What is medical transcription?
The process of transcribing doctor-dictated dictations for the purposes of documentation as a medical record is simply termed as medical transcription. The person who transcribes the dictations into a document is a medical transcriptionist or a medical transcription professional. The process originated in the West. The person who did this job used to be called as a medical assistant who used to be with the doctor at the hospital writing down notes instructed by him. Advancement of this process is electronic conversion of the dictations.
Why and who?
For insurance purposes and maintenance of medical records. The major player outsourcing medical transcription work is USA. Canada, UK, and Australia have some. The outsourced countries include India, Philippines, Indonesia to name a few among others. The medical transcription professional needs a wide knowledge of medical terminology, American English, and critical thinking skills that may help him/her to interpret what is dictated to produce accurate documents. The dictator speaks over a hand-held device called a Dictaphone or a electronic recorder or a device which has a 1-button solution to upload his voice into the server. The transcriber downloads them at his location through a server that is provided to him by the organization he works for. He then transcribes the dictations into medico legal document.
Medical transcription happens to be one of the earliest BPO jobs outsourced to India. Indians have strong English communicating skills due to the curriculum followed from the days pre-independence. The time difference of 12 hours between India and USA makes it easier for the doctors/clinics to have their reports on their table at their next visit to the clinic. Furthermore, cost of labor is much cheaper for the outsourcer.
Medical transcription has a strong employment in both India and the United States. One can work for a company that serves for the Healthcare Industry. The model also involves working at home as independent contractors. In India, the independent home transcriptionist model is growing to gain much popularity. It is said, still a larger portion of the work is still to be outsourced from US. Both NASSCOM in India and the US Department of Labor have identified this career as having a higher growth potential year by year.
As far as the money making is concerned, the fresher in medical transcription earns a starting salary approximately around Rs. 5000 and after 2 years of experience, his money making capability goes to around Rs. 15,000. Careers advancement can lead him to become an Editor or a Leader of a team in a company which could fetch him around Rs.20,000 or more. In these days of growing population and a means to earn money, this is quite decent for an Indian standard.
Medical coding and billing are showing up as allied careers related to medical transcription.