Medical examinations are usually a patient's first step in the health care process. Doctors talk with patients about their history and current problems they may be experiencing. Tests and studies may be performed. Then, doctors will discuss a treatment plan with the individual. When the patient is finished with their visit, the doctor traditionally has written notes recording the visit. Today, doctors often use electronic devices with voice recognition software.
A medical transcription professional receives this information through a recording program, often online. They listen to the doctor's voice and then create a transcript. This information is placed in a patient's records or hospital charts. A transcription professional sometimes works on-site in an office or at a hospital. But, more than likely today, those transcribing are working online as workers who telecommute. Most health care providers today are outsourcing their transcribing needs to major companies who specialize in dictation.
Great care must be taken during the transcribing process to ensure the service is performed according to the standards of the medical community. The doctor or nurse making the recording must be careful to speak slowly so that the voice program will accurately record the text. The person taking the dictation must be extremely accurate when typing the information. The doctor is then responsible for reviewing the documents for accuracy to guard against putting patients at risk because of misinformation.
Given the large databases of medical records, technology has drastically changed the way the process of data collection functions. Those involved are no longer simply using typing equipment to interpret hand written notes. Today's medical community records and accesses information in a largely electronic format. Medical transcription continues to be an important part of that process.