Showing posts with label work at home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label work at home. Show all posts


Medical Transcription Resources

A medical transcriptionist is only as good as the resources she keeps. Here are the resources I use on a daily basis to assist in the art of transcribing medical reports accurately and efficiently.

Benchmark KB Online - This is a great tool for transcriptionists. There are many facets of this resource in that there are specialty-specific and searchable word books and contains the Holy Grail of our business the Book of Style in a handy searchable format. There are also QA alerts for terms/phrases that need to be changed to avoid confusion in medical reports. The best part is there's a searchable physician database that is constantly updated.  This is a MUST for all transcriptionists.

Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics - Great orthopedic specialty information. Just a great and detailed site.

American Medical Association - I use this to look up past practicing physicians and if I can't find what I'm looking for in Benchmark KB Online.

OneLook Dictionary Search - This is a one-stop shop for dictionaries -- medical, general, translations, etc.

Google - The All Mighty Google scores again! This is the quickest way to information, but a good medical transcriptionist will not take the sites listed in Google's word for it and absolutely must verify, verify, verify!

Skullcandy INK'd Headphones - Every transcriptionist needs a great set of headphones, ear buds, etc., and I blogged about these. They are of great quality, reasonable price, comfortable and can be worn for hours on end.    

Below is my single, most used and most coveted asset for medical transcription.

*** Drum Roll Please ***

Instant Text - Without this, I could not be successful. Well, that's not totally true, but it would take me a heck of a lot longer to get there without it.  Instant Text is a text expander.  Actually, this is not JUST a text expander. It's the most feature-rich, easiest to use and amazing text expander I have found. The possibilities are limitless with this program. No memorizing shortcuts = super easy to use. I have a command glossary for common tasks used in Word and/or other programs. For example, if a physician dictates a sentence and then goes on to dictate a compound sentence, I have a command that will go back and insert the comma + and.   My hands rarely move from my keyboard. I've made a drug database with brand name drugs, generics and dosing schedules.  This program also offers me a "compile" feature. I save reports and later can run the program and IT pulls the common phrases, words, etc., from the reports. The productivity potential is incredible! They now offer a free trial, and believe me, it is truly the best thing since sliced bread.

So....that wraps up my list of key resources for medical transcriptionists. If you're not using these resources, you really need to be. There are many others that I use, but these are the ones I use consistently.

-- Company plug to follow --

If you're looking to increase physician productivity while retaining the documentation capture capabilities of EMR / EHR, look no further! Hire us today to realize the savings in time AND hard dollars! You will NOT be disappointed with our service!  

Just My Type Transcription takes great pride in producing high-quality patient documentation. We treat your patients as if they're our family. Your patients' documentation is safe, accurate, and we of course are a HIPAA compliant service organization. We do NOT offshore any transcription and/or transcriptionists.  EVER.   

We're able to save new clients up to 40% on transcription costs with various options.  We know time is money, so call us at 847-890-0560 or email us to set up a quick demonstration of our web-based software which we provide to all customers as a service (no investment in software).  


Do you have what it takes to be a medical transcriptionist?

Some myths about medical transcription:
  • Yearly income will be in excess of $40,000 per year right away.
  • Medical transcriptionists type what they hear.  
  • Medical transcriptionists are a dying breed.  

Some truths about medical transcription:
  • Medical transcription is not a get rich quick opportunity.  Income largely depends on many factors.  Some factors include geographical location, grasp of medical terminology and anatomy in addition to account size, part-time work versus full-time work, workflow, acute care work (all specialties/more challenging terminology) versus clinic work (less specialties / easier terminology).  Other important factors are if you're a subcontractor or an independent contractor.   
  • According to Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual wage is $32,900.  
  • You are typing a document for a patient's chart, therefore one must ensure ACCURACY.  Would you want your medical record to have errors in it? I believe this is the most important factor.  A transcriptionist will never be respected in this business producing low-quality, error-ridden reports, and that's a promise!  All we have is our reputation as most times doctors, MTSOs, etc., never meet us, so we build our reputation on accuracy - one perfect report at a time.  
  • Medical transcription often can be feast or famine.  <br>

Some questions to ponder:
  • Are you proficient with computers?  
  • Do you enjoy spending hours sitting in front the computer typing?
  • Are you good at navigating the Internet for research?  
  • Is your typing accuracy 99.5%?
  • Do typos jump off the page for you and bother you?  
  • Do you have good command of the English language / grammar?
  • Do you take pride in all the work that you do, each and every day?  
  • Are you self-directed and dedicated?  
  • Are you flexible?  
  • Are you teachable and willing to learn each and every day?  

