Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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INTRODUCTION

Medical Transcription is one of the fastest growing fields in Health Care Industry. Medical Transcriptionists are in demand in Western countries especially in the US where the entire healthcare industry is based on insurance and detailed medical records are needed for processing insurance claims. Medical transcription is one of the dramatically growing IT enabled service in India, with the rapid change in the outlook in Indian healthcare and privatization of the insurance sector. India provides an ideal location for conducting medical transcription with the large population of educated English-speaking people and the comparative low cost which encourages companies abroad to outsource their work to the Indian Medical Transcription field.

Medical transcription is an interesting and challenging career. It is the process whereby one accurately and swiftly transcribes medical records dictated by doctors and others, including history and physical reports, clinic notes, office notes, operative reports, consultation notes, discharge summaries, letters, psychiatric evaluations, laboratory reports, x-ray reports and pathology reports. MT or Medical Transcriptionist is a person who assists physicians and specialty surgeons usually by transcribing, formatting, and proof reading their dictated medically oriented report of a patient’s health history. This dictation covers pretty much everything that takes place between the health care provider and the patient. Usually, the information dictated by doctors is recorded either into tape or onto digital voice processing systems. The process of medical transcription is transferring this information using word processing. Transcription services range from small, one-person home-based businesses to sophisticated, high-tech corporations which employ transcriptionists. Some medical transcription services now employ both 'on-site' and home-based medical transcriptionists. Medical transcription services serve client hospitals throughout the nation and abroad.

In India, there was a boom in this industry couple of years back with a lot of companies and training institutes entering this field. Most companies except a few could not survive due to lack of proper training and understanding of this comparatively new concept in India. By improving the work standards and quality of service, India has a wide scope for capturing the huge clientele in the US and provide employment opportunities to the huge mass of English speaking and computer literate people in the country. The success of the surviving companies proves that Medical transcription can hold a vital link in altering the Indian job scenario.

Eligibility: It does not require specialized IT skills but it requires primary skills like good listening and language skills and knowledge of medical terms.

Job prospectus and career options: In India, lot of companies in the metros and major cities have ventured into the field. Since the job requires experience, these companies are expected to recruit a lot of people as trainees and then develop their skills so that they become experts in this field.

Remuneration: It is a lucrative career with lot of benefits. At entry level medical transcriptionist is paid around Rs. 5000/- per month. Medical transcriptionists with 2-3 years of experience and has the ability to produce 95-98% accurate reports get paid between Rs. 8000 to 12000 and transcriptionist with more than 4 years of experience works as an Quality analyst or Editors whose work is to edit the documents produced by the entry level medical transcriptionists or less experienced medical transcriptionists and bring the quality of the report from 99-100% accuracy as the clients demands for such a level of accuracy on the medical reports. A medical transcriptionists with good skills and experience of over 6-7 years can earn around Rs. 18,000 to 40,000.

Work from Home:

Work from home is one of the best option available with regard to the medical transcription industry for ladies, students, housewives, etc., who can after completing the training from an reputed institution and successfully developing the skill set required for this industry can directly take up HT (home transcription) or HBT (home based transcription). Until recently home-based medical transcription was popular only among US-based home transcriptionists. Now it's slowly gaining a foothold in India. That's good news for people who are compelled to work from home, either for health or for family reasons, and also for people who are looking at a second job to supplement their income.

The system here works on two models. In some companies, which offer 'work-from-home' opportunities transcriptionists can opt to work out of home once they have reached the required level of proficiency.

In the second model, the person willing to work from home pays the company a non-refundable deposit in the range of Rs.10, 000 or so. The company then installs a whole suite of licensed software in his/her home PC. The deposit is collected to cover the software costs and to establish the transcriptionist's commitment levels. It makes a lot of sense for companies to allow employees to work from home.

Acusis is a Pittsburgh based medical transcription company and has recently opened three offices in Bangalore, Mysore and Chennai. They offer home-based transcription work and so far have hired more than 150 home transcriptionists (mostly women) in the three cities. According to the CEO of Acusis, David Iwenski, India was selected to set up their business because of the country's high literacy rate and excellent English language skills.

Acusis has their own software called Acusuite, which allows the candidate to access an encrypted platform to download the .wav files (audio files) and then upload Word files. The software also contains dictionary and glossary of medical terms along with an error-checking module.

Companies like Spryance (Mumbai) and iQ infotech (Chennai) also work in the same way. However, they have no company-specific software. Candidates are simply given user name and password that allows them to access files from the company site. A team of in-house transcriptionists monitors the work of home-based transcriptionists to weed out possible errors.

Home transcriptionists are allowed to retain files for a maximum of six hours from the time of download. The editing starts as soon as they upload the files. It is very important to stick to deadlines. In case of sudden problems, like power failure, most companies allow the transcriptionist to work from their offices.

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