Electronic Health Records (EHRs) were designed to streamline information systems within hospitals by automating manual data entry tasks. Although it was originally thought that this technology would phase out the need for medical transcriptionists, that hasn’t been the case. Many practitioners have had to hire audio typists back into the workforce in order to deal with the loopholes that are commonly associated with pure EHR data entry systems.
EHRs mostly capture patient data using template driven-electronic documentation. This method of data entry has its own unique set of challenges when used in a hospital setting.
Challenges of Relying on EHRs Alone
While incorporating electronic health records into information systems of hospitals is meant to make procedures more efficient, this does just the opposite when doctors are required to key in patient data. Relying on a physician to enter patient information into an EHR can be time consuming.
Besides slowing down the speed of completing clinical documentation, making doctors perform clerical roles can lead to entry of incomplete information, human errors, and inaccuracies.
How EHR – Transcription Integration can be Helpful
By integrating EHRs and transcription services, this can help to avoid the pitfalls mentioned above. This approach allows doctors to continue interacting with patients just like they normally do while leveraging the use of digital dictations. It takes less time and effort to dictate patient notes than it does to fill electronic forms by selecting options from a series of drop down menus. These recordings can then be transcribed by professional audio typing staff with more efficiency. Since transcriptionists specialize in audio typing, this becomes easy for these professionals to preform quality checks of medical recordings to ensure that they match with a physician’s dictations to the letter.
However, transcribing medical data into a format that can be seamlessly integrated into the management information system of a healthcare facility becomes a requirement that transcription service companies must meet. In order to meet the growing EHR and transcription integration needs, more and more audio typing firms are making use of NPL (natural language processor), XML (extensible markup language) and HL7 (high seven level) compliant technologies. In this way, transcription companies are able to truly serve health care facilities that choose to outsource audio typing services.
Key Factors that Determine Choice of Transcription Providers
Ensuring that a transcription company is able to create complete medical transcripts that can be uploaded to an EHR is just the first step of integrating electronic medical records with medical transcription services. There are other things that hospitals should consider before selecting which provider would be the best choice when outsourcing their audio typing needs. Some of these factors include:
- A non-disclosure agreement to keep patient information confidential
- 99.99% uptime of any online based transcription services
- Transfer of files via FTP (file transfer protocol) on websites that are secured with 256 bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) keys
- Guaranteed flawless transcripts with an accuracy of 99%
- Multiple level quality assurance
- Customer support on a 24/7 basis
Ultimately, integrating EHR systems with manual transcriptions allows healthcare facilities to improve the accuracy and completeness of data while at the same time ensuring that all data entry processes continue to run efficiently.