Since maintaining detailed records is a major component to the healthcare industry, medical transcriptionists are given the responsibility of listening to dictated voice recordings from healthcare providers and converting them into accurate written records.
Using specialized speech recognition technology and audio playback equipment, medical transcriptionists interpret the dictation into patients’ medical histories, diagnostic test results, operative reports, referral letters, discharge summaries, and other medical documents.
Daily Duties for Medical Transcriptionists:
- Listening to the recorded dictation of a physician or other healthcare professional
- Transcribing the dictation with word processing or other specialized software
- Reviewing drafts prepared by speech recognition software for accuracy
- Translating medical jargon into the appropriate long form
- Editing inconsistencies, mistakes, or missing information within a report
- Submitting the medical reports for the healthcare provider to approve
- Entering medical information into electronic healthcare records systems
- Performing quality improvement audits to ensure appropriate patient care
- Following strict patient confidentiality and legal documentation regulations
Medical Transcriptionist Job Description
What do medical transcriptionists do? In most cases, medical transcriptionists can be found in state, local, or private hospitals, physicians’ offices, and companies that provide transcription support services to healthcare establishments. For those who work in doctors’ offices, it is common for medical transcriptionists to have other administrative duties, including answering phones and welcoming patients.
Many medical transcriptionists are employed on full-time schedules during normal business hours, but around one-third work part-time. Medical transcriptionists who telecommute from home offices and submit drafts electronically may have the most flexibility in determining their daily work schedules. During their workday, the majority of medical transcriptionists work independently, but some may have interaction with physicians, healthcare providers, nurses, health information managers, and patients.
Skills Needed to Be a Medical Transcriptionist
In most cases, medical transcriptionists need to receive a certificate or associate’s degree in medical transcription with on-the-job training. Since medical transcripts need to correctly transcribe critical medical information to reduce the chance that patients will receive ineffective or even harmful treatments, it is essential that they have comprehensive knowledge on medical terminology, diagnostic procedures, human anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.
In order to be successful in their daily duties, medical transcriptionists must possess strong computer skills for using word processing software and operating electronic health records systems, critical thinking skills for assessing medical reports for inaccuracies, and listening skills for carefully interpreting dictation. Furthermore, medical transcriptionists must have great writing skills with a good understanding of the English language and grammar.