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How Medical Transcription Services Can Support Telehealth

SyberScribe AUTHOR: SyberScribe, July 20th, 2020

With more general practices and specialist offices around the country adopting methods of telehealth, the future of health care is no doubt intertwined with technology. A fact that will make attending the doctor easier for both patients and the medical professionals.

On the outside, shifting the way in which we attend the doctor can seem like a bad thing. However, utilising methods of telehealth will ensure that both doctors and patients can maximise their time in order to give and receive excellent care.

For telehealth to be successful, doctors will require support. Telehealth involves paperwork as audio recordings or video meetings will need to be transcribed for a patient’s file. That’s why the future of health care will feature both telehealth and medical transcription services.

How has telehealth evolved in Australia?

Telehealth is a service that has been used in Australia for many years now. However, this service has traditionally been reserved for individuals who live in remote communities. In recent months though, telehealth has evolved into a major health resource.

During the height of the pandemic, the federal government announced measures to expand the availability of telehealth to all patients- with and without coronavirus symptoms or a diagnosis.

This expansion means that telehealth in Australia is bigger than ever before. Vulnerable patients, medical specialists and allied health practitioners can access telehealth- which is defined as any health service delivered remotely, over the phone or through video calls.

Under the current government guidelines, general practitioners and other health professionals who are currently authorized to use telehealth item numbers can use telehealth for all consultations with patients.

Health providers prioritise telehealth for patients who are:

  • Aged at least 70 years old
  • Indigenous and aged at least 50 years old
  • Pregnant
  • A parent of a child under 12 months
  • Immune compromised
  • Diagnosed with a chronic medical condition that results in increased risk from COVID 19 infection

What are the key considerations for patients using telehealth?

A key function of telehealth is connecting people, data and systems to ensure that patients, no matter who or where they are, can access quality care. However, the specifics pertaining to how telehealth will work varies between different providers.

Therefore, when accessing telehealth there are a couple of points that should be taken into consideration. Firstly, appointments will be scheduled as usual, however instead of visiting an office, you will participate in a video call or phone call.

Secondly, some services will be online only, meaning that you may have to handle prescriptions differently rather than just picking them up from the doctor’s office. However, it should be noted that while some aspects have changed, telehealth is still expert care giving.

Patients can describe their condition and demonstrate easily visible symptoms to their doctor over the phone or in a video chat. There is even the capacity to submit vital signs such as heartbeat sounds and blood pressure readings, ensuring that thorough care is received.

How will the future of telehealth impact health practitioners and clinics?

When it comes to telehealth, managing patient files properly is paramount. With more ways to provide and convey information, each piece of data needs to be documented to ensure that no crucial information goes missing.

A telehealth appointment will often mean that patient files will first exist as audio files. These audio files will then need to be converted into official transcriptions for patient files. This information is of course confidential and strict privacy requirements apply.

With telehealth growing exponentially, health practitioners may find themselves inundated with paperwork, something that is proven to cause burn out. The flow on effect of this sees doctors unable to maximise their time, leaving them unable to care for more patients.

How medical transcription services can help

Telemedicine requires a substantial amount of documentation and this documentation is crucial. Luckily, medical transcription services offer a way to make this process faster, affordable, reliable and easier for everyone involved.

Rather than having doctors worrying about transcribing files and therefore taking up their time and energy, dedicated medical transcriptionists can listen to the audio recordings and transcribe a complete record that is aligned with legal and privacy requirements.

Telemedicine also necessitates a change from paper records to electronic medical records (EMRs). Once a medical transcriptionist converts an audio file into an electronic text file, they can upload their completed file into the correct EMRs system, freeing up doctor’s time.

The ever evolving healthcare industry

The rise in telehealth will also see a rise in the use of medical transcription services. This is because medical transcribers help take the pressure off of doctors who have a packed patient schedule and no time to transcribe important patient files.

When used in conjunction with transcription services, telehealth will have an everlasting impact on the healthcare industry. Changing the way doctors provide care and therefore the way in which patients can receive quality care.

Together, telehealth and medical transcription services facilitate a new level of quality care and careful management of patient information. For fast-turnaround, accurate and fully electronic medical transcriptions, reach out to the team at Syberscribe.