Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Transcription vs. Hiring an In-House Transcriptionist
Recent tech advances have significantly increased outsourcing opportunities for healthcare providers. This includes the ability to securely move medical transcription offsite. With so many outside forces at play, many facilities find it harder and harder to concentrate on their reason for being: caring for their patients. Outsourcing non-essential (though necessary) functions, such as transcription and billing, helps free up resources and improve efficiency, leading to better patient care.
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In addition, hiring a medical transcription service offers significant financial benefits, as fees paid to these providers cost much less than paying the salary and benefits of a full-time in-house staff of transcribers and maintaining offices and equipment.
In-house Transcription vs. Outsourcing: Which is Better?
Though outsourcing offers savings of around 35 percent over performing these services in-house, there are benefits to both. Consider each when determining whether the cost savings are worth not having employees on-hand to address any concerns.
The Advantages of In-House
The main advantages of in-house medical transcription relate to control and convenience. You get to hire and train your own employees, ensuring you build a staff that meets your particular standards. In addition, you can perform testing and check your staff's background to ensure they have the skills and level of experience you want.
You also have complete control over security measures, such as HIPAA compliance. Of course, medical transcription companies must also adhere to HIPAA laws, but you must have trust that the company's compliance methods are both sufficient and stringently followed.
Finally, if there are any issues, addressing them is as simple as walking to the desk of the employee responsible to discuss the problem and have it fixed. When you outsource, communicating issues is much more convoluted.
The Advantages of Outsourcing
Outsourcing saves time and money, two of your most valuable resources. The first and most obvious benefit is not needing to hire, train, equip, and pay for certified medical transcriptionists. That means you are not responsible for the salary, benefits, sick or personal leave, or providing transcription equipment and software (as well as standard office equipment). The programs and equipment used also require updates and maintenance, saving you money there as well. Those financial savings – typically around 35 percent – let you apply those resources elsewhere.
Another big advantage of outsourcing transcription is that the transcriptionists are well trained and experienced. Transcription services require their transcribers to prove their skills, as well as have a thorough background in medical transcription, including terminology. In addition, they undergo training in HIPAA regulations and compliance. When interviewing providers, be sure to ask about their hiring and training practices, as well as their security measures.
Additional benefits include:
- Guaranteed turnaround times: Though monthly dictation volumes remain fairly consistent, daily workload typically varies, which often causes in-house teams to experience either a backlog that delays document production or slow days with little to do. Transcription services offer guaranteed turnaround times, ensuring your documents are ready and available when you need them.
- Reduced investment and expenses: Outsourcing means you don't need to own or maintain your own transcription equipment, computers, programs, and standard office equipment for staff. You also don't have to perform upgrades as equipment ages and technology changes.
- Reduced workload: Your administrative team no longer has to manage a team of in-house transcribers, allocate workload, or maintain audio archives. This allows them to concentrate efforts where their expertise is truly needed.
- You work with specialists: Since this is all they do, medical transcription services have streamlined processes for maximum efficiency and quality. Like you, these organizations seek to do all they can to reduce costs while providing the highest level of service to their customers (you).
Putting Patients First
All of those benefits sound great, but in the world of healthcare, every attempt to streamline operations has the same goal: improving patient care. When you outsource your transcription, it allows you to dedicate those resources to your patients. What you do with your 35 percent savings depends on your unique situation. You may choose to upgrade your equipment, hire another physician, or increase support staff elsewhere. Whatever allows you to better serve your patients, outsourcing frees up resources to make it happen.