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Fast Turnaround Medical Transcription: 10 Things You Need to Know

SyberScribe AUTHOR: SyberScribe, December 10th, 2019

Do you have medical audio files that need transcribing? If you want some or all of your audio files to be transcribed quickly, there are medical transcription services that can produce a finished digital transcript in 1-2 days. However, there are various factors that will influence the turnaround time. So if you want to get a quick turnaround time on your medical transcripts, here are some of the key things you need to remember.

1. Audio quality

If there’s a lot of background noise in the audio or the speaker can’t be heard clearly because the recording device isn’t in close enough proximity to them, it’ll take longerto transcribe. The transcriptionist will have to continually rewind or relisten to the audio in order to understand what’s being said. If the audio quality is great, you can expect a shorter turnaround time.

2. Length of audio

If the audio file is one hour or less, it can be transcribed in one business day, and in some cases, it can be done in five hours. You may also receive the completed transcript within the same time frame. However, if the audio file is three hours or longer, it could take up to six business days to transcribe. Make sure to keep this in mind when requesting a quick turnaround time.

3. Speed of speech

When someone talks fast, it’s hard to understand what they’re saying. The transcriptionist will also have to rewind or relisten to the audio file to understand what the person is trying to say. On the other hand, it may be easier to understand someone who talks slowly but it’ll just make transcribing the audio even longer. You can help reduce the transcription turnaround time by asking the speaker to talk at a normal pace – not too fast and not too slow.

4. Number of speakers

A one-speaker audio file will be faster to transcribe than one with many speakers. There may be two or more people that have a heavy accent, speak too fast or too slow, or have a similar voice to someone else that makes it harder to understand who’s speaking. You should also remember this when asking for a quick turnaround time.

5. Technology used

The time it takes to transcribe an audio file can be significantly reduced if the transcriber uses high-quality transcription software, such as automatic speech recognition (ASR), and artificial intelligence (AI). The transcriptionist will then correct any mistakes made by the software.

What’s more, a transcription foot pedal can further reduce the turnaround time by allowing the transcriber to stop and replay the audio with their foot. This frees their hands to just do the typing.

Make sure to ask the transcription company if they use any of these technology because if they do then you can expect a faster turnaround time.

6. 24/7 service

Choosing a medical transcription company that offers 24/7 service means you’ll get your transcript quicker, eg 1-2 days for short audios and up to a week for long audios. On the other hand, a company that only operates from 9am to 5pm, for example, may take days or even weeks to finish transcribing audio files, especially if they’re three or more hours long.

7. Proofing the transcript

A transcriptionist may proofread the transcript as they go and then after the audio file is fully transcribed, they’ll do a final once-over to catch any mistakes they might have missed the first time. Other transcriptionists may choose to listen to the audio again while reading the completed transcript to catch any remaining errors and to ensure accuracy. This means the transcription itself may take only five hours, but the turnaround time will take 48 hours due to proofing. So take this into account when determining the time you want the transcript to be returned to you.

8. Amount of research required

A 10-minute audio file could take an hour or more to finish transcribing if highly technical words, medical jargon, new professional terms, or obscure book titles are being said. The transcriptionist will have to research unfamiliar terms or phrases while transcribing the audio to ensure the transcript is accurate.

9. Transcription style

An audio file can be transcribed in two ways: verbatim and non-verbatim. Verbatim transcription is when the transcriber types up words exactly the way they’ve been spoken, eg ‘doctor’ or ‘general practitioner’, and converts all that they hear into written format. On the other hand, non-verbatim transcription is when the transcriber shortens words or uses abbreviations, eg ‘Dr’ or ‘GP’, and only types up the essential meaning behind spoken statements. While verbatim transcription gives you a more accurate transcript, non-verbatim transcription allows for a faster turnaround time.

10. Expert service

Another important factor to consider before requesting a quick turnaround time for your medical transcript is whether the transcription company provides expert service. For example, do the transcriptionists have a background in medicine, an understanding of medical terms, and experience in transcribing all types of medical reports for all specialties? If so, it’ll considerably reduce the time required to produce the transcript.

In addition to a quick turnaround time, an expert service like SyberScribe will also provide accuracy, security, and a good cost. Providing accurate transcriptions ensures the correct diagnosis and treatment of a patient and protects you against litigation, while employing data protection measures to keep personal information safe ensures compliance with privacy and confidentiality laws. What’s more, you’ll only pay by the job and other transcription-related costs are paid by the service provider.

Need a quick turnaround time for medical transcription?

As you can see, if the audio file is of high quality with few speakers, no obscure industry terms to research, and so on, a medical transcriber can produce a transcription fast. If you’re still unsure, we’ve answered commonly asked questions regarding our process in our Quality & Security FAQs. At Syberscribe, we’re committed to excellent service delivery so if you need a quick turnaround time for medical transcription, contact us today.