Telemedicine and Real-Time Transcription

Technology enables us to deliver medical services in new ways and to remote areas. It also
allows us the opportunity to engage with patients in a different way – the world of telemedicine
(also referred to as telehealth). As a health care practitioner managing and delivering aspects of
patient care through information technology systems and tools, shouldn’t the necessary medical
documentation keep pace? With real-time time transcription, one of the services offered by TTE,
achieving that can be a reality in minutes instead of hours or days. And for the patient who has a
hearing impairment, real-time transcription can be a crucial tool in increasing understanding
during health care appointments.

The American Telemedical Association defines telemedicine as “the use of medical information
exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical
health status.” For Medicaid, medicaid.gov defines telemedicine as seeking “to improve a
patient’s health by permitting two-way, real time interactive communication between the patient,
and the physician or practitioner at the distant site.” (For specific guidelines on telemedicine
check your state Medicare, Medicaid, and any other applicable guidelines.) The key in defining
telemedicine is not as a medical specialty, but in the use of technology.

Screenings, consultations, medication management, patient education, rounds reports, and
professional development are just a few of the areas that telemedicine is being incorporated in
the delivery of health care. Whether you are caring for offsite patients from a nursing call center,
in private practice, through a military unit, as part of an emergency response team, or at a
hospital, advances in technology are making telemedicine a viable part of the approach to patient
care. Real-time transcription is one way to help maximize efficiency, understanding, and
communication between the practitioner, patient, and team members engaging in telemedicine.