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Will Electronic Medical Records Limit Your Opportunities In Medical Transcription?

Technology keeps marching on, and that often strikes fear into those considering medical transcription as a career

. There's a common fear that technology will displace medical transcriptionists as has happened to so many other careers.

So far it doesn't look to be happening in the near future.

These fears have been around for years. Voice recognition software has been a worry for a good number of years now, but its impact has been pretty small. It just isn't good enough to replace a human and probably won't be any time soon.

Electronic medical records are a huge boon to doctors, but for the report it still uses voice recognition, and for many doctors it's simply too much work to be certain that it's accurate. When accuracy can be literally life and death for the patient, or a matter of proper care for the patient in simpler times, doctors aren't going to take a chance on it. They don't enjoy being sued, after all.

The advantage of electronic medical records is that doctors can enter the data right away. I've been in a doctor's office where they just had to click as appropriate to keep track of basic data about my visit. It was fairly fast, but there were occasional frustrations too when the software wasn't quite cooperating or the data took too long to enter.

But then the patient information is more easily reviewed, a huge advantage.

Even then, many doctors use transcription to supplement electronic medical records. The basic data is one thing, but sometimes doctors do want to include more details than can quickly be typed into their programs.

I don't expect it to take the place of medical transcriptionists any time soon, however. Like voice recognition software, some doctors will use electronic records to replace the expense of a transcriptionist. But many will prefer to do what they can do fastest and not want to take the time to learn a new system.

And even as electronic records become more common, it is likely that transcriptionists will be used to ensure the accuracy of reports, especially anything that is entered by voice. There's too much room for error and that's a big problem for doctors. states that job opportunities for medical transcriptionists are currently expected to grow at an average rate. Jobs aren't vanishing, despite the many worries. They say transcriptionists may have to do more work amending reports, editing documents produced by voice recognition software and so forth, but the work should continue to be there.

by:Stephanie Foster
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