Let’s Talk!

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What have been your biggest challenges?

What has helped you?

How can we help?

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13 thoughts on “Let’s Talk!

  1. Hello,

    I am a moderate-sized MTSO. I have recently experienced one of my hospital accounts going to front-end speech recognition; therefore, we will be terminated within 1-2 years’ time. I’ve seen what the system is doing to the quality of reports, and it makes me cringe. The doctors utilizing the system are very reluctant to use this and have the same quality concerns, but are pushing forward with it. Any suggestions from service owners on how to convince management this is a big mistake?

    • Hello Susan: You have encountered one of the most common problems faced by the clinical documentation industry today.

      It looks as though your company is doing work for a hospital that contracted with a vendor who convinced them they don’t need transcription anymore. And you and the doctors are seeing firsthand why this is a mistake. Unfortunately doctors are not always given a choice in these situations.

      I’m not sure we can be of any help to you here, but the best chance of convincing management is to address the cost of quality. How much is the decreased quality costing them? What about the doctors? How much is their time worth – is their time best spent editing documents or caring for patients?

      Do you have any room to work with the hospital on pricing? I know margins are extremely tight these days – but it might be possible to work with them to make some changes that would allow you to produce the work at a lower cost to you, which might allow you to negotiate on their pricing. You might be able to show them that you can provide them the quality they are accustomed to getting at a price that is cost effective. Do you use backend speech for your MTs now?

      There are platforms out there who use our technology which offers a hybrid solution – MT supported editing, but the doctors who really wish to use front-end OR who are only dictating a short, repetitive note that they want immediately have the ability to self-edit too. This puts the doctor in control and gives him/her the option to use the technology best suited to his needs. I think we all know that if given the choice, the majority of doctors would choose to keep the skilled MT in the workflow.

      i sincerely hope you can make the case in the 1-2 years timeframe. I suspect the hospital will find that its documentation does indeed suffer if the physicians are forced into a technology they do not want. Unfortunately the hospital might have already made a large investment into their new technology.

      Best of luck to you – please let us know if we can answer any other questions for you.

      -Lynn

  2. Hello,

    I have a question for your regarding line counts in M-Modal. Since my company has switched to your software, I have noticed in my production summary that lines are being deducted from my reports. For example, if a report has no dictation (dead air or getting put on hold or something like that), we take out all headings and type the words “NO DICTATION” and release the report. When I look at my production summary for these reports, I see my line count as a negative 1.23 lines. In our old software, we get a minimal line count for these reports (certainly not a negative line count). I asked my manager about this issue and she said that it was a problem with the M-Modal software and that you were aware of it and were working with the technical support people at my employer to fix it. Is this true? If so, when can we expect a fix date for this issue? It is outrageous to me that lines are being deducted from every report that I am doing on your software.

    • Hello: Line counts are not performed in the M*Modal software – that happens in your company’s software. Your manager is mistaken. Our software does not count lines at all. You see, our software is designed to be embeded into an existing platform so that our partners can have the freedom to run their business the way they wish – we do not control the entire workflow like some other systems do.

      Often times it is difficult to tell where the M*Modal software begins and your employers’ software ends (and vice versa).

      To help, think of it this way – M*Modal provides the speech recognition. Our “edit control” which displays the draft test is embedded into your employer’s platform. But any of the features not directly related to the draft text are not part of M*Modal’s software.

      Features like line counting, speed of audio downloads, time between jobs, ADT and patient lookups, referring physician lookups, performance speed, etc, are all controlled by your employer’s technology – not M*Modal.

      Your manager likely is confused since it is difficult to tell the difference sometimes. Please do feel free to have your manager ask your support personnel to contact us for more clarification if necessary.

      Best of luck to you,
      Lynn

  3. We recently purchased a back end speech recognition product and had all of our MTs train as editors. The expectation is an increase in productivity. We will be analyzing our productivity data to determine the average increase in production and then adjust our compensation accordingly. I have heard, industry-wide, that one can expect at least a 30% increase in productivy. Our plan would be to perhaps either reduce the value of an edited line versus a traditionally transcribed line, or increase the department productivity standards when qualifying for incentive pay. What are your thoughts?

    • Hello Ginny: It isn’t possible for us to provide any really specific advice since we don’t know more about your organization, but in general a great idea is to run models for how your output will increase, and how pay would be impacted using various methods.

      You could consider anything from a hourly rate with productivity-based incentives, to reductions in line rates WITH incentives for your high producers.

      Whatever method you choose to go with, the important thing is to weigh all your costs and all your benefits for total increased output – and to pay appropriately. Might I suggest that you take a look at our Management for the Modern MTSO blog at the posts from July? There are a couple of articles there that might help you that are relevant for healthcare providers as well as for MTSOs.

