Medical transcription software (MTS) is a specialized speech recognition program that includes a database of medical terminology. An MTS is used to convert audio recordings made by physicians or other healthcare professionals into electronic text that can be transferred over a network and printed out.
Health care providers can implement speech recognition software two ways. In a front-end implementation, the physician or nurse activates the software, reviews the notes that have been digitized to text and signs off. With a back-end implementation, the software automatically converts speech to text and routes both audio and text to a transcriptionist for review. In back-end systems, the person who originated the dictation still must review transcriptions for accuracy and sign off on them.
MTS has changed the way medical transcriptionists do their jobs. Instead of creating documents, transcriptionists are now responsible for editing transcribed documents for medical accuracy. Adapting to this new role has been a challenge for some transcriptionists. For others, it has opened doors to new professional opportunities that support electronic health records (EHRs), including quality assurance and coding.