The Mayo Clinic is set to lay off up to 400 medical transcriptionists

By Catherine Sturman
A non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a 360-degree approach to patient care, The Mayo Clinic has recently informed up to 400 medical transcri...

A non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a 360-degree approach to patient care, The Mayo Clinic has recently informed up to 400 medical transcriptionists that they will be offered buy out packages as a result of laying off its transcription workforce.

The implementation of new digital tools and systems is revolutionising the workforce, and the medical transcription sector is no exception. Amazon has launched its Amazon Transcribe service for Amazon Web Services (AWS), whereas start-ups such as Tetra, Trint, and many others are seeking to disrupt a service which has been in demand for decades.

Nonetheless, The Mayo Clinic has been transforming its electronic health record (EHR) systems in a bid to deliver patient care which is increasingly connected. From implementing its new health system in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the new system is set to go live in Rochester next month, and then onto Florida and Arizona, Healthcare Dive has reported.

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“Mayo Clinic is therefore looking at ways to manage the transcription workforce, which is why we offered this voluntary separation package to all transcription staff who may be interested in leaving Mayo Clinic and/or pursuing other opportunities,” explained Roshy Didehan, chair of practice administration at The Mayo Clinic.

“We do not yet know how many will choose this option, nor do we yet know the longer-term reductions in transcription volumes.”

Whilst laying off staff will reduce ongoing labour costs; the use of new technologies will provide a multitude of advantages across the clinic’s 20 hospitals and boost annual revenue. The implementation of its new EHR system will incorporate the use of a voice transcribing application, and will replace three previous systems, utilised under the clinic’s umbrella.

“For years, Mayo had operated a bit like a holding company, with regional groups,” commented Karl Poterack, M.D., Medical Director, Applied Clinical Informatics, in the Office of Information & Knowledge Management at the Mayo Clinic health system.

“There was a recognition that perhaps we could develop [more universal] best practices, and that, when patients with the same symptoms and issues come to different facilities, they should get the same care. So, converging on the same EHR, with the same order sets, the same build, was seen as a way to build convergence.”

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