The Value of the MTE

Speech recognition receives a lot of attention as a viable solution to multiple healthcare documentation issues.  However, one common misconception surrounding speech recognition is that it will eliminate the need for transcription, thus eliminating the medical transcriptionist.  

It is important to note that the availability of speech technology has not diminished the need for transcription in hospitals, clinics, or private practices.  In fact, the number of lines of transcription continues to increase year after year.

M*Modal’s speech technology can provide an edit-ready draft that the medical transcription editor (MTE) can validate and correct.  Speech technology is never 100% accurate and must be reviewed by a highly skilled MTE.  As a result, speech technology cannot eliminate medical transcriptionists.  When speech technology is used, typing is no longer the primary role of the MTE; it is validating and correcting the draft report to ensure medical accuracy.  Your knowledge, experience and understanding of medical terminology are even more important than ever.  

Understanding medical terminology is something every medical transcriptionist must learn.  The shift from typing to editing places greater emphasis on the knowledge of medical terms, rather than on typing speed. The MTE position is critical to the process because their professional experience is mandatory for the validation and correction of the draft document.  The MTE can also provide value-added, timely feedback.  

The primary goal of the medical transcriptionist has always been to produce a high quality medical document.  In addition to producing an edit ready draft, M*Modal’s speech technology also handles the formatting of the document such as headings, abbreviations, and other account specifications automatically.   This further allows the MTE to focus their attention on the most important part of the job—ensuring an accurate report!


2 thoughts on “The Value of the MTE

  1. If medical transcription editors are that important, and my knowledge, experiencing and understanding of medical transcription is more important than ever, then pay us for what we are worth, instead of cutting our rate of pay by 40% to 50%!

  2. Hello anonymous,

    I definitely understand your concern and agree with you 100%. M*Modal strongly recommends to our clients that giving the MTs a list of shortcut keys, cutting their pay in half, and calling it a day is NOT the way to go. A lot of thought needs to go into a compensation plan when transitioning from traditional transcription to speech rec. The company needs to take the time to really see where their MTs are with traditional transcription and base their expectations in the productivity gains they will achieve by switching to speech rec from there. An all across the board paycut is not the answer. We try to explain to them that this will do nothing to help the company keep their highly productive, highly skilled MTs and this will hurt the company in the long run–but we are still seeing this practice happening. Not to mention that losing their highly skilled MTs can also run the risk of hurting the quality they provide to their customers. That type of compensation plan really is a losing situation for everyone. I want to refer you to another blog written by our department supervisor, Lynn Kosegi. She brings up so many important factors that should be considered when devising a successful compensation plan that unfortunately is not happening at all MTSOs. Please see the Management for the Modern MTSO blog –specifically the post in July titled “MT Compensation.” I hope you can find an MTSO who does value the skills and expertise that being a transcription editor requires—any pays you accordingly. M*Modal will continue to be a strong advocate for MTs on this topic because it is something we feel so strongly about. Thank you again for your comment.


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