Transitioning from Dictation to EMR

As the owner of a medical transcription service, did I ever think I would write a blog that seems to be in direct opposition of what I am trying to preserve?

 I stayed in denial for quite some time that EMR (electronic medical record) would eventually be taking business away from me.  After all, I had been the sole transcription service provider for the county I live in for 25 years.  Aside from a few independent transcriptionists , I had no competition, whatsoever.   I was blessed and successful. 

I could make all the valid complaints in the world regarding EMR;  how the doctor can’t pay enough attention anymore because they are busy typing, how important details of your medical record can’t be templated, etc.  The world of technology has outgrown the way physicians and medical providers document their medical records.   Even physicians who adamantly opposed switching over to the new technology, were swayed by attractive incentives offered by the government.  This was the deciding factor. “Meaningful use”  has become the hot new keyword or hashtag on search engines.   

 The successful business that I grew from its infancy to where it was only a year or so ago has slowly dwindled.  Some transcription services paid attention and early-on partnered with software firms specializing in the new way medical data would be captured.  Eventually all transcription companies will fall prey to technology and they too, will become a thing of the past.  We smile at the picture of a woman sitting in a steno pool, typing on a manual typewriter many years ago.  Someday someone will say “I remember when a medical transcriptionist transcribed medical reports and it was a very difficult job.”

 Technology is directing our world to a new place.  In the blink of an eye the neighborhood Kodak camera stores that developed your film were closed due to the invention of the digital camera.  The post office is in dire straits and struggles to keep delivering mail because of the invention of email.  IPods and MP3 players swiftly took over the music industry and cassette tapes and CDs are a thing of the past (not to mention record players).  Car manufacturers barely had time to introduce the selling feature of a CD player in a new car, before they quickly started manufacturing cars with IPod capability. 

 I thank God we are still a viable company.   We still transcribe for medical providers and surgery centers that have an EMR platform and our transcription is integrated into their EMR.  We continue to look for more opportunities such as those.  We have to change with the times and diversify what we offer.   We now offer our services to all businesses and have entered into business with legal firms, video production companies and small businesses that can actually save money by outsourcing to our company.  All is not lost; just changed.