      Good luck!
      Lynn

  4. Hi, my name is Naomi and although I hold an associates degree in Medical Transcription I received in July 2010, I have not been able to find work. The main problem, as I see it, is that I missed out on a valuable training opportunity by not being a part of an internship program. However, the hospital in my residential area of Montana does not offer an internship program. Also, after speaking with the director of medical records at the hospital, I was told that they have no need for new transcriptionists because the system is being switched over to Dragon Speak. I am beyond frustrated at this point and don’t know what to do. I’ve applied to every online company for MT that I come across, even though I know they are looking for experienced MTs only. I’ve just recently started networking on Twitter in my hopes to making connections to finding a job. I’ve been unemployed for 2 months now, so I’m really in a bind to find work.

    This past spring I went back to school to get my associate’s degree in Health Information Technology, knowing that is the future of the medical office. However, I still don’t want to give up on using my medical transcription. I worked hard for 2 years to get it … going to school full-time, working full-time, being a single mother full-time, and caring for my dying mother. When I got that degree it was the light at the end of a very long, and dark tunnel so it is important to not give up on my dream. My hopes in posting on here is that there is someone somewhere who can help me or guide me toward a company or person who is willing to take a chance on an inexperienced MT willing to learn and grow in this field.

    • Hi Naomi –
      Thank you for your post. Have you checked with smaller departments within your local hospital system? When I started transcribing, I worked in Pathology. It was completely separate from the main hospital transcription department. It was much smaller and I think easier for me as a newbie. Some people get their start by taking on a medical secretary position with transcription as one of their job duties. I know that’s not ideal, but it is a foot in the door. I’ve also come across new medical transcriptionists who work for temp agencies.

      Another resource you can look into is the AHDI e-mentoring program. In the “rules” it states that the mentor is not responsible for helping mentees find work, but I’m sure they will have some advice or maybe even resources that I am not aware of. Here is the link http://ahdionline.org/Careers/RequestaMentor/tabid/393/Default.aspx

      Good luck, Naomi. Don’t give up!

  5. With all due respect to the fine ladies that run this blog, the engine is fried. All of these tips and pointers you give are of no benefit. I repeat, the engine is fried. I have worked with the engine for 4 yrs, and I am so burned out with the engine I could scream. Transmission change, oil change, none of this would help. It simply needs to be redesigned. Also, it is like chaining yourself into a chair with seat belts and headgear, for if you get up from the seat, the engine knows this in 1.5 minutes and the engine penalizes you. In short, the engine was designed for robots, not humans. In that regard it is ahead if its time. The engine, the engine, the engine. Good grief, let’s call it something else. Just saying! Thanks!

    • Hello David: I’m going to give Misty a break and take this one myself. 🙂 Thanks for the interesting comments! But with all due respect to you, there are literally thousands of wonderful medical transcriptionists who are doing a terrific job successfully creating high quality clinical documentation with the help of “the engine”.

      But you make a good point about the “engine”! I get tired of hearing about the “engine” all the time too – especially when it gets blamed for every problem under the sun including incorrect account implementation, ineffective management, or poor work habits. The “engine” doesn’t penalize anyone for anything. It is a machine – a tool. How that tool is used, by both MTs and management, is up to humans. It isn’t about the “engine” at all. Its about the people who use it.

      So, now I’m just sayin’ – what can we do to help you feel less burned out? Is there any constructive support we can provide to help you to do your job? Can we answer any questions for you about the system performance metrics that might help?

      Anyone out there have some tips for someone who sounds a little burned out on transcription (MTs have been attached to chairs and headgear since long before speech recognition)? Happens to the best of us and I’m sure there are some great tips out there!

      Thanks!
      Lynn

      • I have to agree with this post. The software slows us down, is made for robots and is crappy. This may have been a good idea at some point: “Lets create software that increases productivity and makes things better.” Better for who? The docs. The MTSO? Not the transcriptionists. The software makes us feel like robots, as stated above, and is horrible to work with. I have loved being an MT and have been proud of it…I feel horrible for those who are paying good money to be trained to use your product through Career Step only to be released to the work environment to make very little money at this point. The line counts dont go up, they stay the same as doing straight transcription but our pay has been reduced to half. Maybe we should become speech engine designers and sell the product to people who think it will work….pull the wool over peoples eyes and tell them its a great thing…then we can start making some money again. Just sayin’

  6. Apex Font Size: I tried to increase Apex font size, but the directions did not work. Tools/Apex Editor Preferences/Miscellaneous Preferences/Font Size. There are 3 font size choices. I changed it to 15, the largest, but the change did not take even after rebooting. The change did apply to TDE, assignments list, spellcheck, etc., which was helpful, but the report itself it still teeny tiny. Changing computer settings does not work on Apex. Any tips would be most helpful. Thanks!
    – Joey

    • Hi Joey –
      I apologize for the delayed response. I missed your comment. This is something that can work differenly in each client application. Can you email me directly and let me know which company you work for? I might be able to dig up additional info for you.

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