The ultimate guide to medical transcription outsourcing

by Andy Nguyen
medical transcription outsourcing

Interested in medical transcription outsourcing?

Medical transcription can be a costly and tiring process when done in-house. 

Not only will you have to hire a skilled transcriptionist, but you’ll also have to ensure that they comply with various healthcare laws, like HIPAA.

As the process can be quite intensive, most healthcare professionals and hospitals outsource the task to an experienced service provider instead.

In this article, you’ll learn what medical transcription outsourcing is and the seven key benefits it offers healthcare providers. We’ll also highlight what to look for in a medical transcription company and seven popular outsourcing companies to help you get started quickly. 

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Let’s get started.

What’s medical transcription outsourcing?

Medical transcription outsourcing is an activity where a healthcare facility or physician hires a third-party agency for their medical transcription services. 

How does it work?

When you hire a transcription service company, you’ll send them your audio files, and they’ll convert it into transcripts that are specially formatted according to your profession. 

These audio files can be anything from operative reports to discharge summaries that a physician, nurse or any other health care provider dictates. 

Why not just use a voice to text software instead of outsourcing the task?

While various electronic health record (EHR) systems have built-in voice recognition and dictation features, it’s not the perfect solution for a hospital or medical professional.

As the medical transcription industry uses esoteric language, the software could easily mistake a particular word when it’s being dictated. For example, it could spell the word humerus as humorous. 

This results in an inaccurate clinical summary, patient record or even surgical report, which can endanger patients’ lives. And the only way to catch these errors would be to manually review each transcribed note — which can be extremely time-consuming for healthcare professionals. 

Instead of worrying about all this, you could hire a medical transcription company to easily take care of the task!

7 key benefits of medical transcription outsourcing

Improved accuracy isn’t the only benefit transcription outsourcing offers you. 

So here’s a quick look at seven key benefits you get by outsourcing your transcription tasks:

1. Cost-effective 

A significant reason why most healthcare professionals outsource medical transcription activities is to save money

Think about it.

If you’re not outsourcing the task, you’ll have to go for one of these two options:

  • The medical professional can transcribe their own notes. However, you’ll either have to use your time off to do this or put in extra work hours each day. It’ll also limit the time you could spend with a patient, thereby reducing the money you make.
  • Hire a medical transcriptionist team on a full-time or part-time basis. Not only will you have to spend on hiring and salary, but you may also have to offer employee benefits to each medical transcriptionist. 

Instead, by outsourcing transcription service, you’ll usually have to pay only for the transcripts produced and not for the costs that come with hiring and managing transcriptionists. 

Outsourcing to countries with lower costs of living, like India and the Philippines, will also get you the job done at a fraction of what you’ll have to pay for a provider in the United States. 

Don’t worry about your cost savings resulting in reduced accuracy.

As most of these countries have vast pools of skilled talent that specialize in outsourced tasks, your work quality won’t diminish — even if you’re paying far less. 

Lastly, as most service providers will have the latest technology required for the job, you won’t have to pay for any software or equipment used for the task.

Here are our guides on how to outsource to India and the Philippines.

2. Focus on core health care activities

What’s the most important activity for any medical professional or healthcare organization?

Patient care!

But when you’re keeping your medical transcription in-house, you’ll have to juggle between transcribing all your notes for documentation purposes and attending to every patient. This can take the focus away from what you do best treating patients

So why not outsource medical transcription to an experienced provider?

As they specialize in medical transcription, they’ll have everything required to perform the job efficiently. This frees up your time and resources for providing quality patient care. 

3. Access highly skilled professionals

Medical transcription work isn’t just another daily job. 

It requires industry-specific knowledge, skills and abilities.

A medical transcriptionist is expected to have a sound knowledge of basic to advanced medical terminology. They must also have excellent typing and communication skills to follow verbal or written instructions correctly. 

This makes hiring an in-house transcription team member daunting. After all, there are so many skills they need to have, along with tons of prior experience!

However, that’s not a problem in medical transcription outsourcing.

A medical transcription company will have skilled professionals with years of experience to transcribe your notes accurately. They’ll also have a dedicated medical transcriptionist team for specific fields like Ophthalmology and Radiology. 

This way, you won’t have to go through the trouble of hiring and training someone — you’ll have skilled professionals for transcribing your notes readily available.

4. Better timeliness

When it comes to medical transcription outsourcing, you want accurate medical reports that are also delivered on time.

Remember, if you’re doing it in-house, you’ll have to juggle the documentation task with patient care. This can result in delayed or inaccurate patient reports as you might not be able to pay full attention when transcribing the notes.

However, medical transcription service companies only specialize in providing medical transcription assistance. 

Their sole focus is on transcribing notes and doing it well. And as they usually have state of the art technology and experienced professionals for the job, you’ll receive accurate, timely medical reports. 

5. Can accommodate demand fluctuations

Healthcare professionals and hospitals don’t have to deal with the same number of patients throughout the year. During some months (such as flu season), you may receive a massive influx of patients while during others, you might not have as many.

For example, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of patients are being treated daily — with tons of transcription reports being created. Having a sizable in-house transcriptionist team would make sense in this case.

But when there aren’t that many patients, most of your transcriptionists will barely have any work while you’re still spending a great deal of money paying them. 

But if you outsource medical transcription, you won’t have to worry about such seasonal fluctuations. Depending on your transcription requirement, the service provider will be able to dedicate an experienced medical transcription team anytime you want. 

