What is a Medical Transcriptionist?

Also known as: Transcriptionist, Medical Transcriber, Medical Language Specialist, Clinical Medical Transcriptionist.

A medical transcriptionist is someone who transcribes doctor's reports from voice recordings, converting them into written reports. The transcriptionist may also edit medical documents, interpret medical abbreviations and terminology, and discharge summaries. Insurance companies have now made typed doctor's notes a mandatory requirement. There is a large demand for medical transcriptionists, given the growing volume of healthcare services, and with the baby boomers now reaching their senior years.

What does a Medical Transcriptionist do?

Medical transcription is the way a physician clearly communicates to other healthcare providers, advising them on the state of a patient's health and treatment, ensuring continuity of care. After a health practitioner performs a procedure on a patient, they will use a voice-recording device to record the information about the patient encounter. Some physicians use speech recognition software. They 'train' the program to recognize their speech pattern; the program continuously 'learns' their spoken words and phrases.

The medical transcriptionist will then transcribe this confidential patient information, using specific formats depending on the physician's specialty. A medical transcriber is used, which is essentially a cassette player with foot controls operated by the medical transcriptionist for playback and transcription. The dictation is converted either into a typed document, or into an electronic format. The reports may be kept in their electronic format, or printed and placed in the patient's file. Each transcribed record is merged and becomes part of the patient's medical history, or medical chart. There are still a few private practice family doctors that choose not to use a medical transcriptionist however, preferring to keep their patient's records in a handwritten format.

Due to the sheer volume of patients and paperwork, hospitals often prefer electronic storage of their medical records. This gives other departments or providers immediate access to the patient's care and shows certain details, such as past or present medications and any allergy alerts. Establishing patient history facilitates healthcare performance, and medical transcriptionists play a big part in this process. Important to note is that a written report has now become a requirement for documentation of a medical bill or an application for Workers' Compensation insurance benefits.

Duties and responsibilities of a medical transcriptionist:

  • transcribes patient information, such as name, social insurance number, and medical record
  • transcribes accurately and edits any inconsistencies
  • looks at references for terminology and medical procedures
  • keeps a transcription log
  • follows up on physicians' dictation, and returns reports in a timely fashion

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What is the workplace of a Medical Transcriptionist like?

A medical transcriptionist may work directly for clinics, physician's groups, and hospitals. They can also work for corporations that provide transcription services. Many medical transcriptionists work from home as a telecommuting employee (working as an independent contractor), or for a firm or a doctor's office.



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Further Reading

  • A Day In The Life Of A Home Based Medical Transcriptionist www.virtualassistantjobs.com

    Virtual Assistant Nina Davidson works full time as a medical transcriptionist and offered to share a day in her life with us.

  • Interview with a Medical Transcriptionist www.jobshadow.com

    I currently own MT Desk, a reference and style guide for medical transcriptionists. I also have a blog, MT Exchange, about medical transcription and the medical transcription industry. I have been a medical transcriptionist and medical transcription service owner for over 20 years but now work full time on MT Desk. Since the focus of this interview is on medical transcription, I’ll describe what I did when I worked full time as a medical transcriptionist.

  • Working From Home: A Medical Transcriptionist Salary www.payscale.com

    Medical transcriptionist Dorylanne Kennedy recently gave us inside information about medical transcriptionist training, helpful websites for medical transcriptionists, home-based medical transcriptionist jobs, and medical transcription companies. She also gave us a realistic picture of a medical transcriptionist salary and what it's like to attend training.

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