Medical Transcription – A Recession Proof Industry?

Recession, pay cuts, layoffs – these are some of the common phrases that one hears all too often lately. While the recession has taken toll in the global financial spectrum leading to job cuts, layoffs, etc., in software, financial institutions, manufacturing, etc., the health care field is still forging ahead through the trying times. From an outsourcing perspective, the recession has not affected the field of Medical Transcription in any meaningful way and is, in fact, burgeoning with more and more career opportunities.

Medical transcription which is also known as MT is the process of transcribing or converting recorded dictations by physicians and/or other health care professionals usually located in US regarding a patient’s medical record into a written text. Medical transcription follows prescribed and established document formats and is highly dependent upon trained professional, known as Medical Transcriptionists. Specialized knowledge for Medical Transcription includes the ability to correctly spell often difficult medical words, as well as a working knowledge of general medical terminology.

Medical Transcription is a highly specialized skill, which requires a high degree of training and dedication and proficiency in English language. Medical transcriptionists benefit greatly from on-the-job experience, and especially by handing records from a wide variety of medical specialties.

Medical Transcription is one of the fastest growing fields in health care industry. Medical Transcriptionists are in demand in many western countries especially here in the United States where the entire health care industry is based on insurance and detailed medical records are needed for processing insurance claims.
Despite the global economic downturn, the medical transcription industry is looking for a further growth mostly due to the aging of the US population. The opposite is the true in medical transcription field.

It estimated the size of the U.S. medical transcription industry, would reach $16.8 billion by 2010. The work sent offshore was expected to be in the region of $860 million in 2010. India remained a preferred offshore destination primarily due to availability of manpower and industry maturity. These offshore figures are being negatively impacted by HIPAA and HITECH privacy requirements that are keeping more and more of the work within the U.S.

While it does not require any specialized computer skills, medical transcription requires primary skills like good listening and discrimination skills, knowledge of medical terms in addition to the basic knowledge of how to use a computer and type accurately at an acceptable word-per-minute rate.

For an experienced medical transcriptionist, the current economic downturn could be reminiscent of the dot com bust that happened almost 15 years ago. The mood was quite grim at the time like it is now. As discussed above, the current meltdown, however, did not affect medical transcription in any way and most medical transcriptionists had jobs and continued to work as usual.

The benefits of Medical Transcription as a career include the ability and freedom to work from home. There are a good number of people currently enjoying the benefit of working from home and still earning around 25-30k average and as high as 50k to 60k as well. The recent liberalization of Internet in terms of cost and bandwidth and other related technologies like 3G has accelerated the potential from working from home in an hassle-free environment. The Internet gives transcriptionists the ability to work even from remote parts of the country. With a strong desire and a good work ethic, a PC with decent configuration, a stereo headset, foot pedal (a device that controls the voice player), a dictation file player like GearPlayer from TranscriptionGear.Com and other software necessary for reference of medical terms/drugs you have all you need to work as an independent medical transcriptionist.