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Quality and Security

Why quality matters in medical transcription

Medical transcription services are required to observe privacy laws and confidentiality obligations. Privacy is regulated by the Privacy Act 1988 which controls how an individual’s private information can be used, while confidentiality is an ethical obligation for private information to be protected at all costs.

Medical transcriptionists must address both these concerns by keeping the health information they transcribe strictly confidential and taking measures to protect the sensitive data that they deal with on a daily basis.

One of the many ways we do this at SyberScribe is to ensure the work we perform is of the highest possible quality. Not only does accuracy prevent misdiagnosis, but it also ensures that information is correctly handled, categorised and stored, reducing the likelihood of mistakes being made which could lead to breaches of privacy.

SyberScribe guarantees a minimum of 98% accuracy on all transcribed documents which have good audio quality and we strive to achieve 100% accuracy at all times. We have a rigorous quality assurance programme which ensures that every document is proofread by our experienced editors who undergo comprehensive training on an on-going basis to ensure the highest quality of every document.

Contact us to find out more about our medical transcription services.

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Patient’s rights and understanding privacy

A patient’s health record details all the information relating to their health and can include:

  • Personal details
  • Genetic information
  • Medical donation records (i.e. blood, organs etc)
  • Consultation and treatment information
  • Information regarding any disabilities
  • Physical and mental health information.

There are many reasons why people would want to keep such personal information private. Not only could it be used to discriminate against someone or to discredit them, but nowadays such information is valuable to criminals for the purposes of identity theft.

Identity theft is the use of your identity by another to gain financial advantage. A few details such as name and address plus more intimate details such as your medical history can be used to apply for additional forms of identification and ultimately to apply for credit in your name.

Surprisingly, a patient does not own their own medical records and does not automatically have access to them. Access is only possible in certain circumstances, such as where information is wrong, outdated, unnecessary or misleading, in which case you can apply for access to have them corrected.

So with limited control over our own medical records, it is imperative that those handling our information take every precaution to ensure they are kept accurate, secure and strictly confidential.

The importance of security

Hackers can infiltrate a network relatively easily if the right protective measures are not in place and with credit card fraud becoming more difficult, criminals are increasingly turning their attention to private information.

Security for electronic medical records has been alarmingly careless in the past few years, with new security protocols only recently being established and new safety measures being put in place.

SyberScribe utilises the latest technology to manage voice and data distribution. Dictations and transcribed documents travel through network lines that are secured using the latest encryption and security processes.

These include data encryption (128 bit/SSL), passwords, audit trails, confidentiality agreements signed by all staff, backups and anti-virus checks. We continuously monitor all aspects of security and confidentiality and our platform is HIPAA compliant.

How to maintain and enhance security for your patients

While healthcare organisations can rely on companies such as SyberScribe to provide a secure service, it is important that patient information is kept secure at an organisation’s end as well.

Since there is no such thing as fool-proof data protection, there are several ways in which you can help to reduce the chances of private patient data being lost or stolen from your medical practice.

  • Create a policy

    have a confidentiality policy in place which outlines the protocols to be followed when handling patient information and make sure staff abide by it and are thoroughly familiar with it.
  • Ensure partners are onboard

    make sure industry partners that you deal with such as medical transcription services have the same security concerns as you and are implementing the appropriate safeguards.
  • Store your data securely

    ideally store patient data with a trusted medical practice management platform in the cloud that is supported by a government certified provider.
  • Secure your wireless network

    make sure there are no unauthorised connections to the Internet via the wireless network within your practice and ensure devices such as faxes, printers and medical devices are secure (these can be vulnerable points of attack for a hacker).
  • Protect your hardware

    have a strict mobile device policy to ensure phones, tablets and laptops used outside the premises don’t fall into the wrong hands and regularly update encryption and anti-virus protection on each. Ensure your premises are also secure to prevent physical theft of data (including potential employee theft).
  • Observe best practice IT procedures

    encrypt and password protect all devices using strong passwords, have the latest firewalls in place, regularly update antivirus software, enable two-factor authentication for access to patient information and make sure you have an up-to-date security breach response plan.

