Medical Transcription is the most recent and fastest growing IT-enabled service in India. In hospitals across the US, doctors are short of time to fill up the medical records of their patients. These medical records, however, are very important for them, since they form the basis of retreiving money through processing of insurance claims. Therefore, the doctors in US record their findings into the computers with voice recognition technologies. These recorded voice signals are sent to companies outside US via satellite links. The companies employ medical transcriptionists who hear these records, and process the data into a word procesor. These transcribed medical records are then sent back to the source electronically.
Medical records have been kept since humans began writing, as attested by ancient cave writings. Medical transcription as it is currently known has existed since the beginning of the 20th century, when standardization of medical data became critical to research.At that time, medical stenographers replaced physicians as the recorders of medical information, taking doctors’ dictation in shorthand. With the creation of audio recording devices, it became possible for physicians and their transcriptions to work asynchronously, thus beginning the profession of healthcare documentation as we currently know it.
Over the years, transcription equipment has changed from manual typewriters to electric typewriters to word processors to computers and from plastic disks and magnetic belts to cassettes and endless loops and digital recordings. Today, speech recognition (SR), also known as continuous speech recognition (CSR), is increasingly being used, with medical transcriptions and or “editors” providing supplemental editorial services, although there are occasional instances where SR fully replaces the MT. Natural-language processing takes “automatic” transcription a step further, providing an interpretive function that speech recognition alone does not provide (although Ms do).
In the past, these medical reports consisted of very abbreviated handwritten notes that were added in the patient’s file for interpretation by the primary physician responsible for the treatment. Ultimately, this mess of handwritten notes and typed reports were consolidated into a single patient file and physically stored along with thousands of other patient records in a wall of filing cabinets in the medical records department. Whenever the need arose to review the records of a specific patient, the patient’s file would be retrieved from the filing cabinet and delivered to the requesting physician. To enhance this manual process, many medical record documents were produced in duplicate or triplicate by means of carbon copy.