Medical transcription is a term applied to the conversion of a doctor’s notes to a written or electronic form. The notes typically are observations and instructions related to patients under the doctor’s care. Transcription used to be done on manual typewriters from handwritten notes or from Dictaphone recordings. Modern transcription is done on computers from a doctor’s recordings on a variety of devices.
Need for records
Medical care nowadays is so organized that patient records should be available instantly on demand. There are several users of these records. The doctor and his staff need access to records for the care of the patient. For this, the records have to be up to date and thus the records have to be updated on a daily basis. The hospital will need access to the records for administrative purposes. Specialists to whom the patient is referred may need access to the records. Thus, the records need to be up to date and accurate. Medical transcription is an essential part of record keeping.
Having all patient records in a database and available on demand to a variety of users is a necessity in modern medical care. Having the records available in electronic format means that patient data can be pulled up as soon as a need arises. In life-threatening situations, immediate access to such data can be critical. Medical transcription fulfills this task of keeping the records current.
Medical transcription has progressed over the decades from manual typing from paper or recorded notes to transcribing from recordings on electronic devices to electronic documents on computers. Speech recognition software can do a first-pass conversion of speech to text which is checked for accuracy manually and then edited for correcting any errors. Transmission of such electronic files is instant, so timeliness is maintained.