South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 19, 2019
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August 2011 - Volume 8 - Issue 2

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Transcription Outsourcing: Getting the Best of Both Worlds

Medical transcription is a classic example of a necessary healthcare function that is often performed more efficiently by an outsourcing partner. Outsourcing makes the most sense when costs decrease with scale, and when the partner company can provide better service than an in-house alternative. As more and more healthcare facilities have decided to outsource their medical transcription over the past few decades, it would seem that the value proposition of outsourced medical transcription has been consistently proven time and again.
 
How do outsourced transcription companies keep costs down and service levels high? By leveraging investments in technology and expertise in human resource management. The same technology and data center that a transcription company uses to support a single hospital can be used to support multiple sites for very little marginal expense. Perhaps more importantly, medical transcription companies tend to utilize at-home pieceworkers. Piecework is by far the most cost efficient way to pay any employee, but managing a nontraditionally compensated home-based work force presents peculiar challenges which most healthcare HR departments are ill-equipped to overcome.
 
Although all transcription companies use the same basic formula to create value for their clients, the companies themselves come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are small firms (a handful of professionals working together), medium-sized enterprises (think 50-500 employees), and giants (publicly-traded companies with staff in the thousands). As the transcription industry has matured, average company size has definitely increased but small, medium, and large firms are constantly working to redefine their offering in a very competitive market environment.
 
What happens when transcription companies of different sizes compete for South Florida transcription contracts? When Broward Health needed to consolidate its system-wide transcription services for its HIM departments, the RFP was among the largest in the nation. The review process was correspondingly thorough: Six months elapsed from the publication of the RFP to contract award, during which time the selection committee evaluated proposals from nineteen medical transcription companies. Respondents ranged in size from regional, privately-held firms to publicly-traded transcription behemoths. Although there were definite differences in ability, it is fair to say that most responding companies were qualified to perform the services for which they were bidding.
 
Who earned the business? Expert Medical Transcription, a South Florida transcription company with a heavy investment in technology infrastructure. With a client retention rate of almost 100% since 1993, EMT has built a reputation of consistent performance in one of the most challenging transcription environments in the United States. The majority of EMT’s clients are in South Florida, ownership is local, and accountability is absolute. In short, EMT has the technological capabilities of a larger firm with the local responsiveness of a family-held business.
 
It is hard to place a value on the ability to meet as frequently as you like with local company representatives. But access to EMT ownership and staff have resulted in an increased level of satisfaction with Broward Health transcription services. EMT has delivered on all of the traditional functions healthcare facilities expect from an outsourced transcription provider. Of course, document turnaround times – and cost – have decreased. While other transcription companies continue to redefine their service offering to clients, EMT has found its niche by providing South Florida healthcare facilities the accountability and flexibility of a local company with the technological sophistication of its larger counterparts.
 
By choosing Expert Medical Transcription as the exclusive provider for its HIM transcription services at all of its facilities, Broward Health found that it could have the best of both worlds.
Kenneth W. Schafer is President of Expert Medical Transcription, Inc., a full-service medical transcription service provider headquartered in Miami-DadeCounty. For more information about services provided by EMT, call (800) 256-0832.
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