Medical Transcription Jobs – Become & Earn as Medical Transcriptionist

Pritam Nagrale

Updated on:

Medical Transcription Jobs

Nowadays, the demand for online medical transcription jobs indicates an upward trend. An increasing number of people become a medical transcriptionist to make some quick and easy money online.

The surge in demand for medical transcriptions is spurred by various factors. However, before rushing to take a medical transcription job from home, it is better to acquaint yourself with some perspectives, facts and trends.

Understanding these will help you choose the most suitable online medical transcription job.

Medical Transcription Jobs

Understanding what is medical transcription?

Actually, medical transcriptions are nothing new. Indeed, they exist since nearly a century. Earlier, medical practitioners would give verbal instructions to their staff including secretaries, compounders, nurses, paramedics and others. The support staff would take necessary notes.

The entire bunch of papers, including observations by the physician, instructions, list of medication and other relevant data would be stored in a file. Gleaning relevant information from these files and converting them into a single, readable and relevant document is medical transcription.

History of online medical transcriptions

As dependence upon healthcare services saw an exponential increase over the decades, maintaining hundreds nay thousands of medical files became a logistical nightmare for hospitals. The advent of the computer and especially the Internet solved this problem.

Bulky medical data can now be stored online or on other digital formats and accessed worldwide.

To digitalize medical files, hospitals increasingly depend upon freelancers and online medical transcriptionist. This led to the birth of a new industry that today employs an estimated two million people worldwide.

Importance of medical transcriptions

Hospitals, healthcare providers, medical insurance firms, Emergency Medical Services and attorneys have increased their dependence on medical transcriptions.

Medical transcriptions have several uses. They allow hospitals, clinics, private medical practitioners to upgrade their service levels. Medical insurance providers view these transcriptions as a resource to avoid frauds and overcharging.

EMS services require medical transcriptions to do better for saving lives while attorneys and legal experts need them to file law suits in cases of wrong medical treatment.

As the demand for medical transcription jobs witness an exponential increase, do does the industry that provides such services.

Facts and figures

By 2019, the global medical transcription market is estimated to stand at whopping US $ 61 million. Unofficial estimates peg this figure even higher, at around US$ 100 million by 2020. The rise is evident: the market stood at US$ 41 million in 2024.

The demand for medical transcriptions worldwide shows a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 5.6 percent over the last couple of years, which is expected to rise marginally by 2019, according to a study conducted by US-based Transparency Market Research.

Current scenarios

Minimum wage requirements, unavailability of skilled staff and adequate office space in North America and Europe has led to most healthcare providers to outsource their medical transcriptions. Outsourcing occurs in two ways:

  • Medical practitioners and small clinics hiring online medical transcriptionists who can work from home.
  • Larger hospitals and other major healthcare providers outsourcing medical transcriptions online from specialized service providers.

Global trends

Currently, India and the Philippines are world leaders in online medical transcriptions, with several companies specialized in the field, offering this service to clients in the US and Europe. India and the Philippines are known for superior quality online medical transcriptions in English.

However, as the demand for transcriptions in other languages including Spanish and Arabic are on the rise, countries including Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica have also shown significant increase in providing online medical transcription service providers.

Similarly, United Arab Emirates and Qatar lead the market for online medical transcriptions in Arabic, since the language is lingua-franca of over a dozen countries in Middle East and North Africa.

China has its own well advanced online medical transcription market that provides the service in Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese) while Ukraine and Belarus lead Slavic nations for medical transcriptions in Russian and languages spoken in republics of erstwhile Soviet Union.

This translates into on fact: You can get a job for online medical transcriptions jobs from home, regardless of your country of residence.

What it means for you?

Briefly, the above details clearly indicate, you can enter the online medical transcription industry fairly easily. If you are proficient in more than one language, better your chances of earning a higher income.

You can become a medical transcriptionist on part-time or full-time basis. However, as with any service industry, you will require a few basic skills that will ensure your success.

Skills vital to become medical transcriptionist

There are some essential skills to become a successful online medical transcriptionist. These include:

  • Minimum of High school certificate with average marks.
  • Very high fluency in English language.
  • Ability to understand various accents of English.
  • Good knowledge of using computer and common Office software.
  • Excellent typing skills including speed and accuracy.
  • Capabilities to work on short deadlines.

Other skills that will prove very useful include:

  • Fluency in various languages.
  • Good knowledge about medicine and medical practices.
  • Excellent listening abilities.
  • Eye or rather ear for details.
  • High degree of patience.

If you are a student of medicine, retired or working medical practitioner, nurse or paramedical staff, online medical transcription provides an easy yet interesting source of additional income.

Types of online medical transcriptions

Broadly speaking, online medical transcriptions can be divided into four main categories. We will guide you through detailed descriptions later in this article to help select the stream you find most suitable.

  • General medical transcription.
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or Emergency Room (ER) transcription.
  • Medico-legal transcription.
  • Forensic medical transcription.

Therefore, let us begin with online medical transcription that has the highest demand and jobs can be found with ease.

Online Medical Transcription (General)

Average salary: US$ 35,000 to US$ 50,000 per year.

