Friday, December 9, 2011

How To Start a Medical Transcription Service by Frank Breinling

Medical transcription is an exciting career. Not only can you work from the comfort of your own home, but you can consistently advance your training to open up the doors to new opportunities, including building your own home based MT business.

For the most part, medical transcriptionists will be responsible for converting patient records and medical files into typewritten documents, rather than handwritten to avoid misinterpretation.

All transcripts must be grammatically correct and free of errors as the medical industry requires specific guidelines be met when transcribing audio files into patient records.

The medical transcription industry does not require training or specific accreditation in order to secure employment, however the majority of new transcriptionists seek out online training as a method of gaining hands-on training and experience prior to entering the job market.

Not only will training help equip you with the knowledge you need, but it will also provide you with specific skills necessary in the MT job market, including typing, processing, and medical terminology.

Here are some of the things every medical transcriptionist needs to know (and is trained to understand via a MT course):

Knowledge of disease processes

Knowledge of anatomy and physiology

Basic understanding of medical terminology and punctuation used

Above average typing skills

Ability to work independently, taking direction.

Knowledge of medical writing style, and overall grammar.

Ability to work with audio recordings, voice manipulations and translation.

When it comes to medical transcription, there are a few things you will need to equip your office with in order to be able to complete projects for hospitals and physicians.

To start, you will want to purchase word processing software, such as MS Word or WordPerfect. Make sure that you install and configure your word processing software so that you are familiar with the settings, and if possible, learn to use macros which will help automate repetitive tasks, speeding up your productivity.

You will also need a transcriber machine in the event your clients are using dictation tapes when creating their audio files. Transcriber machines play back audiotape files making it possible for you to transcribe and translate as you listen to the recording.

Transcriber machines also offer the ability to slow down the speed so that you can keep the pace as you type, as well as offer "stop points", where you can temporarily pause the audio at a specific point to return to it later on.

These days, you can usually purchase transcriber machines that will effectively play multiple size recording tapes, however depending on the size of the tapes that your clients use, you may need to purchase multiple transcriber machines.

Certain clients will request that they dictate via the telephone and in those cases, you will want to look into setting up a voice system line that will compress voice files so you can transfer them to your computer.

Other equipment that may be required can include a copy machine, fax machine, dedicated phone lines, email addresses, FTP client to upload and download files, and printer.

There are an incredible number of MT jobs available, and with health care facilities continuing to expand, the number of medical transcription jobs available in the market continue to multiply as well.

There are however, different variations of the MT job opportunity with in-house positions being offered (where you work at the physicians office or directly in the hospital) as well as telecommuting based positions, where you are able to work from home on your own schedule.

One thing to keep in mind is that when you work as a MT freelancer, you are responsible for your own taxes and are not offered the same employee benefits, as you would be if you worked directly for a company, on-site. In addition, pay scales will also vary, depending on the amount of work you take on and the actual company or doctor hiring you to complete their projects.

For the most part, MT opportunities offer very lucrative pay options, ranging anywhere from $12-25.00 per hour. You can also choose to take on projects that pay per line, rather than per project, although the majority of online companies and employees hiring telecommuting based freelancers seem to prefer a "per project" basis.