Transcription world-wide

Hello all: I’ve spent the last couple of days talking to our transcription counterparts in London. Just a few items I thought might be of interest…

1. They don’t have a dedicated MT position – transcription is done by medical secretaries. The secretaries do transcription and perform many other functions including helping patients to navigate the NHS (National Health System) for the public hospitals, and performing scheduling and other support for physicians in the private hospitals.
2. They don’t do nearly the amount of documentation through dictation and transcription that we do. Some assume it is because the push for the EMR has been more successful in Europe than in the U.S. In actuality, in the U.K. they complete much of their documentation on paper forms including discharge summaries and operative notes. They would very much love to allow the doctors to dictate these types of documents if they could do so in such a way as to get the dictation into the EMR. Sound familiar?
3. They do a lot of letters and correspondence since patients are often referred to specialists through the NHS. Each patient has a GP (counterpart of a PCP in the U.S.) who refers patients to specialists when needed. Letters and correspondence are used by these physicians to keep each other informed.
4. Doctors like having the medical secretaries and the outsourcing of transcription is not a popular topic.
5. They don’t have a widely accepted and well-organized group like AHDI to represent them – but there are two groups AMSPAR and BSMSA which aim to serve the needs of medical secretaries, to define qualifications, and to support the profession. Take a look! They aren’t as widely known or accepted as AHDI – perhaps we should reach out across the pond and meet them!


One Response

  1. Hi Lynn. I was very interested to read your post about MTs in the UK. I am English myself, and worked as a Medical Secretary for approximately 20 years prior to coming to the US in 2001. I attended school for two years full time to gain my AMSPAR diploma at ‘home’, but found that it is entirely useless here in the US! I really don’t want to do an entire MT course here just so I can get another qualification for something I’m already qualified to do… Incidentally, a Medical Secretary job description in the NHS is not the same as here in the US.

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