This way, you’re free from maintaining an in-house transcription team — who may have a lot of work during one month and have far less work the next month.

6. Ensure HIPAA compliance

Anyone in health care, including a medical transcriptionist, must comply with various healthcare industry standards like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

HIPAA provides confidentiality and data security provisions to keep a patient’s medical information safe and secure. Any physician, hospital or healthcare facility violating HIPAA can face serious criminal charges with fines ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation.

But in outsourcing, as you’ll have to share sensitive patient information with the provider, won’t that violate HIPAA?

As long as you outsource to a HIPAA-certified transcription services company, there’s no risk involved. 

Not only will they strictly adhere to HIPAA and other health care standards, like HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act), but they’ll also ensure that each report goes through several rounds of quality assurance.

This ensures that a patient’s information, like electronic health records (EHR), stays safe and accurate. 

7. Store and access information easily 

When you’re handling the medical reports of thousands of patients on a regular basis, you may misplace some or run out of storage on your electronic medical record (EMR) systems. 

However, that’s not a problem when you outsource the task to a certified medical transcription service provider. Most of them have large servers that can store thousands of transcribed reports for many years. 

Additionally, you’ll have secure, password-protected access to these records and can also use powerful keyword tools to search for old medical reports to understand a patient’s medical history. This way, you’ll always have easy digital access to the transcribed notes. 

What to look for in a medical transcription service provider

Medical transcription outsourcing offers you a lot of benefits. 

But when there are plenty of third-party service providers available today, who do you outsource to?

To help you out, here’s a checklist of some key things to consider when choosing a medical transcription service provider.

While it mostly depends on your unique requirements, look for companies that have:

  • HIPAA and HITECH compliance. 
  • Various dictation capture and transcription delivery methods.
  • Compatibility with your EHR or EMR systems.
  • Excellent track records and largely positive reviews.
  • Short and clear turnaround times.
  • Years of experience handling the medical transcription process.
  • Certified and experienced transcriptionist teams.
  • State-of-the-art speech recognition and other medical transcription industry technology.
  • Insurance policies for general and cyber liability.
  • 24×7 customer service.

6 popular medical transcription outsourcing service providers

Here’s a quick look at seven medical transcription service companies to help you get started instantly:

1. Flatworld Solutions

Flatworld Solutions

A popular Indian transcription company with branches in the Philippines and the United States, Flatworld Solutions has over 16 years of experience in medical practice. They use the latest tools and technologies in the medical transcription industry to deliver quality services.

Popular medical transcription services offered:

  • Psychiatry Reports
  • Oncology Reports
  • Radiology Transcription
  • Cardiology Transcription Service
  • Emergency Room Reports
  • Ophthalmology Transcription Service
  • Clinical Documentation

2. Outsource2india


Outsource2india offers medical transcription services to physicians, hospitals, multi-specialty clinics and other healthcare institutions. Their medical transcription teams are located across India, Kenya, the Philippines and South America. 

Popular medical transcription services offered:

  • Neurology Transcription
  • Discharge Summary Transcription
  • Radiology Reports
  • Cardiology Transcription Service
  • Forensic Medicine Reports
  • SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan) Notes
  • Rehabilitation Reports

3. Athreon


Based in the United States, Athreon performs HIPAA and HITECH compliant transcription work. Healthcare professionals can use its mobile dictation apps for Android and iOS devices to manage the medical transcription process from any location.

Popular medical transcription services offered:

  • Acupuncture Reports
  • Chiropractic Transcription
  • Dentistry Transcription Service
  • Genetics Reports
  • Urology Transcription
  • Pathology Transcription Service
  • Oncology Reports

4. Voxtab


Voxtab is an American medical transcription company that offers high-quality medical transcription services. They also provide several value-added and complimentary services as per your transcription requirement. 

Popular medical transcription services offered:

  • Lab Report Transcription
  • Discharge Summary Reports
  • SOAP Notes
  • Physical Report Transcription
  • Emergency Room Transcription
  • Rehabilitation Reports
  • Surgery Notes Transcription



SMARTMD offers medical transcription solutions compatible with various EHR systems like Cerner, CPSI and NueMD. Some of its attractive features include HIPAA compliant cloud backup, AI-powered solutions and mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices.

Popular medical transcription services offered:

  • EHR Transcription
  • Personal Injury Reports
  • Specialist Consulting
  • Surgical Transcription
  • Diagnostic Studies
  • Nursing/Assisted Living Facility (ALF) Reports

6. Transcription Star

Transcription Star

Headquartered in the United States, Transcription Star offers medical transcription services to 10,000+ clients from various countries. Not only are they HIPAA compliant, but their medical transcriptionists are certified by the AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity).

Popular medical transcription services offered:

  • Surgery Notes Transcription
  • Pediatrics Reports
  • Otolaryngology Transcription
  • Cardiology Consultation Notes
  • Discharge Summary Transcription
  • Nephrology Reports
  • Anesthesiology Transcription Reports

Concluding thoughts

While saving you tons of time and money is one of the most significant benefits of outsourced medical transcription, it isn’t the only reason.

From better timeliness to ensuring HIPAA compliance, outsourcing your medical transcription work is something any health care provider can benefit from.

But remember, you can’t outsource without finding the right outsourcing company.

And while choosing a medical transcription outsourcing service provider can seem challenging, start by looking for companies that ensure HIPAA compliance. Then it’s just a matter of finding a company that fits your needs perfectly!

Have any more concerns regarding medical transcription outsourcing

Let us know in the comments below. 

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