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What's Medical Transcription?


Medical Transcription - FAQs.

What is medical transcription (MT)? What does a medical transcriptionist do?

In the broadest sense, medical transcription is the act of translating from oral to printed or digital form (on computer), the record of a patient's medical history and treatment. Medical transcription is the industry that renders doctor dictated reports, procedures, and notes into an electronic or paper format in order to create files representing the treatment history of patients. Health practitioners dictate what they have done after performing procedures on patients.

Medical transcription - A Global Career of 21st century

Healthcare industry is moving to create computerized patient records, allowing storage of an individual's entire medical treatment history in one continuous record that can be accessed by physicians and healthcare institutions anywhere.

Physicians and other healthcare providers employ state-of-the-art electronic transmission methods to dictate highly technical information summarizing methods, diagnoses, and treatments for their patients. These medical professionals rely on skilled medical transcriptionists to transform spoken words into comprehensive records that accurately communicate medical information.

Keyboarding and transcription should not be confused. The primary skills necessary for performance of quality medical transcription are extensive medical knowledge and understanding, sound judgment, deductive reasoning, and the ability to detect medical inconsistencies in dictation. For example, a diagnosis inconsistent with the patient's history and symptoms may be mistakenly dictated. The medical transcriptionist questions, seeks clarification, verifies the information, and enters it in to the report.

Medical transcription is a medical language specialty, a distinction that has led to an alternative title for the qualified medical transcriptionist-medical language specialist.

What does a medical language specialist need to know?

Medical transcription requires a practical knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, disease processes, and the internal organization of medical language specialist must be aware of standards and requirements that apply to the medical record, as well as the legal significance of medical transcripts.

Medical reports take many forms, including histories and physical examinations, progress reports, emergency room notes, consultations, operative reports, discharge summaries, clinic notes, referral letters, radiology reports, pathology reports, and an array of documentation spanning more than 60 medical specialties and subspecialties! Thus, the medical transcriptionist, or medical language specialist, must be well versed in the language of medicine and surgery.

To prepare for this profession, medical transcriptionists study: medical terminology, including Greek and Latin suffixes, prefixes, and roots biological science, including anatomy and physiology of all body system, and various disease processes. Medical science: Medical and surgical procedures, involving thousands of instruments, supplies, appliances, and prosthetic devices; laboratory values, correlating laboratory test results with patient diagnosis and treatment; use of medical reference materials and research techniques.

What other skills are required to perform medical transcription?

Medical understanding is critical for the professional medical language specialist. The multisyllabic and homonymous terms used in medicine are unlike the languages of any other profession.

Quality medical transcription also requires:

1) Above-average knowledge of English punctuation and grammar.

2) Excellent auditory skills, allowing the transcriptionist to interpret sounds simultaneously with keyboarding.

3) Advanced proofreading and editing skills, ensuring accuracy of transcribed material.

4) Versatility is use of transcription equipment computers, since transcriptionists may work in a variety of settings.

5) Highly developed analytical skills, employing deductive reasoning.

What is the future of the medical transcription industry?

There will be a need for medical transcriptionists into the foreseeable future. Although much is made of the possibility of speech recognition technology forcing transcriptionists out of jobs, there are certain things a transcriptionist can do which a machine cannot. For example, speech recognition software and technology is based on the predictability of dictation. Thus, errors in pronunciation, syntax, and grammar at present can only be rectified by expert people, that is, transcriptionists.

At times current or developing medical procedures invoke specialized clinical conditions and these conditions cause new terminologies to be introduced. Once again expert people, that is, transcriptionists, can make adjustments quickly. And speech recognition technology can adjust but much more slowly.

Transcriptionists can adjust to the variation in practitioner speech habits, in their training, in dialect differences, and in foreign doctor dictation language differences. These are just a few of the facts that bolster the argument that we shall need transcriptionists for a long time to come.

Do I need to be certified?

The American Association for Medical Transcription (http://www.aamt.org/) maintains a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) program, providing independent certification. A small percentage of medical transcriptionists have obtained this certification. Few employers require the certification.

Do I need to be a good typist to be a medical transcriptionist?

If you have average typing skills and a desire to learn, then we will take care of the rest. Our MT keyboard accelerator software is designed to help you increase your typing speed and your accuracy, both of which are vital to the success of a medical transcriptionist.

What is the job market for a medical transcriptionist?

A well-qualified conscientious medical transcriptionist, according to all the latest information, has a secure future. There is a huge demand for such MTs in all areas of the country, although presumably some regions have a stronger demand than others. According to a survey conducted by NASSCOM, India has the potential to employ around 50,000 to 80,000 MT professionals by 2008. Whereas, current strength is around 12,000 MTs in India. While voice recognition systems are seen as a distant threat to the MT's vocation, experts are predicting that it will be years, if ever, before voice recognition takes over the MT's vocation. Even then, experienced MTs will be needed as editors and record managers.

What makes medical transcription an attractive career choice?

Medical transcription provides unlimited intellectual challenge and the opportunity to make a unique contribution to quality patient care and service. Health care is a rapidly growing field, and the demand for quality documentation is increasing. The profession provides a high level of job security, and skilled medical language specialists may receive a premium for their services. Because their services are in demand, transcriptionists are often able to arrange convenient and flexible work schedules.

