This article is "FREE" expert advice about what medical transcription is, what skills a home based medical transcriptionist needs, what the initial investment is to start a home based medical transcription business and what someone should consider when choosing the right medical transcription training course.
What Goes Into Starting A Successful Home Based Medical Transcription Business?
If you don't know that's OK! Most beginners to the home based medical transcription industry don't either but this website will give you an expert overview of the industry. We will also direct you to what is being referred to as "The Bible" of the home based medical transcription business so whatever isn't covered here will be then (in-depth) by a very successful 9 year home based medical transcription veteran. You Won't Go Wrong If You Act Upon What We Share With You!
Who Am I & Why Should You Follow My Advice
That's a fair question and I would be rather shocked if you didn't want to know. Please understand that the following answer to your question is not an attempt to satisfy my own ego but rather to show you that I am not some "QUACK" that just dispenses unfounded theories or hype. My name is Paul Hackett and helping people start their own home based medical billing (MB) & medical transcription (MT) businesses is my passion.
I am the president of a successful home based medical billing and transcription business (Stelo Medical Management, Inc.), a medical consultation business (Stelo Enterprises, Ltd.) and the author of the internets 1 selling home based medical billing business startup guide entitled "Medical Billing Book For Home Based Beginners".
I've been in the home based medical billing & transcription business for 8 years, built all my businesses from scratch, have helped hundreds of medical billing & transcription beginners start their own home based MB & MT businesses. I have earned my trust within both industries by giving out only useful and truthful information about the field. Now that you know who I am and what I represent lets get down to the meat of the issue!
Is Medical Transcription A Legitimate Home Based Business?
Yes, it is and it has been for decades. It is not one of those widely advertised scams that you would see online or in newspapers like the medical billing industry is plagued with. Medical Transcriptionists have three options when deciding how they want to work:
1) Work inside a practice, hospital, etc.- if you take this route then you could make the equivalent of 9-15 per hour depending on your skill, accuracy and geographic location. As with any other job you will be supplied with everything you need (including benefits) by your employer.
2) Work as an independent/self employed medical transcriptionist - This is when you work completely for/by yourself, you take care of your taxes, you sign up and maintain your own client/accounts, you market your services, you provide your own benefits, etc. You'll probably start out at the equivalent of 10-15 per hour (or 6-14c per line) and in time (years) you could be earning the equivalent of 15- 40 per hour depending upon the amount of work, clients and type of equipment that you use. A lot of medical transcriptionist around the nation rather doing business this way (including me) and once you see the pros and cons of the business and speak to a CPA you'll see that this route is rather lucrative and you're the boss. Simply put, you own the company so you do whatever you must to make it a success. Or;
3) Contract with a national company - with this type of medical transcription you are referred to as Statutory Employee. It is the same as the above mentioned position with the exception that the company you contract with usually pays 7.5 of the FICA tax, they might give you certain equipment to do the job their way and they will assign the workload expectation and pay.
What Is Medical Transcription?
Medical transcription is the process whereby one accurately and swiftly transcribes medical records dictated by doctors and others, including history and physical reports, clinic notes, office notes, operative reports, consultation notes, discharge summaries, letters, psychiatric evaluations, laboratory reports, x-ray reports and pathology reports.
It involves receiving dictation by tape, digital system or voice file, the use of ear/head phones, a foot pedal for start-stop control, a variety of word processing programs and sometimes the use of a printer and a modem. Today many home based medical transcriptionists still deliver their completed work back to the office but with technology being what it is now it's just as simple to deliver the work via a modem. If you work of a national company they may require you to use a modem to download and transmit the work.
What Skills Does A Home Based Medical Transcriptionist Need?
Let me put it this way, having a computer at home and knowing how to type fast is not enough to become a successful medical transcriptionist. You MUST:
Take A Really Good Online Medical Transcription Training Course (or attend a good school-college-trade or vocational school),
Have Good Listening Skills,
Great English Grammar Skills,
Excellent Computer Skills,
Superior Research Skills,
Possess High Typing Speeds With Great Accuracy,
Pay Great Attention To Detail,
Have A Great Foundation In Medical Terminology, Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Laboratory Tests And Values, Medical Equipment and Procedures,
Possess The Ability To Work Alone (Usually you won't have much contact with others),
Possess The Ability To Work Under Pressure And Sometimes Under A Deadline, and
Posses The Ability To Sit In Front Of A Computer For Extended Amounts Of Time.
You will need to invest in several different types of publications such as: an English dictionary, a grammar and style guide, a complete medical dictionary, a drug index, a laboratory and pathology word book, a medical word book by specialty, a surgery word book, a medical abbreviation word book, other specialty word books and a physician directory and other journals.
You will also need to use several different pieces of software such as a medical spellchecker and an abbreviation system such as PRD or Smartype. You will also need to learn all you can about your own computer so you can employ all the ticks and shortcuts within it to greatly enhance your productivity. Remember that you need to always have your hands on the keyboard because the more you type and type accurately is the greater your pay will be.
