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Transcription Software Vs Manual Transcription

Businesses and individuals who have utilized Translators USA services before know that we're not enemies of technology. On the contrary, we think it is very useful in terms of both increasing quality of transcriptions and turnaround time. However, we strongly disagree with insinuations that an advanced transcription software such as speech recognition technology (SRT) will soon make the services of transcriptionists unnecessary. We don't deny that the technology has progressed dramatically over the last decade but at the moment, it is unable to rival a skilled and experienced transcriptionist.

SRT At A Glance


SRT is attracting a lot of attention in the health care sector for two reasons. The first reason is shortage of medical transcriptionists (MTs) and the second reason is the never ending need to reduce the costs. There is, however, another reason why SRT is getting increasingly common in the health care sector – a misconception that transcription is only about fast typing which is of course far from the truth. An MT also needs in-depth medical knowledge and be familiar with MDs' jargon, and the last but not the least important, to be able to overcome (too) fast dictations because most MDs tend to speak too quickly due to the lack of time.

As mentioned earlier, SRT is getting increasingly advanced. Also, SRT that is advertised to medical practitioners and health care institutions is programmed to recognize medical terminology. It works by converting the spoken word into text and theoretically, eliminates the need for an MT. In reality, however, things are far from ideal.

There are currently two basic types of SRT used in the health care sector. The first type is the so-called front-end SRT which converts the spoken word into text in real time. Unfortunately, it isn't error-free. And since it converts the spoken word into text in real time, errors must to be corrected immediately. Using front-end SRT is much faster than typing but much more time consuming than dictating not only due to the fact that the medical practitioner has to edit the text but also due to the fact that they must speak slowly and clearly in order for the program to be able to recognize words. The same counts for the second type - back-end SRT which converts the speech into a digital form and then into text format but only after the dictation has been completed. To make sure that there are no errors, transcription done by back-end SRT requires a human editor listening to the recorded dictation while reading the text form.


As shown on the example of both front-end and back-end SRT, the currently available transcription technology doesn't eliminate the need for a human review. It can be viewed as an alternative to MTs but it is highly important to keep in mind that even the most sophisticated programs have high error rate. In addition, they are quite expensive and directly interfere with MDs work by forcing them to dictate more slowly and in case of front-end SRT, edit the text while speaking. When everything is calculated, SRT is not that inexpensive as claimed by its manufacturers.

The Solution? Translators USA Transcriptionists

Medical transcription doesn't have to be stressful, complicated or expensive. We offer cost-effective and fast (fastest in the industry!) yet quality medical transcription services which are done by US-based MTs exclusively. Our knowledgeable and experienced MTs are happy to help 365 days a year!

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Thursday, 18 January 2018
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