Implementation and mandates to implement electronic health record systems are also transforming the industry. While medical institutions used to be full of file drawer after file drawer of patient records, they now rely primarily upon digital records. Several advantages exist for making this transition. First, medical institutions no longer need to dedicate massive amounts of floor space to recordkeeping. Second, the system for filing and accessing these records is much more efficient. Third, electronic records can be easily shared with physicians all across the world. To facilitate such record sharing, the Nationwide Health Information Network is developing a standardized methodology for recordkeeping.
The development of such systems, regulations, and auditing procedures is important the medical transcription industry. As the healthcare industry develops new standards for recordkeeping, the transcriptionists who make those records must learn and apply the new methodology if they want to stay relevant and keep their prices competitive. In addition, transcriptionists need to know how to remain compliant with quickly evolving HIPAA standards. New laws and regulations impact the expectations for encryption methods, as well as culpability. For instance, new legislation may shift blame from healthcare providers to tech firms when data is successfully stolen. In order to successfully manage the financial and legal pitfalls, transcriptionists should remain apprised.
Technological development has rapidly altered the state of the healthcare industry. New methods of recordkeeping allow the medical industry to provide better care at lower costs, but other risks may soon drive costs upward. In order to stay competitive, on the one hand, compliant, on the other, and remain fiscally responsible, those involved with the medical transcription industry should seek out effective communication channels for industry information, as well as social networks for other professionals seeking cost-effective, safe solutions. While transcriptionists may not need to leave the industry as a result of the pace of technology and accompanying legislation and standards, they will most likely need to adapt quickly.