 If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, medical transcription may be the field for you!

Ways to work: 
Because there are so many ways to work as a medical transcriptionist, one must define which is best for their situation.
  • Are you the primary breadwinner or supplementing the income in your family?  
  • Do you want to work for a service (subcontractor), being paid on production wherein if you don't have work, you don't get paid?  
  • Do you need to be an employee for the benefits?
  • Do you want to get your own clients (independent contractor)?  

Where do we go from here?
With all these points in mind, what's next? First, you need to heavily research the profession.  A good place to start is AHDI's article Becoming an MT.  Next, you will need training.  See my previous blog post How I Found Medical Transcription for my experience with Career Step.  Not all AHDI-approved schools are created equal, so it's best to research the school, check the BBB, ask questions of the school or program, post questions on forums, etc.

Once you decide on a school and get started, since most of the online schools are self-paced, be certain to be thorough.  You will get out of the program only what you put into it.  I have seen many a transcriptionist not take enough time with schooling and once looking for a job cannot find one.  Transcriptionists MUST take online tests to gain employment, so if those tests cannot be passed, a transcriptionist will have a very tough time finding work, let alone decent pay.  I cannot stress enough being thorough during the schooling portion and how much it will pay off in the long run.

Looking for a medical transcription provider or 
know someone who is?

For HIPAA-compliant, quality and timely medical transcription outsourcing with EMR interfacing in the United States visit us at Just My Type Transcription.


How I Found Medical Transcription

I haven't written in awhile, and I'd like to take a step back to discuss how I got into medical transcription.

Out of high school, I wanted to go into nursing.  I had a sister who passed away at 8 years old from complication of her eighth open heart surgery due to congenital heart disease.  I wanted to pay tribute to her by helping sick children.  I wanted to do this at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois, which was where she was born.  While I loved and was truly interested in the medical terminology part, I just didn't see myself having the patience or bedside manner being 18 years old. With this in mind I moved on. Then, life got in the way.  I ended up landing some great executive assistant jobs as I had a love of computers. 

Fast forward 13 years.  I was pregnant with my son, and I couldn't imagine spending every day in an office while my son spent more time in daycare and/or with babysitters than with me.  It was just something I couldn't have happen (personal preference), so I searched for telecommuting jobs to no avail.  These jobs were just emerging and hard to find.  

In my research, I came across the magic words (for me) "medical transcription" -- doctors dictate about a patient's visit, and there is a typist who records what is said which is then placed in the patient's chart.  Medical transcription seemed like an unknown entity 13 years ago.  There was no advertising, no job listings in the paper and seemed as though it could quite possibly be a scam as well.  Every time the words medical transcription came up so did the words "scam."  Could one really work from home, be in the medical world AND make money at it? I then came across a company Transam where you pay them to do transcription and they "train you."  I was leery about this and instead continued on my quest.  I knew that working meant being paid, not having to pay to work.  Thankfully, my instincts (and common sense) didn't fail me. What I realized was that I could combine my love for the medical field AND computers.  Alas, it was a perfect fit!  I checked local colleges but couldn't see myself sitting in a classroom.  I needed something more conducive to my busy life with a 2-year-old son.

The big advocate for medical transcriptionists was AAMT (American Association for Medical Transcription) although they have since changed their name to The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).  What amazed me was that there was distance learning, online courses being offered, and I could learn this field in the comfort of my home (no cadavers involved) and then work from home.  This opened up my world.  Everything was online. Medical transcription companies are online and offer online testing for employment.  Amazing!  This was why I found no job listings in the paper, etc. 

