Assuming those medical transcription companies that are here today are still on the scene on Oct. 1, 2013, not having been acquired or retired, (and there certainly are fewer and fewer of them!) I believe they will enjoy increased dictation with the changeover from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
It’s all about specificity. In ICD-9, the code for a burn on the left arm is exactly the same as the code for a burn on the right arm. ICD-10 codes, on the other hand, address etiology, anatomic site, severity and other clinical detail. This is going to mean either there will be more dictation or healthcare providers (primarily doctors) will need to spend that much more time pulling down menus and electronically digging through lists … or both.
I think the case for healthcare providers not being data entry clerks will gain more traction.
Conversely, some of the patient data that is captured electronically through non-physician data entry is very viable and a better option. For example, capturing the Medication List in this way makes a great deal of sense in terms of clarity and cost savings. What will always be missing in an EMR not utilizing dictation is the patient’s “story.” Subtleties can never be documented using a point-and-click methodology.
While, I believe we MTSOs can look forward to an increase in the dictated word 19 months from now, that doesn’t mean we should not be evolving our services and technologies and retraining our staff to embrace the continuing changes we all face in the healthcare environment.
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