflect the correct information. This is critical for the ability to give quality care. The service provider needs to be assessed by the methods used for achieving accuracy to assess its’ ability to achieve promised accuracy levels
- Training methods used: Training methods used have an effect on both the accuracy and the turnaround time. It takes a specialist to take care of special needs. That is why transcriptionists should be trained on one or two areas of specialty. This would make them domain experts. This reduces the learning curve and enables them to meet stringent accuracy standards from the very beginning, and they are also able to meet the turnaround time guarantees.
- Technology used: Technology used by the service provider has its impact on ease of use as well as the security of data. Because medical transcription involves the transmission of data, care has to be taken to make that appropriate security measures are in place. Technology can save a lot of time for healthcare professional by including features like flexible modes of dictation, easy upload and download of finished transcripts.
- Flexibility in services: Considering that the needs of healthcare facilities can vary due to various factors, it is important that the transcription company is flexible and adapts itself to suit varying needs.