Off The Record

Is Quality under Control? Measuring Excellence in Medical Transcription

Tips & Insight From the Desk of Kendall Tant, CEO, iData Medical Transcription

Each vendor promises to deliver the same thing.  Quality.  Whether it’s surgical instruments or building maintenance service, everyone claims to be the best.  Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, do the results measure up?

Or, did they over-promise and under-deliver?

It’s an essential question, because it is the healthcare administrator’s task to maximize the return on investment.  In the case of medical transcription, excellence is more than an esoteric goal – it has to be the starting point.  Errors carry a potential for serious consequences.  Each patient history must retain the highest standards of integrity.  So medical transcription providers must work as passionately as their customers to ensure the data is accurate and up-to-the minute – not just managers, but MT’s on the front lines.  (Pun intended.)

What can happen when medical transcription goes “rogue?”

  • Safety risks for patients (i.e.:  documentation of incorrect dosage)
  • Negative financial impact (paying too much for poor quality, potential litigation)
  • Poor document integrity (difficult for specialists or referring docs to understand)

Quality matters.  How then, can we define superior quality in medical transcription?

In the case of voice-to-text conversion, quality should be defined as accurate, clear, consistent, and complete patient healthcare documentation of data extracted from the clinician’s dictation.  

But – don’t doctors sometimes make it difficult to interpret data given human errors?  (Think poor enunciation, rushed diction, background noises.) Yes.  Still, it’s every medical transcription provider’s challenge to work within the context of the customer’s human error.  While delivering none in return – every time, and on time.  (Hey – no one said quality was fair!)

At iData – and this is ON the record – our promise to deliver superior quality when it comes to both speed and accuracy is our lifeblood.  Doctors, patients and administrators depend on us to care as much as they do about their patients, and their bottom line.

We know it’s what everyone says, so don’t just take our word for it.  Make us prove it.

You see – we love to talk about quality, because it’s integrated into our culture.   We’re not satisfied with less than 99% accuracy in 24-hour turn-around-time.  Here’s how we deliver– and your practice or hospital should expect nothing less from your providers.  (You can tell them we said so.)

  1. Six Sigma sticklers:  Like Jack Welch, G.E., and Motorola, iData implements Six-Sigma standards for quality.  (Want to learn more about Six-Sigma?  Stay tuned for our next blog post!)
  2. Audits, just business as usual:  Each month, we audit 5% of all reports generated for each customer to measure accuracy.  We don’t sleep well unless they point to results.  Really!
  3. Constant contact:  (No – not the newsletter kind.) Each quarter, we sit down with our clients and analyze a sampling of reports, together.  We admit it!  Occasionally problems do arise, but we face them square in the eye, eat a slice of humble pie when called for, and design solutions. (There is after all, some subjectivity here.  Some reports are created verbatim, based on capturing every dictated word as is.  Other reports synthesize the information into a readable summary – so we stay on top of best practices for each.)
  4. MT accountability:  MT’s don’t enter this line of work (again with the puns -) unless they have a passion for accuracy and speed.  Still, the quality assessment team measures their performance – drum roll please – Every.  Single.  Day.  Imagine that kind of scrutiny!
  5. The fastest – or it’s free:  We promise to deliver reports faster then our competitors, so we attached a guarantee that ensures we tow the line.  If reports do not arrive as promised, well, our customers don’t pay.

We’re so passionate about quality we plan to write a series of blog posts on the topic.  Next up, we’ll showcase an interview with our V.P. of Operations, J.D. Thankamony, on how and why iData implements Six-Sigma into passionate pursuit of excellence.  He’s got quality  under control around here.

Think about the vendors that supply your organization with products and service.  Can they say the same?


Want to get Off the Record delivered directly to your in-box?  Sign up in the right-hand corner, and join the conversation with your comments!  As always, if you have a question about Medical Transcription, contact me at  Until then, here’s hoping your day is a successful one – and that’s on the record.




Kendall Tant
President and CEO








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