Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why EMRs Should Not Replace Medical Transcription

Although it was originally believed by some that the implementation of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) was going to eliminate the need for medical transcription services, many healthcare organizations are finding that medical transcription not only improves the use of EMRs, but also provides numerous additional benefits. We have listed 11 important reasons why EMRs should not replace medical transcription services.

Medical Transcription:

1. Saves TimeDocumenting the patient encounter in an EMR is time-consuming. When physicians are required to key data directly into the EMR, it takes significantly more time to complete the clinical documentation. Incorporating medical transcription with the EMR makes more efficient use of the physician’s time. Medical transcription decreases the physician’s time of documenting in the EMR because it transfers the clerical, data-entry responsibilities away from the physician.

2. Integrates with EMRs
Medical transcription can seamlessly integrate with EMRs and can automatically populate the transcribed content into the appropriate EMR fields using discrete reportable transcription (DRT). With a medical transcription-integrated EMR, physicians have more time to focus on patient care and clinical activities.

3. Maintains Revenues
Often, when EMRs are implemented, the extra time needed by the physician to complete the clinical documentation in the EMR requires the healthcare organization to reduce the number of patients seen. Fewer patient encounters translates to reduced revenues. This reduction in revenue can be overcome by using medical transcription as a documentation tool for the EMR.

4. Reduces Data-Entry Costs
Physicians are an expensive resource. Prior to the implementation of EMRs, physicians would typically have not been used for data-entry tasks. By using medical transcriptionists to complete the physician’s patient-encounter note, it reduces the data-entry costs associated with creating the EMR documentation.

5. Improves Productivity
The practice of medicine is fast-paced. Dictation is the fastest method to complete clinical documentation. And, medical transcription does not compromise the physician’s productivity or the organization’s workflow.

6. Enhances Usability
Medical transcription complements EMRs and improves their usability. A lot of the patient-encounter notes cannot be easily captured by the EMR’s documentation options. Medical transcription provides a valuable, usable documentation tool for the EMR.

7. Creates Meaningful Notes
Medical transcription provides richer narrative information, as compared to what is produced with the EMR’s templates and point-and-click documentation. A more complete, contextual, and meaningful note is provided when medical transcription is used (and integrated) with the EMR.

8. Increases AccuracyFree-text typing into an EMR can have a high error rate. Medical transcription eliminates the need for physicians to type lengthy EMR notes. In addition, copied-and-pasted or templated text used in the encounter note may not always properly portray the patient’s status or current visit. Another benefit of medical transcription is that a medical transcriptionist can help improve the quality of the clinical documentation by identifying possible errors in the dictation.

9. Provides Familiarity Dictation is the preferred method of clinical documentation for most physicians. Also, it is a documentation process that many physicians are already familiar with today.

10. Requires No EditingWith medical transcription services, the physician does not serve as the clinical documentation editor, like with front-end speech recognition technologies.

11. Accelerates EMR Adoption
Medical transcription services can help accelerate and expand EMR adoption for healthcare organizations.

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