Medical transcription companies are essential in today’s electronic and digital world. This becomes apparent when you consider the increasing amount of medical information that needs to be put into an easily accessible digital form for one reason or another. However, as with any services of this nature, there tends to be some confusion with specific terms and processes involved. Today, we’re providing clarity regarding dictation and transcription – two critical components of medical transcription services that have some key differences.

record button - what is dication

What Is Dictation?

Dictation refers to speaking to have what’s said preserved in some way. It’s common for dictation to involve speaking into a handheld device, a tape recorder, tablet, smartphone, or any electronic device capable of recording spoken words. In the medical profession, there are many reasons why dictation may be necessary or preferred. Possible situations when this is likely to be the case include:

  • Recording anything observed during patient examinations
  • Assessing patients’ responses to treatment recommendations
  • Recording follow-up notes meant to be added to patient records
  • Discussing interpretations of test results

What Are Transcription Services?

Medical transcription is taking what was dictated and turning it into text written or entered into a database with appropriate software. While this could refer to physical notations, it’s more common today for dictated notes to be transcribed into digital form. This is necessary in medical settings to comply with electronic health record requirements. In addition to EHR transcription, medical transcription outsourcing can involve turning dictated audio files into digitally accessible records for many reasons, with some of the possibilities including:

  • Updates to patient files
  • Summaries of patient conditions
  • Information used for medical billing purposes
  • Medical assessments requested by insurance companies or for legal reasons – e.g., workers’ comp cases, accident claims, etc.

What Are the Key Differences between Dictation and Medical Transcription?

Traditional dictation is a word-for-word account of what’s spoken if the dictation is done physically by another person. When recorded, it’s the full extent of whatever was spoken into the device. Medical transcription is the digital transfer of what was said or dictated in a way that’s easily accessible and easy to understand, so it’s not necessarily word-for-word. This could mean only entering critical details into a database rather than every single word that was dictated. Medical transcription can also involve reorganizing dictated data in a way that’s more orderly and understandable.

Ready to Consider Medical Transcription Outsourcing?

Medical transcription companies provide valuable services and solutions tailored to unique client needs. If you regularly dictate notes for your practice, a transcription service provider can enter that information into your database. This is done in a way compatible with your existing system for added convenience. You’ll benefit by freeing more time for direct patient interactions and other in-office tasks. Contact a trusted medical transcription company, such as 360 Transcription, to learn more.