Duties & Benefits Of A Medical Transcriptionist

Posted on Sep 24 2013 - 12:24am by Tiffany Olson


Medical transcriptionists work behind the scenes to provide a service of great significance in the healthcare industry. Once properly trained, a medical transcriptionist has the responsibility of translating physician notes and dictation into organized patient records that are easily accessible at any given time. These documents become an important part of each patient’s medical history and will supply all the information necessary to carry out continuing care, which explains why attention to detail and accuracy are a must.

A patient’s records could be passed from one doctor or facility to the next with several nurses making use of them along the way. This means there can be no confusion among the care providers that hold the patient’s life in their hands. If you are thinking about a career as a medical transcriptionist, consider these benefits and obligations as you are analyzing whether or not medical transcription is right for you.

Upholding Patient Confidentiality Standards

All healthcare professionals are required to keep anything they learn about a patient’s medical information completely private, and that applies to medical transcriptionists as well. Since they will be the ones to recap a physician’s findings about a patient, transcriptionists are privy to a lot of details that must be kept confidential at all times.

Benefiting the Doctors and Facilities They Work For

Whether the task is outsourced or done in-house, healthcare facilities benefit greatly from having a medical transcriptionist take on the duty of deciphering a doctor’s commentary regarding everything about a patient’s visit and future treatments and procedures. Transcriptionists are trained to have fast typing speeds that will keep the workload flowing smoothly through a doctor’s office and get them the records they need on a regular and timely basis. If doctors were left to transcribe their notes themselves, the papers would be sure to pile up due to all the other obligations they have.

Providing Accurate Documents

Even if a medical transcriptionist types at the very quickest speed and turns reports around swiftly, it won’t mean anything if they aren’t accurate. Being hasty and neglectful is the worst thing a transcriptionist can be, and it has the potential to cause harm to a patient if mistakes are made pertaining to the description of their care. It’s important for transcriptionists to be familiar with medical terminology to decode common doctor-used jargon and abbreviations and to have excellent research skills in the event they need to verify particular details. Just assuming or omitting information is never an option.

Detect and Correct Mistakes

Errors happen, but it’s up to a medical transcriptionist to do their very best to make sure they don’t happen during the interpretation process. Another reason to be knowledgeable in medical terms is to be able to detect when a physician may have made a mistake in their initial notes. Being focused and diligent enough to be able to clean up any errors or flag them for clarification before they make it into an official report are valuable traits for a transcriptionist to have.

Many people make a great career out of becoming a medical transcriptionist. If this career path is something that you are thinking about, make sure you do proper and in-depth research before you take the plunge.

Photo Credit: Flickr/ian munroe

About the Author

Tiffany Olson is a passionate traveler and blogger who resides in Northern California. She worked at an international hostel for 7 ½ years and it was there that she gained a love of travel. She has place to make it to Spain sometime in the next year or two.