If you suspect a data breach has occurred within your organisation, new legislation may now require you to notify those affected and advise them on the steps they can take to mitigate their losses (although some exemptions apply).

Contact us to find out more about our medical transcription services.

Interested in our services?

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Work with partners you trust

Having accurate medical information at your fingertips can significantly improve the level of health care you can provide to your patients, but such accessibility also comes with risk.

However, providing you take all possible precautions and only work with service providers you can trust, it is possible to safeguard your patients’ private information without compromising on efficiency within your practice.

Quality and security are our key concerns at SyberScribe, so feel free to contact us to find out more about how we can provide you with the best and most secure transcription services available.

FAQ'S

What guidelines and practices do medical transcriptionists follow?

All medical transcribers abide by principles of quality, recognised under a comprehensive code of conduct specific to healthcare documentation. Through conforming with this code, medical transcriptionists protect the accuracy, accessibility, and overall value of the medical record as a means of understanding patients’ symptoms, treatments, and progress.

Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (ADHI), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) are the industry leaders in quality assessment and management of healthcare documentation, dictating best practices for medical practitioners and transcribers. A responsible medical transcriptionist will stay abreast of new standards, using whitepapers and other resources to ensure the work produced compiles with the principles of verifiability, definability, measurability, consistency and integrity.

All medical transcriptionists employed by Syberscribe use the following QA process and acknowledge its role in helping all final works abide with the principles detailed above:

  • Using a statistically valid random sampling method, a retrospective review of documents is conducted including a full audio review of the documents.
  • All reviews are assessed in terms of transcription quality, editing quality and the quality of editor feedback.
  • All error values are reviewed to ensure they reflect criticality of errors.
  • Identified errors are communicated to MTs in a timely manner and editors as part of the continuous education programme.
  • Up-to-date reference material and technology upgrades are made available to the MTs/Editors.

How do medical transcription providers protect a patient’s personal information?

Medical transcribers are required to observe privacy and confidentiality laws in addition to any code of ethics or procedures set out by their employer or contracting business. While privacy relates to how personal information is handled, confidentiality is framed as a duty and this impacts many practices from how patient files are erased to what software the medical transcriber uses.

Medical transcribers need to have good risk management practices in place. This means that transcribers must be aware of and use software and hardware that is both protected and secure. In some cases, this may mean that medical information cannot be taken off-site unless the transcriber has the latest encryption technology at home.

While using the right technology goes a long way towards protecting a patient’s personal information, a medical transcriber must also do the right thing individually. This means that discussing work with friends or family is off limits. Additionally, if working from home, files and computers need to be password protected in order to ensure a patient’s privacy.

How quickly can accurate medical transcriptions be turned around?

There are various factors that will influence the turn around time of a medical transcription. Namely, these factors involve things like audio quality, the length of the audio and the amount of research required.

Generally, medical transcriptions can be turned around quickly if the audio quality is high. This is because the transcriptionist won’t have to continually rewind in order to understand the words. Additionally, if the audio file is one hour or less, it can be transcribed quicker.

Speed of speech also plays a part in turning around quick and accurate medical transcriptions. If the speaker talks too fast, the medical transcriber won’t be able to understand what they’re saying. However, someone who talks too slowly will make the transcription process longer. For a quick turn around it is best to speak at a normal pace.

Other factors that will influence the turnaround of medical transcriptions are:

  • Number of speakers
  • Technology used by the transcription service
  • Amount of proof reading required

What our clients say about us

Our Practice required immediate transcription services on a short-term basis. The services provided by SyberScribe were extremely efficient and professional. There were no set up costs or administration fees. The typing accuracy was 100%, and the turnaround time was 24 to 48 hours. I highly recommend SyberScribe to Medical Practices requiring short term or long term transcription services.

Kim Moller – Practice Manager – Dr Enzo Lazzaro, Urologist, Sydney

Contact us to find out more about our medical transcription services.

Interested in our services?

Request a Quote