If your medical practice is growing, you may decide to start recording your patient notes and hire a transcription service to transcribe them. However, you may be uncertain how to begin selecting a service right for you. If so, begin your search for a medical transcription service by asking the questions below:
What Is the Turnaround Time for Transcriptions?
One question you should ask the service is about their turnaround time. Depending on how quickly you need physical copies of your patient notes, you need to know when you can expect them.
For example, if you will be referring patients to a specialist, you may need the notes transcribed quickly so you can send them to the other physician. Find out how long the service takes from the time the recording is received to the delivery of the finished product. Also, ask if there is a guarantee on this time.
Is the Service HIPAA Compliant?
Because you are concerned about your patients' privacy, ask to make sure the service is compliant with the HIPAA laws regarding their right to keep their records secure and private. Not only is this the law, but you also want to know the service you select will not compromise this important right.
Ask about the measures they take to keep all information confidential. Ask if the servers on which the notes are transcribed is encrypted and secured.
What Additional Training Do the Transcriptionists Receive?
Another question you may want to ask is about any training the transcriptionists receive. While they may be trained in transcribing a variety of documents, you want to make sure they have at least received training in medical terminology and have a basic understanding of your more common procedures.
Having transcriptionists who have a basic knowledge of medical terms can help prevent serious problems with typos. If the transcriptionist is not familiar with common medical terms, they may accidentally misspell an important word. Since some terms are similar but mean different things, a misspelled word in the transcribed note could lead to misinformation or a misdiagnosis.
The above questions should help get you started in finding out more about services in which you are interested. As you go through the questions and come up with your own, discuss them and any concerns you have with the medical transcription service to ensure you are comfortable using them for transcribing your patients' sensitive information in a timely manner.
Contact local medical transcription services for more information and assistance.