All U.S. Work Force (Part 2 of 3)

Did you know Mercedes Transcription, Inc. is one of the last survivors of U.S. transcription companies that does not ship any of its work overseas?

Companies send transcription work overseas to save money.  But there’s a couple big reasons why offshoring medical transcription can be a risky practice:

  1. Security
  2. Accuracy

Is it accurate?

When it comes to patient care, accuracy within transcribed reports can literally be the difference between life and death!

Take the case of a 59-year-old woman admitted to Thomas Hospital in Alabama who did die as a result of receiving an incorrect dosage of insulin “In late 2012, a jury awarded $140 million to the family of a woman who received a lethal dose of medicine as the result of an offshore transcriptionist’s error, holding Thomas Hospital of Bay Minette, Alabama; Precyse Solutions; Sam Tech Datasys of New Dehli, India; and Medusind Solutions of Mumbai, India, responsible for the death.”

“In the Alabama case, the 59-year-old woman with diabetes originally was admitted to Thomas Hospital for a clogged kidney dialysis port. After developing postdischarge complications, she was referred to Mercy Hospital, where she died after receiving a dosage of Levemir insulin that was 10 times what her doctor had prescribed. Hospital staffers were operating based on the doctor’s discharge summary and a physician admission order prepared by Thomas Hospital.”

“A four-year investigation revealed that a combination of attempts by Thomas Hospital to cut costs by offshoring key functions and critical errors at the institution itself contributed to the woman’s death.”

“The tragedy began with a mistake made by a transcriptionist in India—an ultimately fatal error that was not caught before it made its way into the Mercy system.”

In this case, quality and accuracy suffered when the transcription was sent offshore.  When quality is poor, QA personnel must spend more time auditing and correcting information before it can be sent back to the hospital.

Offshoring can save medical transcription service organizations (MTSOs) money, which may in turn be passed on to potential clients – but is this truly a cost savings if medical reports are returned to a client with critical errors that must be fixed by the facility?

A study was published in the Journal of Health Organisation and Management which examined the issue of offshore outsourcing of healthcare services.  This study noted 

“Most offshoring works such as MT are performed by people who have English as a second language.  Industrialized world-based client firms have observed that employees in their partner offshore firms face difficulty in transcribing medical terms spoken by native English-speaking physicians.”

“Reports transcribed by overseas medical transcription services usually require editing for accuracy by domestic medical transcriptionists before they meet US quality standards.”

Quality, accuracy, and security are not things that Mercedes takes lightly or ‘skimps’ on.  These are critical components of successful medical transcription.

Medical records must be held to the absolute highest possible standard – keeping our labor force in the U.S. and hiring the best medical transcriptionists and quality assurance specialists allows Mercedes Transcription the opportunity to provide quality and accuracy within the thousands of documents we deliver to our clients on a daily basis.