medical transcription (MT)

Medical transcription (MT)  is the manual processing of voice reports dictated by physicians and other healthcare professionals into text format. 

Healthcare providers voice-record their notes and  transcriptionists convert the voice files to text, typically in digital format.  Electronic data is increasingly required for compliance with Health IT and electronic health record (EHR) initiatives. Voice streaming is sometimes used so voice files can reach the MT department for immediate transcription.

Transcription was first used in the manufacturing industry.  The first  process that used transcription was Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), introduced in 1975. The medical field adopted transcription after the transition to electric typewriters, word processors and, especially, computers. 

Speech recognition is reducing the need for manual transcription but speech recognition software is still not accurate enough to replace a human transcriptionist. 

This was last updated in August 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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