There has been a lot of concern over the transcription world’s latest technology – speech recognition. Fortunately, this software has been out for several years and has helped doctors and transcriptionist’s increase their production significantly. Unfortunately, this new technology has also decreased the need for freshly-typed medical reports. What does this mean for the medical transcription business? The good news is that if you are a medical transcriptionist, you don’t have to assume that your career is in jeopardy.
The bad news is that yes, the latest technology has posed a decrease in the amount of available transcription jobs because it helps to type a portion of the reports. What was that? Yes, a “portion” – not the entire thing. For some doctors, this means less money spent on high-cost transcriptionists. Although, this is only “some”, not all. Unfortunately, this also means lower pay for most transcriptionists as well – but, don’t make any assumptions yet. There is a bright side.
The fact that there has been a dramatic change in the medical transcription business does not mean that all hope is lost. It does mean that there are brand new opportunities for individuals in this profession. One of them includes the opportunity to work as a transcription editor. The advantage is that although the pay is lower, a portion of the report has already been typed, leading to an increased production rate. Overall, this presents an even more abundant opportunity in the realm of money and career value for the transcriptionist.
The fact that speech recognition has been added to the medical transcription not only increases overall pay, but shines a light on the importance of medical transcriptionist’s in general. Because no speech recognition software is perfect, there will always be need for quality transcriptionists. There is much more to this career field than merely typing and listening to dictation. So, when someone asks you what you do for a living, you no longer have to say “I am a medical transcriptionist”, but instead tell them that you are a “medical transcription editor”.
So, not only are you now typing medical reports, you’re also editing the errors that the speech recognition software has made, which really does not change your job any at all, especially since you’ve been editing all along anyway. The only difference is that you’re producing twice as many reports, and making significantly more money per hour.
There will always be a need for qualified medical transcriptionists, as computed, man-made technology will almost always certainly create errors. Doctors do not have the time to sit down and correct these mistakes, and someone’s got to do it. Medical coders can’t do it, nor can medical receptionists. Who does that leave? A well-trained, certified, highly knowledgeable medical transcriptionist.