Transcription services can be tricky to choose from. It’s an incredibly fast-paced and competitive industry, meaning that rates are relatively similar and it’s difficult to make a decision based on pricing alone. In fact, the deciding factor that sets services apart is quality and dedication – but these are difficult to gauge first-hand.
Hiring the right transcription service to outsource your work to requires a good amount of due diligence and research – and the process has to be, above anything else, thorough. But even so – where would you even begin?
Know Your Industry
Transcription services are common in various industries – but even in the medical industry, there are separate services offered for each individual department of a hospital, or for each specialized clinic. A trained ophthalmology transcription specialist at Eyered Transcription possesses a very different set of skills and vocabulary knowledge than someone doing transcription for general surgery, or a cardiothoracic transcription specialist.
When you begin looking for services eligible for your institution’s purposes, begin looking immediately towards specializations. You don’t want sloppy work, but you want uninformed work even less.
Sometimes, the easiest solution is to ask around. Reputable transcription services are usually reputable for a reason; if you know someone else in the medical industry who has worked with transcription services, then perhaps they would you able to point you in the direction of a viable service.
Following a single source isn’t enough, however. One of the beautiful things about the Internet is the widespread ability to easily look up and verify someone or something’s reputation. Businesses are quickly catching on that customer trust relies heavily on social word-of-mouth, which is made much easier globally due to the Internet’s capacity for communication – and that has facilitated a reviewer culture online that acts as a great guide for anyone looking for anything.
Look for Security
Price is one thing, but attention to detail is another. Quality transcriptions must be meticulous, and they must be safe. They have to exude an attention to detail and an attention to discretion. In the age where sloppy work and simple transcriptions can be automatically done through the use of web-based bots, human services have to work harder to differentiate themselves from the masses – and one large, important point is in the preservation and respect of patient confidentiality.
Medical records are deeply private, and as the Internet becomes ever-more involved in the lives of people, offering a distinct preservation of someone’s privacy with all the pros of web-based data is a huge boon. Encryption is the best way to do this, and it also shows a tech-savvy attitude that signifies a willingness to stay up-to-date on latest technologies and transcription techniques.
With the advent of content automation, transcribers are among the many professions in-danger of succumbing to technological innovation. Some survive by deriding tech – others innovate and embrace the change by simply changing their business model.
If a transcription service offers a better core experience by working with the innovations of modern tech, it’s a sign that that service will survive the age of disruption that is currently taking many other industries – such as finance, food and transport – by storm.
Quality is also important. According to Six Minutes, the average speaking rate of a person – a professional speaker, in this case – can be between 130 and 180 words per minute. It takes some time to comprehend, understand and transcribe the hours and hours of medical content that procedure usually encompasses. Medical transcription services can prove their experience and reliability by providing concrete deadlines and quality standards, and meeting those deadlines time and time again. Testimonials are a good way to gauge a service’s adherence to its own standards.
Test-drive a Service
If you are confident in your shortlist of services, the best thing to do is request sample work. Through a sample, you can determine the quality of service and the quality of data produced by a transcription service.
Transcriptionists are declining. There are less of them, and those that remain have to work hard to compete. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, decline in transcriptionists is due to an increase in productivity and technological advancement. Verify that your chosen service produces the kind of work that you can seamlessly integrate into your practice – whether physically or through the Internet.
Avoid Bloated Services
While it’s nice for a service to offer additional perks – such as virtual assistance, universal translation, and writing services – these may detract from the core service provided by the company, and may muddle a service’s quality. Services that concentrate on providing the best possible transcription service are your safest bet – if you require translation, you could consider hiring an outside translator to do that portion of the work.