The Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) together with the ISCA Labs have developed a consortium to formulate universal standards and practices for the creation and sharing of digitized transcription of physician-dictated patient notes as an initiative to boost the adaptation of the EHR.

Doctors frequently dictate these notes which offer an in-depth detail of their patients’ care and treatment. These form the key element of electronic medical records. However without an agreed-upon common format for the exchange of information, converting transcriptions to a secure, digitized form for sharing with other health professionals and hospitals is near to impossible.

Chair of the MTIA Board of Directors Linda Yaniszewski expresses her belief saying, “This is an exciting time for the medical transcription industry, and we are excited about our position in the process as we continue to evolve. The dictation-transcription process remains physicians’ preferred means of documenting healthcare encounters. The process provides physicians with a quick and efficient documentation method. The patient narrative produced by the process offers physicians a rich and detailed source of information for clinical decision-making and helps facilitate proper reimbursement. By making the dictation-transcription process a key component of the transition to EHRs, healthcare enterprises, EHR vendors, and policymakers can ensure the government’s multi-billion-dollar investment proves a fruitful one for physicians and patients.”

The group formed by ICSA labs – an independent division of Verizon Business – and the MTIA is known as the Medical Transcription Service Consortium. They are the ones tasked to develop a single framework common applicable to all, for the digitization of transcribed dictated records, taking into consideration the interoperability standards to ensure seamless and secure exchange of data among health care providers.

Currently 8% of physician-patient meetings are recorded via electronic medical record. Member companies to the MTIA have annually created and electronically archived an estimate of over 2.4 billion transcribed medical records. This number pertains to more than 70 percent of all U.S. physicians.

The charter members of the consortium aside from ICSA Labs and MTIA are Verizon as well as some medical transcription companies including: MD-IT, MedQuist, MxSecure, Sten-Tel and Webmedx.

The consortium hopes to provide a solution for medical transcription service providers to easily exchange in a digitally useful form the medical records. On its way to progress, the MTSC announced that they have chose Verizon Business to build a new IT platform that would securely transport the digitized transcribed notes of physicians for the use of their consortium members. Following the security best practices as foundation, the design would allow objective testing and certification for privacy, security and interoperability.

Global managing director of healthcare for Verizon acknowledges the benefits of the program saying, “The IT platform under development will serve as an open, yet secure foundation for the transfer of digital patient data among physicians, hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers. Leveraging Verizon Business’ broad portfolio of advanced IT, hosting and security solutions, professional services expertise and global IP network, the new platform will help MTSC members drive efficiency and improve patient outcomes as the adoption of electronic health records accelerates.” Verizon Business anticipates the arrival of the platform for use later this year.