Medical Transcriptionist Certification

Medical transcriptionists play an crucial role in the health care industry. They listen to recorded dictation from a physician and transcribe the information into clearly worded medical documents that are then added into a patient’s medical file. Oftentimes a patient’s treatment will be based on the information contained within their records. It is therefore very important that medical transcriptionists be accurate when preparing medical documents such as physical examination reports, consultation reports, diagnostic-imaging studies, referral letters, discharge summaries, and the like.

In order to perform their job efficiently, medical transcriptionists must be trained in a number of administrative and technical skills. Much of their compensation is based on their accuracy and speed, with incentives for higher production rates. Medical transcriptionists are excellent typists with a solid grasp on punctation and grammar, which enables them to edit documents to reflect the intentions of the physician. They must also have a good understanding of medical terminology, shorthand, physiology, treatment assessments, and diagnostic procedures in order to translate information into precise medical records. In addition, it is essential that medical transcriptionists are aware of the ethical and legal regulations that govern the health care information. Medical documents contain sensitive material that cannot be misinterpreted.

There are several ways to launch a successful career as a medical transcriptionist. Many medical transcriptionists begin their careers as nurses or health administrators; both fields which familiarize them with medical terminology, ethics, and administration. Individuals interested in medical transcription can also attend educational programs at vocational schools and community colleges that will teach them the skills necessary to begin their careers. After graduation from such a program, many medical transcriptionists choose to become certified by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI)

Why Become Certified?

In order to guarantee the quickest career advancement, as well as the best compensation, medical transcriptionists often choose to become certified by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Although certification is not mandatory for employment, it demonstrates a mastery of the field that is attractive to employers and can result in better job offers, especially for independent contractors.

The ADHI promotes certification as a way to recognize a high standard of proficiency in medical transcription. Professionals who do choose to become certified often transition into higher-paid positions, consulting, and teaching.

How to Become Certified

The ADHI offers two certifications for medical transcriptionists: Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). Both credentials are awarded to medical transcriptionists who have passed an exam demonstrating their knowledge of medical terminology, transcription skills, English skills, and other associated expertise.

The RMT credential is designed for recent graduates of a medical transcription program with little on-the-job experience in their field. The ADHI recommends that all applicants for RMT certification complete at least 2-years of professional medical transcription before sitting for the examination.

The CMT credential is reserved for medical transcriptionists with more than 2-years experience in their field. Applicants must sit for an examination which will test their proficiency in medical transcription at a higher competency level than that of the RMT examination.

Due to the simple fact that medical knowledge and technology is constantly evolving, certified medical transcriptionists must be re-certified every 3-years. RMT credential holders must complete a minimum of 30 continuing education credits to retain their eligibility. CMT holders must complete an online course and final exam in order to renew their credential.