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Outsourcing Medical Transcription - Patient Data Security

Translators USA has been providing medical transcription services to both small private practices and large healthcare centers for nearly two decades. We work with US-based medical transcriptionists (MTs) exclusively and we never outsource overseas for two reasons. The first reason is to maintain consistency in quality of our services and the second reason is to ensure patient data security.

The 2003 UCSF Medical Center Incident

 

Healthcare providers have been outsourcing medical transcriptions to external agencies for many years to overcome the problem of shortage of qualified MTs and to reduce the costs of transcription. In 2003, however, the practice of outsourcing has caused a major controversy in regard to patient data security. An incident involving the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center was eventually settled but it demonstrated the need for extra caution when outsourcing medical transcriptions to external agencies. What happened?

In 2003, the UCSF outsourced its medical transcriptions to an external agency. The Medical Center had been working with this agency for a number of years and never experienced any problems. Just like it did in the past, the agency further outsourced to several US-based subcontractors who, however, outsourced further to their subcontractors. One of them outsourced to an MT in Pakistan but never paid. The Pakistani MT, upset over not getting paid contacted the UCSF and threatened to publish patient data if the issue wasn't taken care of. The MT was eventually paid by one of the subcontractors and the threat to patient data security was “solved”.

Reactions to the UCSF Incident  

After the UCSF incident, many called for cessation of outsourcing medical transcriptions. However, it was soon realized that this wouldn't be the best solution considering the shortage of MTs in the United States and the need of healthcare providers to keep the costs of transcription as low as possible. Also, the HIPAA Privacy Rule is very clear about the measures to take in order to ensure patient data security albeit it applies only to healthcare providers which means that patient privacy and data security are their responsibility. Therefore, it is critical to choose a trustworthy and reliable medical transcription service provider.

For Translators USA, Patient Data Security is Top Priority

We understand the consequences of an eventual violation of patient privacy and data security. For that reason, we NEVER outsource medical transcriptions overseas. All medical transcriptions are done here in the United States by our highly trained and experienced US-based MTs, all of which, without exception, strictly follow our security policy which bounds them to confidentiality and prohibits outsourcing to subcontractors. That way, we maintain consistency in quality of our services and protect our clients from the risk of incidents similar to those involving the UCSF in 2003.

In addition to having a very strict security policy and working with US-based MTs exclusively, we are also continuously upgrading our electronic equipment and information technology in order to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data. Translators USA clients can thus rest assured that the UCSF incident won't happen to them.

For additional information about our medical transcription services, please call 888-790-8872 or contact us through our website. We are available 7 days a week and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018
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