About three years ago AHDI passed a resolution supporting mandatory credentialing for everyone who has access to the patient record. While this resolution alone does not resolve the issue, it publicly re-affirms AHDI’s intent to make this goal a reality. It puts the issue on the forefront of discussion and sets a standard for the profession.
But why is credentialing important? Is it only relevant to the MT if they get a raise for having it? Are there more important issues to be taken into consideration? A fundamental concern of many is the caliber of MTs in the workforce, both domestically and abroad. With no requirements necessary to label oneself a medical transcriptionist, anyone can have access to a patient’s most personal health care information and ultimately help create documentation that will affect their health. Additionally privacy concerns have reached a critical level as evidenced by the HITECH Act with both civil and criminal penalties. One only has to speak with a group of documentation professionals to see that many are largely unaware of the ramifications of the new privacy laws. With so much riding on accurate, private health care documentation, it is difficult to understand why anyone would not support mandatory credentialing.
In speaking with medical transcriptionists few topics become as heated as that of mandatory credentialing. There are those who view it as critically important, those who see it as long-term goal, and those who see it as a useless set of letters that have no impact on their ability to perform their job. Many see its use only if it translates to increased earnings or if required for gaining employment. A common argument is that the individual has transcribed for many years without a credential and their ability to maintain employment speaks more than a set of letters. While the argument makes a degree of sense, many professions require some form of profession credentialing/licensing. Imagine the nurse, lawyer, or physician pushing to remove their licensing requirement based on the fact that their education or past performance was evidence enough of their ability to practice. Would you trust these individuals or would you seek out those who were licensed/credentialed?
A valid area of discussion is that the MTSO does not see credentialing as critical as evidenced by their hiring policies. While it is true that many QA and education positions require the CMT, this is not a universal standard. In fact one can legitimately argue that a fully-credentialed educational program is a rarity more than a standard. Even fewer companies absolutely require the RMT/CMT to transcribe with most simply using terms such as “preferred” in reference to credentialing. Interestingly this is the area where an immediate impact can be most easily realized.
In my opinion mandatory credentialing will have a positive ripple effect throughout the profession that trickles down to each level. With mandatory credentialing, the MT will need an ever-increasing core body of knowledge in order to meet the certification requirements. The additional knowledge set will require the ACCP approval program to increase their minimum standards so that every student graduating from an approved program will have the necessary skill set to pass the RMT before beginning work in their profession. In turn this will make it harder for the predatory education programs to sustain their current poor practice of failing to educate individuals to an acceptable level. The MTSO who ultimately hires these credentialed professionals will be able to offer their clients a higher level of quality than can be given with the current workforce. This to me is a win-win-win with everyone benefiting throughout the process.
Med-Line School will be holding its next credentialing preparation in October. You can register now for only $60. This continues to be the lowest cost in the industry.
We would appreciate if you could share this with any uncredentialed MTs you know and considering joining one of these groups if you are uncredentialed. We still have some room in the upcoming class.
Together we can all continue the drive towards having every MT credentialed. Learn more here.