Like any industry, the medical transcription industry offers lucrative careers to those under its umbrella. The career ladder is the same across most MT companies. Experience strongly influences pay for this job.
Outsourcing is the most preferred mode of service procurement in medical transcription with the market share of 62.2% in 2012*. Large international healthcare organizations prefer to outsource to both domestic and offshore companies because of ease of operations, rapid turnaround times and easy allocation of monetary resources on the basis of nature of reports.
Asian countries such as India and Philippines are some of the leading hubs for off-shoring of transcription services, supported by government incentives and subsidies for setting new businesses and expansion of existing business units. United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Latin America are emerging markets in RoW followed by Qatar.
- EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa)
The market for medical transcription services is highly competitive and entails many challenges. Some of the key market players are:
- Nuance Communications
- MModal Inc
- IMeDx Information Services
- Precyse Solutions
Technavio’s analysts forecast the global medical transcription market to grow at a CAGR of 6% over the period 2014-2019.
By geography, the global medical transcription services market is segmented into regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. North America leads the global market for MT services due to improved medical services documentation in the United States.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website reveals that the average annual salary for a full-time medical transcriptionist is close to $34,000 (working 25 days a month), which is about $14 an hour, though hourly rates could go as high as $25 for more experienced MTs/QAs.
In the last few years, India has shown amazing success in this field. A large pool of IT professionals, the Internet revolution and encouraging policy changes have catapulted India to a top position as a quality source of medical transcription services. The main advantages of outsourcing to India are cost-saving (outsourcing to India reduces the transcription costs to one-third) and the vast pool of English-speaking resources. Turnaround time is critical in this industry and, since India is geographically several hours ahead of America and Europe, Indian MT companies can offer the natural advantage of quicker turnaround time.
The MTSO business is predominant in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Trivandrum.
Some companies also offer additional perks and performance incentives. Companies also offer line-count based incentives, allowing people to earn as high as Rs. 50,000-60,000 per month.
Common Myths about Medical Transcription
Fact – Speech recognition is doing some great things in the Health Information Management (HIM) industry, but some smaller facilities may take years to put this new technology in place and thus would still need to use traditional medical transcriptionists until that time.
Myth 2 – Medical transcription editors will take over the jobs of traditional medical transcriptionists.
Fact – The role of the MT has evolved with the advancement of SRT. MTs are now required to keep their skills upgraded and adapt to the role of being editors rather than actual transcribers. The need for skilled MTs will always be there, albeit in a modified role. The MTE not only corrects the accuracy of the SRT, but also the accuracy of the dictator. The job market is seeing a shift to accommodate the new technology and this is opening opportunities for those who have been transcriptionists and for those who are entering the HIM field from schools or other professions.
Fact – The accuracy and formatting of the final medical report rests with the MTE. Functions that the software often perform adequately, like distinction of speech from background sound, deciphering of homonyms, and analysis of medical text within the English language, can only be done with the help of skilled human intervention. Written language has strict rules of usage for punctuation and grammar, and these are not too obvious in speech. An MTE is still required to make the necessary changes.
Myth 4 – Not much knowledge or training is required to edit a document created by a speech recognition engine.
Fact – Remember that medical records are legal documents whose accuracy is vital to the health of the patient, the effectiveness and solvency of the healthcare provider, and the integrity of the healthcare system. Only those properly trained to be medical transcription editors can provide the quality documentation demanded by the industry.
Myth 5 – Eventually technology will become so good that the job of medical transcription editor will not exist.
Fact – Remember that the heart of medical documentation is patient care. A medical record is, essentially, a narrative of a patient’s care. A computer cannot understand and make judgments regarding a narrative of care. The integrity of the documentation always relies on the trained human mind.