Healthcare Institutions Embracing Transcription Services

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imageTranscription services remain in high demand among U.S. healthcare institutions, according to the results of a study conducted by CapSite.

Of 256 institutions surveyed by the company, nearly 43% purchased a transcription service in 2009 or 2010, and 24% of said they intend to do so within the next 18 to 24 months, said Gino Johnson, vice president of the research firm.

Survey participants were also queried organizations on the relevance of supporting health information exchanges (HIEs) by tagging transcribed documents following the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard, as well as about the effects of Meaningful Use provisions under the U.S. government's healthcare IT stimulus program. On a scale of one to 10, with the former representing irrelevant and the latter, highly relevant, HIE support through the tagging of transcribed documents had an average relevance rating of 7.202. In terms of current and planned approaches for capturing physician documentation to meet Meaningful Use requirements, 61% of participants deemed a hybrid method combining data elements from a variety of sources their current or planned approach. Such sources encompassed computerized physician order entry, advanced digital terminals, RNs, MDs, problem lists, and electronic medication administration records (eMar).

Moreover, 24% of respondents said they utilize or will utilize structured text templates contained in electronic health records (EHRs) to capture documentation to satisfy Meaningful Use requirements.

Additional methods cited here include “other” (6% of respondents), the use of narrative dictation along with a tool to extract relevant physician data elements (5%), voice-enabled EHR for discrete data element dictation only (4%). Fifty-three percent of respondents claimed they would consider their current transcription vendor for their data extraction and analysis needs; 47% said they would not.

Moreover, 79% of respondents deemed quality management (for example, the ability to identify all patients with signs of a hospital-acquired infection) their most important reporting category to meet the reporting needs of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Thirteen percent cited risk management (e.g., the ability to identify all patients who fell last time they were in the hospital) and 8% pointed to case management (e.g., the ability to identify all patients with a particular drug combination) in lieu of quality management.

Representatives of institutions polled were also asked to rate the importance of a tool that allows quality measure and core measure reporting based on data extracted and analyzed from transcribed documents. On a scale of 1 (not important) to 10 (highly important), the average rating was 8.253. In prioritizing the most important capabilities of a clinical data analysis tool, respondents put validating patient information for medication reconciliation at the top of the list, followed closely by identifying potential adverse advents with algorithms. Ranked in third place was the automatic identification of CPT and ICD codes for billing, with automated population of clinical registries and patient identification for clinical trials the lowest-rated categories.