The Board of Directors of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) convened a group of health information practitioners and business experts to identify likely future scenarios and role evolution for the unique set of skills medical transcriptionists bring to the electronic health information environment.
The practice of medical transcription is transforming as a result of new and emerging technologies and changes in delivery modalities that make uncertain the future roles and responsibilities of the profession. The Transcription Futures Group considered the development of enabling technologies, evolution and convergence of health information roles, regulatory changes that impact practice, emerging health information needs for consumers and providers, and the increasing demands of the information economy within the electronic health environment.
The goal of the meeting was to develop likely future scenarios that would impact the domain of transcription practice within the broader context of health information management and to determine optimal positioning of the profession and its members given these likely futures. Optimal positioning is defined as a set of actions that will leave the profession in a relatively good place regardless of which of the futures scenarios actually proves true. The Transcription Futures Group generated a report that outlines their deliberations, describes the various factors that will evolve the practice of medical transcription and identifies actions that should be taken by the profession and its members to achieve optimal positioning in light of the likely futures.
Specifically, the Transcription Futures Group was charged with addressing the following questions:
- What is the projected global picture within the domain of transcription practice in the next decade and beyond from the convergence of rapid advances in medical discoveries and treatment modalities, increased regulatory requirements, pressures to contain healthcare costs, globalization of the transcription industry, enabling information technologies, and the emergence of a national health information infrastructure?
- How will the need for real-time healthcare data be handled in a regulatory environment that requires greater privacy and security measures in order to provide less ambiguous and more comparable patient data in the next decade and beyond?
- Will demand for transcription increase/decrease during the next decade and beyond? Will the demand for alternative data capture methods increase/decrease during the next decade and beyond? What will be the intrinsic nature of these demands?
- Will emerging technologies change the processes of dictation, data capture, use, and distribution of transcribed data? What will be the intrinsic nature of these changes?
- How will current knowledge workers, including clinicians, health information managers, information technology experts, transcription professionals and others be impacted by the convergence of these forces?
- How will these forces (and/or others) impact traditional transcription practice? What strategies should be developed to address them as a first step for ensuring that the competencies and skills required of "future transcriptionists" are identified?
- As a result of these changes, what recommendations does the Futures Group have for continuing education of current transcription professionals and for development of entry-level educational programs for future transcription professionals?
- What leadership direction should the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity and the American Health Information Management Association assume in relation to the projected impacts of these forces on the transcription practice domain?
Click here to see the attendee roster.
Final Report: Scenarios and Solutions for the Future of Transcription, April 2005