What is MT ...?

Medical Transcription is one of the fastest growing fields in health care. Medical Transcriptionists are in demand in Western countries especially in the US where the entire healthcare industry is based on insurance and detailed medical records are needed for processing insurance claims. Medical transcription could be one of the speedy growing IT enabled service in India also, with the rapid change in the outlook in Indian healthcare and privatization of the insurance sector. India provides an ideal location for conducting medical transcription with the large population of educated English speaking people and the comparative low cost, which encourages companies abroad to out source their work to the Indian Medical Transcription field.

Medical transcriptionists listen to dictated recordings made by physicians and other health care professionals and transcribe them into medical reports, correspondence, and other administrative material. They generally listen to recordings on a headset, using a foot pedal to pause the recording when necessary, and key the text into a personal computer or word processor, editing as necessary for grammar and clarity. The documents they produce include discharge summaries, history and physical examination reports, operative reports, consultation reports, autopsy reports, diagnostic imaging studies, progress notes, and referral letters. Medical transcriptionists return transcribed documents to the physicians or other health care professionals who dictated them for review and signature, or correction. These documents eventually become part of patients’ permanent files.

To understand and accurately transcribe dictated reports into a format that is clear and comprehensible for the reader, medical transcriptionists must understand medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, and treatment assessments. They also must be able to translate medical jargon and abbreviations into their expanded forms. To help identify terms appropriately, transcriptionists refer to standard medical reference materials—both printed and electronic; some of these are available over the Internet. Medical transcriptionists must comply with specific standards that apply to the style of medical records, in addition to the legal and ethical requirements involved with keeping patient information confidential.

The process of medical transcription is transferring this information using word processing. Transcription services range from small, one-person home-based businesses to sophisticated, high-tech corporations, which employ transcriptionists. Some medical transcription services now employ both 'on-site' and home-based medical transcriptionists.

Currently, most health care providers transmit dictation to medical transcriptionists using either digital or analog dictating equipment. The Internet has grown to be a popular mode for transmitting documentation. Many transcriptionists receive dictation over the Internet and are able to quickly return transcribed documents to clients for approval. Another increasingly popular method utilizes speech recognition technology, which electronically translates sound into text and creates drafts of reports. Reports are then formatted; edited for mistakes in translation, punctuation, or grammar; and checked for consistency and any possible medical errors. Transcriptionists working in areas with standardized terminology, such as radiology or pathology, are more likely to encounter speech recognition technology. However, use of speech recognition technology will become more widespread as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

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