One of the challenges of keeping your clients is doing the best you can to prevent them from resorting to offshore companies to provide them medical transcription services. Outsourcing to companies based in emergent economies could be tempting for any US healthcare institution trying to stay afloat; no one can discount the fact that healthcare institutions needing medical transcription services can save thousands in operational costs when they let an outsourcing company handle their transcription demands.
How does outsourcing affect what is medical transcription today? Most importantly, what are the disadvantages of outsourcing?
Confidentiality. Ensuring HIPAA compliance could be risked when a healthcare provider outsources its medical transcription services, allowing third-party vendors to gain access to sensitive health information that may include patient histories, medical records, lab results, and the like. As some of you may know, one of the major provisions of HIPAA is the protection and limited sharing of patient histories and related pertinent information.
Getting behind delivery schedule. The delivery times of your contractor are beyond your control even if you set a deadline for them. Acts of God, and sometimes, due to lack of control over the outsourcing company’s management, there are some things that you just can’t prevent to keep your operations on schedule. Of course, it’s easier to nip these problems in the bud if you have an in-house team of medical transcriptionists or if your transcription provider are just across state lines.
Additional costs. One of the lure is that it saves companies from incurring lost hours and costs in terms of medical transcription and coding training. However, remember that while outsourcing is generally cost-effective, you may incur additional costs that are otherwise not stated in the contract. This said cost doesn’t even include additional costs for operating at a foreign jurisdiction.
Misaligned expectations. The outsourcing company only focuses on the work load that needs to accomplished at hand. Often times they are not aware of the organization’s mission and vision, and lack a complete understanding of the compliance risks that come with any mistake that their transcriptionists may commit when doing business with you. These “compliance” or “transcription quality” mistakes, although innocent, are ridiculously costly and may even tarnish your reputation and lead you to lose your clients’ customers. And as some of industry insiders know, these mistakes could have been prevented if transcriptionists are adept with the rigors of transcription, which can be of course achieved by obtaining a medical transcription certification.
We hope that the disadvantages elaborated above have given you a clearer picture of the things your clients need to consider before outsourcing their transcription needs to offshore companies. It’s not essentially a bad thing to give them an idea of the pitfalls of outsourcing, and it’s not as if you’re throwing businesses under a bus, but sometimes you could do your clients a solid by presenting them an idea of what they’re going to lose when their outsourcing endeavor doesn’t go so well.