AHDI had a listing of approved schools wherein I found that Career Step offered an online training course.  It was a self-paced course, so I knew I would get out only as much as I put into it.  After much research, I finally took the plunge.  I LOVED it!  The course was very interactive and didn't bore me one bit (a big prerequisite for me).  It was challenging as well, which is what I liked the most.  Career Step also offered a forum where there was constant with others as being out in cyberspace learning can sometimes be daunting.  There were two aspects of the course, an objective portion where you learn the terminology and style and then they throw you into actual transcribing. There were almost a thousand reports in the course.  In under a year, I took and passed my final with honors, had two job offers the first week and accepted one of those jobs.  

I couldn't be happier with my choice to go into the medical transcription field.  Being a medical transcriptionist has taught me to be flexible and teachable at all times as things are always changing in this field.  As well, I have learned that I'm a line of defense ensuring the patient's record is accurate.  That aspect is very important to me.  Almost 4 years later, I now also do quality assurance and edit reports typed by other transcriptionists.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't learn something new.  Medical transcription is never boring and it fits me to a "T."


EMR Horror

I have been hearing so many horror stories about the conversion to EMR.  Office staff staring at each other in bewilderment, not knowing what to do next, how to do it, etc. Doctors who have never in their lives touched a computer are so focused on pointing and clicking that their patients sit idly, ignored.  It's scary for all involved, the patients most of all.  Would I trust a doctor to correctly document my visit on a computer?  Not a chance.  Mistakes can happen.  Mistakes happen more when you overload an already overloaded doctor with learning the system.  What's the solution?  I will say that when doctors dictate, they accomplish far more than sitting at a computer.

Emdat says:
Studies show that it takes a physician an average of 4.5 minutes per patient to document a visit using templates in an EMR system. By contrast, dictation takes only 1.5 minutes per patient. That’s a difference of three minutes per patient! If a physician sees an average of 20 patients each day, that translates to 60 minutes a day. The result? Doctors will either see fewer patients or work longer hours. Transcription costs may be lower, but so is productivity, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Consider that physicians and their medical assistants are more expensive than transcriptionists. Doesn't high quality patient care mean physicians who focus on their patients instead of their computer screen?

Outsourcing transcription is the answer.  Outsourcing transcription where a platform is used to populate an EMR system...Even better!  That's where I come in.  Just My Type Transcription uses this Emdat platform (software as a service) to populate the EMR, HIS or Clinical Repository System in place OR will house the history for the time when EMR becomes a reality for the practice.

In an article by Ann Silberman, on Kevin, MD's blog, raises this serious issue...
...However, these are things that need to be worked out before fully implementing an EMR system, at least for any doctor who cares about making a human connection with a patient. There are tablets, iPads, laptops. There has to be a way to maintain a bedside manner method of doctoring while embracing the digital age.
 The full article can be found at EMR, a patient's perspective.

There is a way to maintain bedside manner, and the practice needs to figure it out or lose patients.

Please check out my website at Just My Type Transcription to see how we can help you get your bedside manner back.


Just My Type Transcription was born

My willingness to go off on my own in the world of medical transcription is in part due to the ridiculous wages for transcriptionists and even more so QA personnel.  It's frustrating to have a great MT who is more than willing to take his/her time, do the research, not focus on production as much as quality to be paid less than minimum wage.  We do need to pay the bills, some are single parents who can't hold a job outside the home due to a child's illness, or the ludicrous amount of school days off - institute day, conference day, blow your nose day.

Being a QA for an MTSO, I have seen some of the poorest quality reports generated from a renown (in their own minds) school who is all about the Benjamins. I am appalled by this. Someone did not do the research when they heard/typed 'celiac screw' and KEPT that in the report. Rookies make mistakes, yes, but I have also seen 'seasoned' MTs whose output is horrid, terrifying even. I personally have no idea how or why and MTSO would want to keep them. Again, low wages. They can't afford NOT to keep them. Sad but true.

This leads me to why I went off on my own. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe I took this job with the MTSO to further my education in the 'real world or transcription.' Of course, I didn't see this at the time. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I actually love this MTSO. I have learned a great deal from the 100+ doctors I have on the account I type for. I most definitely have a clear view of the company I want run and hopefully that will sustain me.

Just My Type Transcription