FAQs - Healthcare Documentation and Transcription Specialist Certificate (Credit)

Q: Is this certificate the same as a medical transcription certificate?

A: Not exactly. Medical transcription, in its original form, is slowly phasing out in healthcare. The primary reason for these changes is that electronic health record (EHR) and voice recognition technologies allow for automated methods of entering documentation into health records. However, these same technologies have changed the job function and are expanding job opportunities. Students who complete this program are prepared for various job functions such as editing voice recognition-produced records, performing qualitative and quantitative analysis of health record documentation, transcribing medical reports, and frontline health information technician jobs.

Q: Are there aspects about healthcare documentation and transcription jobs that the public generally misunderstands?

A: Yes. Right now, some stakeholders in healthcare and academia are not prepared to address the changes in this profession. Therefore, students often worry there is no longer a need for transcriptionists. Conversely, the skillset of transcriptionists is evolving to that of a healthcare documentation specialist with various job opportunities maintaining the quality and integrity of health record documentation. 

Another misrepresentation is that coursework in this type of academic program is easy. Professionals working in this field must have clinical documentation and information technology knowledge, as well as understand healthcare delivery. The rigor of this program ensures students are prepared in these domains.

Another falsehood is that entering into this profession guarantees working from home. This is not true. There are work-from-home jobs in transcription and voice recognition editing; however, these jobs normally rely on the candidate having experience. In addition, with the changing roles for healthcare documentation specialists, many jobs now require working in a healthcare organization versus working from home.

Q: What type of pay should a healthcare documentation specialist expect?

A: This varies based on many factors. View the most recent salary data from the Department of Labor. Please note: given the rapid changes to this profession -- currently available data is representative of work in traditional medical transcription. This data may be useful, but as this profession continues to change, salary will be reflected by various job functions.

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