What's The Initial Investment Needed To Do Medical Transcription?
This varies and it depends on several factors like:
Do you already have a home office or if you're starting from scratch?
Do you have formal medical transcription training or not?
Do you already have most of the books you will need?
Do you have the necessary software programs to do the job professionally?
Do you need to purchase additional software or hardware?
The great thing is that you can buy most of the things you need (used) from places like Ebay and other places that support the home based medical transcription industry. Your four major purchases will be your medical transcription training, transcriber, computer and reference books so your investment will be very minimal compared to doing medical billing from home where the investment can be as much as 6,000 to get the business of the ground.
How Do You Choose The Right Medical Transcription Training Course?
OK, this is the last segment that I'm going to cover but at the conclusion I will tell you exactly where to get the most in-depth, informative and comprehensive medical transcription training for the least amount of money to start your home based business.
When it comes to a medical transcription course or medical transcription correspondence course then you will have a plethora of choices (especially if you search online). So let's start with your choices:
Vocational School or Trade School
On The Job Training
Learn On Your Own or
Online Medical Transcription Training Course or Correspondence Courses
Now allow me to say that how one medical transcriptionist got their training might not be right type of training for you because everyone learns differently.
I know people that have learned the trade by doing on-the-job training with the help of other experienced medical transcriptionists but the learning curve was huge because they knew nothing before starting. I also know people that trained themselves (that's bold and I commend them) but even they have told me if they were to do it all over again that they would have learned it through some sort of school or online medical transcription training course (once again the learning curve is a killer). Here's a break down of what a good medical transcription training course should consist of:
Acronyms, eponyms, abbreviations,
Laboratory tests and values,
Medical procedures and equipment,
Ethics of medical transcription,
Research methods and resources,
Brush-up typing (if you need it),
Brush-up English grammar ,
MT "business" skills
You should also look for a medical transcription training course that will give you all the up-to-date equipment you'll need to learn on (at no addition charge), award you with a "Certificate Of Completion" (not to be confused with "Certification") and if the course or school has employment programs for after you complete the medical transcription training at no addition expense to you then that's great!
I have had the opportunity to speak with several working MT's, home based MT's, schools, online medical transcription training courses, the alumni of medical transcription training programs and then applied my own experience to base my conclusions on. I feel that if you have the time to attend a good local college, vocational or trade school then go that route (it will be expensive) but if you don't have the time or money then take a good online medical transcription training course. The problem like I said is that there are so many that it's an overwhelming task to choose a good and affordable one .
I chose the following because they give you a very well-rounded education, great phone-email-fax-mail support and a slew of bonuses that come with the course instead of as an addition with an extra charge. Here are a few extras: up-to-date equipment used in the industry, a copy of the course in hard copy, unlimited number of final exam retakes, 2 year graduate job database membership, letters of recommendation, reasonable payment options, evaluation of your resume for employment, evaluation of your home based MT sales/marketing letter and a hotline to help you after you become employed just to name a few.
You'll see that you have four different learning options that are very well priced depending on what goals you are trying to achieve. For Example: lets say that you choose their "Home Based Medical Center Package" to learn medical transcription, medical billing and medical coding (Wow! What A Package). Think about how much you'll be worth to a physician, group practice, clinic, hospital, nursing home, etc..
Imagine the amounts of money/salary that you'll command from employers or your clients due to your knowledge of all three professions. Plus in a home based business you'll have the ability to offer each of your clients three distinct services compared to most businesses that only offer one (you'll be financially secure in no time)! So without further delay here's my 1 choice for the best medical transcription training course of 2005: http://tinyurl.com/2347z.
Trust me when I say you'll be doing yourself and your business a big disservice if you don't enroll because if you train with the 2nd or 3rd best what's the likelihood you'll be considered as a 1st rate medical transcriptionist in your potential clients eyes?
Starting a medical transcription business from home is not rocket science but you should get all the expert advice that you can so that your journey will be a less rocky one. I have read several "Home Based Medical Transcription Books" but none of them cater to the beginners to the industry or even come close to the amount of useful information that is given in Michele's book entitled "Step-By-Step Guide To Medical Transcription At Home" http://tinyurl.com/wool.
You must read Michele's ebook today because she covers all the necessary topics that you must know about the field and because she also owns a very successful home based medical transcription business she is more than qualified to help you become the success that you see yourself being.
I've really enjoyed the time we've spent together today and I hope that you learned what you need to consider before you decide to venture into the home based medical transcription business.
Here's To Your Success,
"The Medical Business Mastermind"
© 2005 Paul G. Hackett of Stelo Medical Management, Inc.You may reprint this article as long as the by-line and all contact information is included.
Short note about the author
Paul G. Hackett is the owner of Stelo Medical Management and author of the website ?Medical Billing Books For Home Based Beginners?. His only purpose is to truthfully educate people about the who's, what's, where's, when's and why's of starting, opening and operating a successful home based medical billing or transcription business. Visit http://medicalbillingbooks.tripod.com.