Electronic health records are a big part of medical transcription services today. But hospitals and other medical facilities’ preferences for documenting and storing patient information electronically are all over the place. In fact, a survey of stage 6 hospitals by HIMSS Analytics found that it was more common to use a mix of paperless record-capture options. Below, we further explore the blended approach to EMR medical transcription.

What Exactly Is a ‘Blended’ Approach?Blended Approach to EHR Transcription

This simply means using more than one method to record and store patient-related data. The survey we mentioned above found three common ways medical facilities such as hospitals enter or transfer patient information into electronic form. These are:

  • Structured templates
  • Dictation and transcription
  • Voice recognition

Structured templates are designed to allow doctors and other authorized medical professionals to enter basic patient information in a standardized format. In this instance, the information is entered into predetermined fields.

Dictation and transcription is the process of orally recording patient observations, notes, or information for transcription and then manually added into the clinic’s EHR/EMR system. This is the type of work that can be handled by an outsourced transcription service.

With voice recognition techniques, special software immediately takes dictated information and turns it into an electronic form. According to the survey, this was the least used of the three paperless record-capture options.

The Potential Downside of Relying on One Method for Paperless Data Entry

Each of the three options discussed above has valid drawbacks. This is part of why a blended approach to EHR transcription-related services appears to be becoming the new norm among healthcare providers.

With structured templates, there’s little room for customization if more unique information needs to be entered. Also, medical professionals can take more time to enter patient data using templates until everyone becomes familiar with the standard fields.

Accuracy is a concern with voice recognition. This is especially important with electronic health records since even small errors can greatly impact patient care. There’s also the potential for legal liability if a voice recognition error has serious consequences for patients.

Benefits of a Blended Approach to EHR Transcription

A blended approach to paperless record-capturing allows healthcare providers to mix things up in a way that makes sense. For instance, more basic information may be entered easily with templates. Voice recognition might be done in a more limited way as long as in-house staff or a medical transcription company can double-check what’s recorded for accuracy. Outsourced EMR medical transcription can then be added to the mix to fill gaps in electronic health record preparation and management. A unique client-specific blend has the potential to benefit everyone involved by:

  • Keeping costs in check
  • Using various transcription methods in sensible and practical ways
  • Improving overall efficiency and accuracy

Finding the Right Fit with Medical Transcription Services

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing with medical transcription services. A blended electronic health record transcription approach can work well for any healthcare provider needing a reliable third-party service option. In this case, outside transcription professionals can fill the gap with what’s already done in-house with templates, voice recognition software, and similar practices. This allows medical transcription services to be customized in a more practical and budget-pleasing way.