Why Get Certified?
Medical transcription involves a highly interpretive skill set, where medical language specialists partner with providers to create an accurate reflection of a patient care encounter. It requires a foundational understanding of the diagnostic process, clinical medicine, treatment and care to be interpreted accurately and applied within the context of complex narrative dictation that is often very difficult to understand. Dictation challenges continue to be an ongoing problem for the transcription sector – where providers who speak English as a second language, those with disjointed and rambling narrative, and/or those who dictate at accelerated speeds continue to demand that medical transcriptionists bring a strong interpretive skill set to the process.
Medical transcriptionists cannot bring that interpretive skill set to the table without a significant foundation of knowledge and training. The pace at which healthcare delivery is moving does not provide a space for taking someone off the street and training or mentoring them on the job. Such an unregulated training scenario creates unpredictable and dangerous gaps of knowledge and understanding that impact the interpretive process and limit the ability of the transcriptionist to identify errors and inconsistencies in the dictated narrative – a role that is critical in the continuum of deployed risk management. Flagging inconsistencies and discrepancies in the health record is the guardian role of the MT, and providers rely on the keen eyes, ears and interpretive mind of the MT to ensure that health data is captured and recorded accurately, that inconsistencies are addressed, and that the amended record is authenticated by the provider.
The only way to ensure that an industry candidate can be entrusted with that role is to hold our workforce accountable to a defined scope of practice through benchmark testing and certification.
Other Reasons to Consider Credentialing:
- The interpretive nature and application of informed judgment as well as the ability for healthcare documentation specialists to amend/modify the record makes it critical that the industry have benchmarks and standards to assess job readiness and reliability in risk management.
- Healthcare places a high value on degrees, credentials, and professional designations. Credentials tell healthcare delivery that healthcare documentation specialists are a “real” allied health profession with an accountable scope of practice.
- Recent changes in HIPAA requirements via the HITECH Act will make it important for our sector to demonstrate training and certification in HIPAA compliance.
- Industry employers are moving toward preferential hiring practices for credentialed professionals, and many provide exam preparation support, exam reimbursement, and support for continuing education – See Who Cares if You’re Certified?.
- New graduates with an RMT/RHDS credential are more likely to get a foot in the door with industry employers.
- Seasoned healthcare documentation specialists who possess the CMT/CHDS credential historically make higher salaries than their noncredentialed colleagues. See ADVANCE for HIM Annual Salary Survey.
Ready to pursue credentialing? Get started here → Types of Credentials