Is there still a need for Medical Transcribers?

Head of HR Miguel PedroWay With Words

Is there still a need for medical transcribers?

Recently we’ve seen a lot of articles about whether there is still a need for medical transcribers. We spoke to our Head of HR, Miguel Pedro, to find out his take on the state of the industry.

Career Step recently published an infographic highlighting the demand for medical transcribers. They also stated that there is a shortage of trained and skilled people.

They also mention the fact that doctors are already stretched and that dictating their notes and handing them over to a trained transcriber was still the fastest and most accurate way of record keeping. We fully agree with this statement as voice recognition software is not there…yet! Make no mistake, it could be getting there very fast indeed. The technology that is being developed is mind-blowing. In the near future we could see very sophisticated software coming our way.

We asked Miguel Pedro, our Head of Human Resources to see what his take was on the current situation.

Q: Miguel, some say there is a shortage of medical transcribers and the work is flowing. However, others say that jobs are few and far between. In your experience, how do you see the medical transcription industry panning out?

A: In my opinion it is an industry that has shed a lot of jobs over the past couple of years, due to advances in technology and also partly due to off-shoring work. There is, and most likely always will be jobs available, but they are certainly not as abundant now as they may have been 5 years ago. However, it is still an industry in transition and I suspect that over time medical transcribers, (at least in the conventional sense), will find it increasingly difficult to find work.

The other factor is that many medical transcriber rates have also decreased over time – again, partly due to technological advances and partly due to companies needing to be more competitive on a global scale. In some instances, the function of transcribers has changed or shifted from that of doing the actual transcription, to playing more of a Quality Control (QC) role. This has also impacted on earnings, as the rate per line or per minute for QC is typically lower than that of a transcriber by virtue of the fact that it takes a longer to transcribe than it does to QC a document.

In summary, Way With Words believes that a shift is happening, and this shift will move fairly quickly to QC type roles as advancing technology moves in, and moves in fast.

The interesting thing is that there are divided opinions as to whether medical transcribers are in demand or in decline.

What are your thoughts? What have you experienced out there? We’d love to hear from you.

To see the infographic click here

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