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Medical Transcription Frequently Asked Questions

Why with advanced software are skilled medical transcriptionists still in high demand?

There are several reasons why transcriptionists continue to be needed and that the role of human intelligence is unable to be replaced completely by voice recognition and electronic medical records/electronic health records (EMR/EHR) technologies. Due to

What other people do medical transcriptionists come in contact with regularly?

For those few medical transcriptionists who still work onsite rather than from home, they come in contact mainly with others who work in the medical records department including the medical records director and medical transcription supervisor. Transcriptionists working on site in a private practice or clinic setting will also have access to the physicians who operate that practice as well as other office personnel.

How much time do transcriptionists have to transcribe a document?

Turn-around time (TAT) depends greatly on the nature of the document and whether ongoing clinical decision-making depends on its accessibility. With operative reports, for example, the physician who performed the surgery usually walks out of the operating room and heads directly to a dictation station to dictate exactly what took place during the procedure while it is still fresh in his/her mind. This report is very detailed and includes everything about the procedure from start to finish. The medical transcriptionist who is working for the facility then transcribes the dictation and it typically needs to be back in the patient’s chart within 24 hours. When the patient is improved enough from the surgery to be sent home, the physician will again dictate a full discharge summary, which remains on a patient’s long-term record.


Outpatient settings, such as a physician’s office or clinic, typically do not have urgent timeframes on documentation. However, if a specialist physician performed a biopsy or is providing a consultative opinion, the turn-around time for results is more urgent than someone who just came in for an annual wellness visit. Basically the turn-around time on transcribed documents is contingent on whether the information in the report is necessary for future health care decisions for the patient.

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Who do medical transcriptionists report to?

As mentioned previously, many medical transcriptionists work as independent contractors where they would not have a supervisor. But those in an actual employment situation will typically report to a medical transcription supervisor either through their transcription service or through the health care facility. Some employers also provide quality assurance programs that provide regular feedback for transcriptionists in terms of speed and accuracy.

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