Medical transcription services are getting much attention in the modern healthcare sector. In order to outsource a critical business process, reduce costs and improve the quality of medical documentation without making additional capital investment the necessity of medical transcription services is growing day by day (Health Department, 2010). This type of outsourcing service providers extends support to healthcare service providers in order to reduce internal resources. These internal resources are required to manage medical transcription. If the burden of these types of management can be reduced, then the healthcare sector can provide more focus on core business activities and patient care. The client operations manager of healthcare services is an inevitable part of the organization during the implementation process and through all transcription services. It is their duty to ensure that cost, quality and turnaround targets are achieved (Health Department, 2010).
Now a day most of the health organizations are required to recruit, train and retain qualified health transcriptionists. Thus, it becomes a major challenge for health care providers to attain the service of an efficient medical transcription outsourcing provider. The most stringent part of the requirement is that it requires the highest level of skills and accuracy on the part of transcriptionists (Health Department, 2010). Therefore outsourcing to a professional, reliable medical transcription company is very much essential. The outsourcing will help the organization to avoid the companies as they in general produce substandard results and that result will significantly affect patient health and well-being.
However, the following conditions should be kept in mind while engaging the medical transcription firm to their work-
- Freelance medical transcription- The service of professional medical transcription firms is much more desirable as they strictly ensure their continued operations and profitability in order to keep their reputation. Freelance transcriptionists however, adopt the policy of low prices in order to attract new clientele. (Medical transcription outsourcing, 2010) For the low amount of investment is made in the field, same level of expertise relating to transcriptions can not be expected from them.
- Lack of flexibility-It is the duty of healthcare providers and the transcription companies both to ensure the best possible relationship. Thus, it is necessary that clear communication should be made by the health care organizations relating to their requirements and they should only tie up with those who are willing to adjust to those requirements.
- Failure to proofread- The substandard medical transcription service has a clear significant hallmark relating to lack of proper proofreading. (Medical transcription outsourcing, 2010).
- Slow turnaround time- It is very common among freelance transcription companies that they make unusually long delay while delivering the completed work. The most common reasons for that are staffing problems and issues with scheduling.
Now, the discussion will be around the action plans of following-
- Plan for Scanning backlog
- Plan for Bill Hold
- Plan for Coding backlog
- Plan for Release of Information Backlog
- Format, presentation, and grammar
Plan for Transcription Backlog
Expert organizations provide an organized conversion process in respect of managing the paper and labor involved in processing large volumes of documents and scanned images.
In order to remove the scanning backlog the following services, should be taken care of-
- Pick up of boxes and Storage
- Document Control
- Document preparation and processing
- Image Editing
- Indexing of Digital Images
Pick up of boxes and storage- Boxes are arranged in such a way so that log sheets with an inventory of all documents can be maintained properly. Documents should be securely stored in a storage vault before documents are removed to the customer’s site.
Document Control- However, in case of any project the access of documents must be controlled. For physical documents an audit trail is necessary for each and every workflow process. The checked out and checked back process of the boxes are under the control of the project manager. Signs must be attested on each and every paper during the workflow process.
Document Preparation and Processing-Staple, brads, paper clips and post-it notes should be removed and it is necessary that the notes must be attached to the backside blank pages.(Medical Transcription, 2008-2009) The duplex scanners will consider it as an additional document page.
High speed auto feed duplex scanners will accommodate various pages up to 11’x 17”. The original will be placed back to the original sequence in the record system and scanned images will be synchronized to the appropriate sequence.
Image Editing- Post-processing modes should be used for image editing. The image files will be de-skewed cropped and rotated in order to make it acceptable for “right-reading”.
Indexing of Digital Images- Double key data entry and additional validation methods should be used to ensured to provide accurate indexed data.
Plan for Bill Hold-In order to overcome this backlog any renowned organization will operate in a completely HIPAA compliant environment. So, the following steps should be taken-
- Ensure the maximize reimbursement of medical insurance claims
- It should be electronically processed and send the medical claims to insurers
- Significantly reduce the medical practice cost and improve the cash flow
- Aggressively chased Aged accounts Receivables and collections
- Access should be facilitated to the accounts remotely, any time of the day or night in order to closely track the receivables
- HIPAA compliance and healthcare compliance programs should be offered
- Electronic data should have Disaster Recovery Management system
Thus, these steps will improve medical office revenue collection rates that meet or exceed industry standards.
Plan for Coding backlog-In order to meet financial and compliance objectives, accurate and efficient coding is essential. There are two types of coding-
These are essential to reduce future uncertainty and improve performances. Generally, single, comprehensive computer assisted coding solution is essential for hospitals and healthcare to optimize medical coding processes and accelerate the revenue cycle. If the coding backlogs are reduced, then it will discharge the not final billed statistics. The most positive side is that it will accelerate the revenue cycle.( Medical transcription outsourcing, 2010)
Plan for Release of Information Backlog-It is a critical issue to manage the Health Care Information System. This should be done in the light of ICD-10 and for this unique level of expertise is needed. In order to overcome this problem Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is necessary. However, increased adoption of electronic medical record initiated centralized additional functions be either outsourced or moved off site.
Plan for Transcription Backlog- The main backlog of medical transcription is the high costs of outsourcing. This can be done in the following way-
- The cost can be decreased by increasing the productivity of medical transcriptionists. The healthcare organizations can help with their in-house resources, reducing or eliminating the overflow outsourced work, decrease the cost of outsourced transcription.
The other things to be remembered that–
- To reduce document turnaround time from days to hours
- Faster TAT supports patient care, satisfaction of clinician increases and billing cycles shorten
- Workflow improvement through streamlined processes of medical records, electronic signature and document distribution should be initiated from dictation/transcription
Format, presentation, and grammar-
The most important part of transcription is to attain the ability of good proofreading. The transcriptionist should take special care towards proofread before submitting to on-line grader. Specifically typos, grammar, punctuation, spelling errors along with formatting and style errors should be checked before sending to the employer.
It is obvious that by outsourcing the medical transcription process to a single source the organization can free themselves of the burden, save substantial money by consolidating it to one provider and still maintain the complete control of the process. The last thing can be said that all necessary medical documentation should be completed in a timely and efficient manner.( Health Department, (2010)
- Health Department, (2010). InHealth Clinical Documentation Solutions. Pp. 90
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