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Electronic health records are a big part of medical transcription services today. But the way hospitals and other medical facilities actually prefer to document and store patient information electronically is all over the place. In fact, a survey of stage 6 hospitals by HIMSS Analytics found it was more common for a mix of paperless record-capture options to be used. Below, we further explore the blended approach to EMR medical transcription.

Blended Approach to EHR Transcription

What Exactly Is a ‘Blended’ Approach?

This simply means using more than one method to record and store patient-related data. The survey we mentioned above found there are 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 is used to immediately take dictated information and turn it into an electronic form. According to the survey, this was the least used of the three main paperless record-capture options.

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

There are valid drawbacks associated with each of the three options discussed above. This is part of the reason why a blended approach to EHR transcription-related services appears to be becoming the new norm among healthcare providers.

With structured templates, there’s not much room for customization if more unique information needs to be entered. Also, it can take more time for medical professionals to enter patient data using templates until everyone becomes familiar with the standard fields.

With voice recognition, accuracy is a concern. This is especially important with electronic health records since even small errors can have a big impact on patient care. There’s also the potential for legal liability if a voice recognition error results in 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 the 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 in a way that fills any gaps with 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 approach to electronic health record transcription can work well for any healthcare providers 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. What this does is allow medical transcription services to be customized in a more practical and budget-pleasing way.