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How Useful is Six Sigma For The Medical Transcription Businesses?

Mar 28, 2008
Six Sigma may have been originally devised as a quality management system for use in the manufacturing sector, but over the years it has proved so versatile that now even businesses in the services sector have started using Six Sigma to reduce errors and improve the efficiency of their existing business processes. One of the most recent additions to the list of Six Sigma beneficiaries has been the medical transcription business.

In medical transcription, the thing that often makes all the difference between success and failure is the number of errors that might have been made by a transcription company. Most of the medical transcription projects are now outsourced to third party medical transcription companies and since clients expect a very high level of performance, these companies just cannot afford to make mistakes.

This is the reason why many of these companies have now started deploying time-tested and highly-effective quality control management methodologies such as Six Sigma. To get a better understanding of how useful Six Sigma actually is for the medical transcription companies, we'll discuss some of its associated benefits.

Significant Reduction in Transcription Errors

Since lives depend on accuracy, medical transcription executives just cannot afford to make errors while converting voice messages into electronic text form. Not to mention the transcription company's losses in case the errors exceed the acceptable limits, leading to the decommissioning of the entire project. However, since transcriptionists also have to meet deadlines, it often becomes quite difficult to achieve that perfect balance of productivity and quality. This is exactly where Six Sigma comes into play.

What Six Sigma does is that it helps businesses to identify the root cause that might have been responsible for the majority of errors committed by transcriptionists. Six Sigma focuses on the majority simply because it's just not possible for a company to look into each and every error committed while transcribing. After identifying the root cause, Six Sigma helps businesses to devise effective solutions that are acceptable to both the top management officials and the transcription executives hired by the company.

This way Six Sigma is able to solve the problems without affecting the morale and motivation of the employees.

Improved Quality Control

By combining statistical tools and techniques with advanced IT systems, Six Sigma enables transcription companies to keep an effective check over the final output. This certainly helps in improving output quality, but what is even better is that the objective is achieved without incurring huge costs. This becomes a possibility because most of the quality control systems are automated and have the capability to identify even the most difficult to detect errors and inaccuracies that might have occurred while transcribing.

Since no additional manpower is required for improving and maintaining the desired quality levels, medical transcription companies are able to make huge savings and that too without compromising on quality.

Six Sigma in the medical transcription business may be a relatively new phenomenon, but still there are many instances that prove the usefulness of Six Sigma in this highly demanding business domain. For proof, you just have to compare the "before and after" financial statements of the transcription companies that have implemented Six Sigma. You can then easily notice that the results after the implementations are far better than they were earlier.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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