At what rates are legal, general and medical transcription changing?

At what rates are legal, general and medical transcription changing?
March 27, 2018 Rachel Tirabassi

By Tyler Marshall for Allegis Transcription

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If you are an experienced transcriptionist, you may wonder what the future holds for your occupation. After all, new speech recognition technology is changing the industry.

In fact, “the speech recognition market is expected to grow from USD 3.73 billion in 2015 to reach USD 9.97 billion by 2022,” per the recent, Speech & Voice Recognition Market by Technology, Application, Vertical and Geography – Global Forecast to 2022.

The report also states that, “the growing adoption of automated and smart applications in consumer and healthcare industries is the major contributor for the growth of the speech recognition market.”

With this in mind, how will this technology affect your career as a transcriptionist?

Well, we took a look at the status of the medical, legal and general transcription genres, and here’s what we discovered…

Medical Transcription

With a big transition to computerized medical records (based on the 2009 request by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department), speech recognition software makes it easier for medical professionals to dictate information and create electronic records.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a 3% decline in the job outlook from 2014-2024. So, not terrible, but they are predicting a slight decline.

The data also states that, “the growing volume of healthcare services is expected to continue to increase demand for transcription services. However, employment is projected to decline because of increased productivity stemming from technological advances and outsourcing.”

But even though the use of speech recognition technology is growing, it has its drawbacks.

Specifically, it takes time to learn how to use the technology, and the software often makes mistakes due to background noise, heavy accents, system flaws, user-error, and more. Going unchecked, these mistakes have even been attributed to medical malpractice lawsuits per various, news stories and reports.

Because of this, doctors not only have to spend time dictating, but they also need to proofread and edit results to create an error-free document that can be filed as an electronic medical record. This means that human intervention is still a necessity to ensure that final documentation is accurate.

In fact, ExploreHealthCareers.org indicates that speech recognition technology today is primarily in use at health care facilities as, “a productivity enhancement tool for transcriptionists, medical transcription services and health care facilities.” And, “most industry experts agree integrating the technology with an informed knowledge worker will continue to be the best documentation solution for health care.”

With this data in mind, medical transcriptionists are still needed to review documentation for accuracy, but technology is already playing a major role in driving the slight decline we see in medical transcription employment.

Legal Transcription

Like the medical profession, use of speech recognition technology is increasing in the legal industry too.

“Embracing voice technology in the legal industry is slowly becoming a trend,” per a recent article in Law Technology Today. “Implementing technological innovation as a means of creating more efficiency continues to be a top trend for law firms.”

And according to the Altman Weil Flash Survey, 2014 Law Firms in Transition, “32% of respondents chose technology innovation as the force most likely to lead change.”As the number of lawsuits and lawyers increases in the U.S., there will be a greater need for legal transcription.

As the number of lawsuits and lawyers increases in the U.S., there will be a greater need for legal transcription.

The question is, how much of the latest technology will be used over human beings?

Yes, the booming technology trend in the legal industry is starting to change the world of legal transcription. However, it will take many years for the technology to be 100% accurate and completely replace human interaction.

You may want to look into legal transcription if you have an interest in preparing legal documents related to motions, testimony, court proceedings, and more. And unlike medical transcription, you don’t need a formal certification to become a legal transcriptionist. However, you will need transcription skills and experience along with knowledge of legal terminology. Some form of previous legal experience is also very helpful.

Now, if you have no interest in working in the legal industry, and want to look at a more in-demand genre of transcription, you may want to check out…

General Transcription

As a general transcriptionist, there is no limit to the type of jobs available, as this genre is not restricted to a particular business or industry. You can transcribe interviews, meeting notes, insurance claims, and other projects varying in length and detail. Many general transcription companies are actually seeing work volumes increase.

At Allegis, for example, speech recognition hasn’t had much of an impact because the majority of the transcription the company performs involves multiple speakers. The company still experiences seasonal fluctuations in work volume, but the general trend is very positive.

To be successful, it’s essential to put in the time to learn how to do transcription well. In addition to developing your typing skills with practice and the proper form, you’ll also need to have top proficiency in English grammar and spelling.

Once you hone your skills and gain experience, your chances of getting in with a solid and respected general transcription company increase. Top companies are more likely to pay you well for your efforts. Plus, you can even find companies that let you choose assignments.

What Does The Future of Transcription Hold for You?

As speech recognition technology continues to improve and increase in popularity, it will change the transcription industry. Yes, there are medical and legal transcription jobs available, but the employment outlook in these industries is in modest decline due to technological advancements.

In contrast, general transcription offers a positive alternative since it is not limited to a specific industry. With the right skills and experience, you can work for a top transcription company that has an increasing demand for general transcribing jobs in numerous industries worldwide. This can mean more opportunity, enjoyment and job security for you now and in the future.