People working in the field of medical transcription are called medical transcriptionists or transcribers. The transcribers have to listen to dictations from physicians or health care professionals. These dictations are translated into written format. The dictation tapes can be in analog or digital format. The records normally contain medical history, operation and post-operation reports, consultation and medical test reports, etc.
Medical transcription is one of the major areas of outsourcing. The parent company does not get into the day-to-day nitty-gritty, but provides the requirements and accepts only quality product. The reasons for outsourcing this work can be enumerated as under:
Cost Benefits: There are rising cost pressures, hence through outsourcing, the company saves on in-house hiring & training cost. To hire a transcriber in the United States would generally cost 30 to 60 dollars. This cost is at least 3 times of what is incurred, if the hiring is done from developing countries. When the work is outsourced, the cost incurred for health insurance, sick leaves, etc. are borne by the service provider. Outsourcing also requires a lot of infrastructure like desktops, headsets, digital or analog record reader, etc. These costs are incurred by the service providers and hence the infrastructure cost is also saved.
Quality: The quality of the end product is higher, because strict vigilance is maintained on the end product by the parent company. Only quality product is approved.
Workload: Due to the increasing growth of health care industry, the workload has grown manifold. It is not possible to complete all the records in-house. It will mean recruiting more people, thus adding to the infrastructure as well.
Data Storage: Data storage has become convenient. Previously data was stored in duplicates and triplicates to avoid loss of data. Now the paperwork has been replaced by digital archiving of medical records.
Focus on Core Competency Areas: Outsourcing leaves the management to concentrate on core business functions and new business ventures. It also sets the company resources free for other important business issues.
Hire at Higher Cost or Outsource: There are times, when experts from respective domains are required to handle certain critical tasks. In such situations hiring can be done at a higher cost, or the task can be simply outsourced. Most companies prefer outsourcing, as it not only reduces the cost, but also many other subordinate clauses like health insurance, etc.
Availability of Trained Resources:Specialized and trained resources are readily available in the developing world. Since expertise and quality workforce is available at cheaper rates, outsourcing is the preferred option. The labor force is also language competent, along with being intelligent and technologically sound.
Technology: With the advancement of technology in all fields, technology changes everyday. It is not cost-effective to keep up or updating the work-force with the ever changing technology. Therefore, outsourcing reduces the cost of acquiring cutting edge technology, every now and then.
Less Burden on the Human Resource Department: For maintaining a pool of qualified medical transcriptionists, the Human Resource department is always under pressure, as there are few qualified transcriptionists to choose from. So, outsourcing helps them eliminate the unsuccessful recruitment cycle and also the man-hours lost in the process. In case of unavailability of qualified transcriptionists, the Human Resource department has to arrange for training the untrained resources, which burdens the department.
Turn Around Time: The difference in the time zone, helps in higher turn around time. Quality end product can be obtained in minimum amount of time. At the same time service providers, provide round-the-clock service, reducing the backlog of work.
Rules, Regulations and Privacy: There are certain acts like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), which have strict privacy rules. The service provider has to make himself HIPAA compliant. If the work is outsourced, the parent company does not have to be occupied with the different rules and regulations of the land.
Companies choose to outsource their work, because of the above mentioned benefits. This has also created a lot of employment opportunities all over the world, especially in the developing countries.