Voice recognition technology has been threatening to eliminate the need for traditional medical transcription for several years. However, the reality of the situation is that, while speech recognition technology has no doubt increased in importance in the healthcare industry, it is not capable of replacing a traditional medical transcriptionist. Home medical transcription employment is as plentiful as ever, which bodes well for the future.
But the one effect of voice recognition technology development is that the work style of some medical transcriptionists has been transformed to an increasingly large degree. For the most part, most medical transcriptionists still transcribe the old-fashioned way: they listen to a dictation file and type a pretty much word-for-word report.
As voice recognition catches on, the starting point for a home medical transcriptionist is increasingly a rough draft of a file that has been produced by speech recognition software.
Typically, voice recognition software will be capable of producing an end product that is perhaps 60% to 80% correct. The issue, of course, is that only a trained medical transcriptionist can tell you where the errors lie in the medical report draft. It is crucial to have each rough document reviewed and edited by a knowledeable medical transcriptionist.
The integrity of our healthcare industry is dependent on correct information being given to doctors who are seeing the patients, and making decisions on their behalf. An inaccurate medical records file can spell disaster for a patient, and cause major frustration to the healthcare delivery system.
In time, more and more of the voice dictation files produced by physicians will be created through voice recognition software. This will force the current pool of medical transcriptionists to refurbish their skill sets. In place of listening and transcribing word for word, the medical transcriptionist of the future will be listening to and editing a document that comes up on his or her computer in an edit mode.
State-of-the-art technology is truly bringing efficiency to the industry, but the need for competent home medical transcriptionists and medical record editors will thrive, and progress well into the future. In fact, there has never been a more opportune time to enter this exciting career field!