Finding job as general online medical transcriptions is most easy. Because of the sheer, unimaginable volume of data that requires to be converted from voice to legible transcripts.

Tens of thousands of hospitals around the world employing millions of surgeons, medical doctors, specialists, general practitioners and support staff find cannot hire transcriptionists for this Herculean task. Hence, they outsource this process to companies that offer medical transcriptions.

General online medical transcription jobs require you to listen to audio data provided by a doctor, clinic or hospital. Usually, this audio data will contain a conversation between the patient and physician, details about diagnosis, instructions to the patient and support staff that may include a secretary or nurse.

The raw data will be provided to you through specialized transcription software. You will be given a deadline to submit the online medical transcription.

Emergency Medical Services/ Emergency Room Transcription

Average salary: US$ 20.000 to US$35,000 per year

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Emergency Room (ER) proceedings also require online medical transcriptions. Once again, this is a task generally done through outsourcing by EMS providers.

EMS providers are companies or organizations that provide ambulances. They require medical transcriptions as part of quality control and to provide data to hospitals and ERs. Additionally, use of air ambulances- or ambulances that evacuate patients with helicopters- is on the rise.

Obviously, ambulances are utilized only for medical emergencies and hence, every minute counts. Thus, dependence on online medical transcriptions for EMS and ER services is very high.

As EMS/ ER medical transcriptionist, you will be given raw audio data. It will consist of recordings of calls made to the EMS, conversations between the ambulance driver/ pilot and paramedics on board, chats of paramedics with relatives or people near the victim at the time of emergency, instructions and deliberate recordings made by paramedics on treatment and condition of the patient, till the time the case reaches an ER.

The data will also consist of recordings made by medical staff receiving the victim and Emergency Room procedures followed to save life.

It is vital for you to know beforehand, EMS/ ER data can be rather complex since it involves an emergency. Hence, instructions given would usually be rushed and in high pitched tones.

Furthermore, you can be given rather short deadlines to transcript the raw data, due to the emergency or critical condition of a victim.

Medico-legal transcription

Average salary: US$ 35,000 to US$ 50,000 per month.

Online medico-legal transcriptions are a growing trend nowadays. They are an integral part of online medical transcription, but differ vastly from the ones we mention earlier.

Now, medico-legal transcriptions are required by hospitals and healthcare providers, EMS/ER services as well as attorneys. They serve several purposes:

  • To determine whether a hospital or doctor is responsible for any wrong medical treatment given to regular or emergency patient.
  • As part of medical examination of rape and pedophilic abuse.
  • To assist in child abuse cases.
  • For finding psychiatric or mental conditions of patients involved in crime.
  • In cases of miscarriages suspected as abortions, especially in places where the practice is banned.
  • For medical cases that may have any implications with law and order such as wounds sustained in a fight.
  • Divorce cases where one spouse claims the other has some psychiatric condition or addiction related problem.

Indeed, there are numerous cases where medico-legal transcriptions are needed. However, for these, there is another specialized branch of online medical transcription which we will examine now…

Forensic Medical Transcription

Average salary: US$ 180,000 to US$ 250,000

This is the most specialized field of medical transcriptions and online jobs are also available. However, these are very rare to find yourself. You will have to work for some online medical transcription company that provides the service.

Forensic medical transcription involves listening to observations made by police or law enforcers who respond to a crime such as murder, rape, domestic or other violence and similar other incidents that have a medical feature.

As a forensic medical transcriptionist, you will hear testimonies of victims of various crimes including rape and violence, recordings made by pathologists conducting autopsy and physicians attending to a victim of crime.

This is the highest paid job in the category of online medical transcription because of its inherent nature. Usually, these transcriptions have to be done by medical experts who are also well versed with laws and significance of findings by pathologists.

Meanwhile, the common belief that online medical transcriptions are complex and boring is completely wrong. On the contrary, they can be rather easy and interesting, provided you have the right hardware and software at your home or office.

Hardware requirements
  • A good, powerful PC or laptop. Generally, PCs with excellent sound cards are considered better.
  • High quality headset with microphone.
  • Excellent printer.
  • DVD writer.
  • Foot pedal or joystick to pause the recordings (optional).

Such hardware is readily available online at any good retailer such as Amazon

Software requirements

Generally, you will be provided software by the clinic, hospital or company which hires you for online medical transcriptions. However, if you are a freelancer, you can either download any free medical transcription software.

There are several great websites that offer you a choice of such software complete with reviews, free, trial and paid version are available.

Additionally, you will need free billing and client management software and a PayPal or similar account for clients to remit money for your services.

Once equipped with the proper hardware and software, you are ready to start searching for online medical transcription jobs.

Finding online medical transcription jobs

The easiest way to get online medical transcription jobs is to post your resume on any reputed job website in your country. A large number of medical transcription jobs providers are always on lookout for new recruits.

Joining these providers also gives you the much needed training & skills to develop online medical transcriptions as your profession- part-time or full-time.

Alternatively, you can approach some reputed hospital, Federal or government law enforcement agency in your country. Further, armed forces of various countries also look for online medical transcriptionists.

Regardless of whether you work part-time or full-time, online medical transcription jobs are a guaranteed way to earn a decent income or extra money.

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