Medical transcription outsourcing and risk management are very closely related. Risk management involves minimizing the risk involved in the healthcare process and medical transcription is the process of creating patient records from the audio narration by the healthcare professionals of their encounter with the patient. The process of creating patient medical records by its very nature is an activity that requires sensitive handling and would affect risk management.
It is a known fact that the patient- healthcare professional relationship is sacrosanct and is founded on the basis of the healthcare professional/ healthcare facility’s ability to maintain the confidentiality of the privileged patient information. Protecting the confidentiality of the patient information is not only a moral obligation is also mandated by law. HIPAA has provided specific guidelines for protecting confidential patient information. The HITECH provisions that have come into effect recently have provisions that elaborate on HIPAA and have provided HIPAA added arsenal to punish offenders.
Outsourcing this entire process has been proven to be one of the most efficient, effective and economical way of creating patient records. However handing over this activity to a third party service provider raises some apprehensions regarding security.
However these concerns can be alleviated by choosing the transcription vendor with utmost care. This will ensure that vendor:
Is well versed with the requirements of HIPAA/ HITECH
Has provisions in place to ensure total security
Ensuring that the entity entrusted with the responsibility of creating patient medical records is HIPAA / HITECH compliant will also help with the process of risk management.
How can outsourced medical transcription services help in the process of risk management?
To understand how this helps in risk management it is important to understand the principles of risk management and how outsourced services helps in the process.
The principles of risk management are as follows:
Be an integral part of the organizational process
Be part of decision making
Explicitly address uncertainty
Systematic and structured
Based on best available information
Take into account human factors
Transparent and inclusive
Dynamic and responsive to change
Continual improvement and enhancement
These services help the healthcare facilities in the risk management process fulfilling all the principles of risk management during the process of documenting the patient encounter.
Medical records are created by with utmost accuracy. Ensures this by using teams who are specialists in the specialty they are transcribing in. Further quality is ensured by having a multiple level quality check ensuring maximum accuracy. The information captured in the patient records needs to be accurate as it forms a part of evidence in case malpractice litigation.
Medical records are created on time. Optimum turnaround time is ensured by using the right team, the right process and the right technology. This ensures that healthcare professionals have the information needed by them for formulating plans for the patient’s healthcare, on time. This helps in managing risk
Medical records are created securely. Another aspect of risk management is protecting the confidentiality of patient information. Help is provided in this aspect by having measures in place to protect patient information by securing people, process and technology.
Outsourcing medical transcription to the right service provider not only help healthcare facilities in some aspects of risk management it also helps the healthcare facilities save on costs, increase focus on core business and help provide multiple benefits by using the right technology.