Medical transcription is a portable skill that allows for professional and geographic mobility.

Age restrictions are seldom found, with great value being placed on the experience and knowledge of the mature transcriptionist.

Medical transcription can be a lifelong, satisfying career, providing the constant challenge of an expanding and advancing technology. The changes occurring in the healthcare industry promise to provide even more challenges to the forward-looking medical language specialists.


Work From Home

You've seen the commercials: medical transcriptionists are in high demand. Should you consider this field? Below are the top ten best reasons to become a medical transcriptionist. If these characteristics are something you're looking for in a job, then medical transcription may be for you. To get started, try “Working at Home the American Way in Medical Transcription” by Debra Jan Hebert, an experienced (http://medtrans4u.com) medical transcriptionist.

10. Quick entry

Many lucrative professions require extensive training and advanced degrees. Other jobs in the medical field can take eight or more years of grueling, expensive schooling to begin.

In medical transcription, you can begin your work in a year or less, avoiding huge debts and student loans. Some employers require no training, especially not if you already have good English skills and some experience in a medical field.

9. Contribute to society

As a medical transcriptionist, you can contribute to society in many ways. In addition to the economic contributions you'll make to the overall economy, experienced medical transcriptionists become well-versed enough to catch errors or even act as patient advocates. Medical transcriptionists can see inconsistencies and correct them as well. By quickly returning transcripts to hospitals, private practices and individual doctors, medical transcriptionists can ensure fast patient care in the medical system.

8. Work from home
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70% of medical transcriptionists still work in hospitals or physicians' offices, medical transcription is becoming increasingly popular as a work-from-home profession. The convenience of a home office appeals to some people on its own virtues, while parents may value the opportunity to stay close to their young children and still support the family full time. No matter what the reason, if you're looking to work from home, you should seriously consider medical transcription.

7. Excellent pay

While compensation methods may vary, almost all medical transcriptionists enjoy excellent pay, even in entry-level positions. According to (http://medtrans4u.com) DJS Enterprises, you can earn as much as $50,000 to $80,000 a year as a medical transcriptionist. If your pay is production-based, as you gain more experience and dexterity in medical transcription your salary will steadily increase. If you're looking for a job that can really support your family working from home, medical transcription may be for you.

6. Job security

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for medical transcriptionists is definitely positive. The medical transcription field is expected to grow at a faster than average rate through the year 2014. This indicates that medical transcriptionists will have plenty of opportunities to find steady work, even if they work at home on a freelance basis for at least another 8 years.

5. Job satisfaction

While job satisfaction may vary from job to job and person to person, if you enjoy being able to visibly track the progress you've made in a day, medical transcription can bring you a high level of job satisfaction. As your completed medical reports pile up, you'll be able to see how much you've accomplished.

4. Set your own hours

Most of the medical industry operates 24 hours a day. Many hospital and at-home medical transcriptionists are able to set their own hours at any time to accommodate their families or other commitments. No matter when you're able to work, there's a medical record waiting to be transcribed.

In medical transcription, you can work when it's most convenient for you.

3. Comfortable work environment

Whether they work in a hospital, a private office or from home, medical transcriptionists enjoy a comfortable work environment. Noise levels are low, safety risks are minimal and strenuous labor is negligible. In medical transcription, you'll enjoy a comfortable office and dedicated work station to transcribe. And what could be more comfortable than working in your own home?

2. Transferable skills

Medical transcriptionists acquire many transferable skills that they can use in other jobs if ever they want to leave the industry. In addition to a basis in the medical field, transcriptionists learn skills that could apply as a court reporter or an administrative assistant. Transcriptionists also develop their English skills, which can be useful in all types of positions that involve writing and editing. Whether medical transcription is a step on your path or your dream job, the skills you learn can improve your overall career outlook.

1. Rewarding work

Why do people become doctors? The vast majority of the people who endure 8 or more years of schooling and incur substantial debts and student loans to become doctors do so because they love to help people and to cure them of their illnesses. Every member of the medical field helps in this endeavor. What could be more rewarding than to contribute to the speedy treatment of people who desperately need your help?

If these ten things sound like characteristics you're looking for in a job, look into medical transcription. You can learn more about medical transcription from books, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other materials online.


While there are around 300 medical transcription companies in India including small, medium, and large US-based MT firms, the following are top 10 MT companies in India who have strong US base and have direct contracts with US hospitals.

1) Spheris India Ltd (Formerly HealthScribe) Branch Off: Bangalore and Coimbatore. US HQ: Franklin, TN, USA

2) Focus Infosys Branch Off: Bangalore, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Chennai US HQ: Woburn, MA USA

3) Acusis India Ltd. Branch Off: Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, & Coimbatore US HQ: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

4) CBay Systems Ltd. Branch Off: Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad US HQ: Annapolis, MD, USA

5) Heartland Asia Ltd. Bangalore, Coimbatore

6) Spryance India Ltd. Bombay, Coimbatore, Chennai

7) Worldtech India Ltd Hyderabad

8) Mediscribe India Ltd Bangalore

9) Prodata Bangalore

10) Edictate Info

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