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Can someone tell me if most of Spheris's accounts have a lot of ESLs and is their platform still

Posted By: PAMT on 2005-07-13
In Reply to:

difficult to use as it used to be. I have heard their platform has a lot of steps to it.

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Spheris Platform

Can anyone give me anything positive about Spheris and/or the platform Cornerstone?  CHS sold us out and within a month I will be working for Spheris.  I never hear anything good, which is so discouraging.  Is there anything at all positive about working for them?  Also, we were told we would not have to take a test and have been informed that we DO have to test.  Does anyone know how that is?  I have not taken a test in 15 years!  Starting to get really, really worried.  TIA! 

Are all Escription accounts EditScript? I could not use this platform. sm
I see so many people that use Escription and like it.  Are there other Escription platforms, or are they all EditScript?
IC versus employee, accounts, transcription type, platform,
Little snow globe from Spheris with "All around the world, Spheris
MTSO with platform versus no platform (big message)

If a MTSO advertises that the MT works in MS Word and sends dictation by FTP, does this usually mean there will be no demographic/doctor database and the demographics will not be autopopulated?


I got into a mess with a small company (got out real quickly too).  I was required to print out daily email copies of the doctors' office patient schedules (which were barely legible) and type in all information.  I spent more time hunting for the correct patient through pages and pages of these schedules.  Then I had about 25 pages worth of doctor's names that I would have to go through to find the attending, referring, etc.  A total waste of time as I didnít get paid for that. 


I wish MTSO would give more information as to what platform they use (if any).  Proprietary software is such a generic, totally useless description.  Would they buy a new car that listed, "Car has gasoline operated motor?" 


And for Pete's sakes, why so secretive about the pay?  Give a ballpark figure.  Just say, pay is between 7-12 cpl depending on skill, testing, etc. Tell me if you pay for spaces, headers, etc.  It would save them time because I wouldnít even apply for a 7 cpl job. 


Before I spend an hour or two testing, I need more information from a company to be sure it is compatible for my needs.  If the MTSO would spend a little time on their website detailing their platform, how they send/receive files, pay rates,  how line rate is determined (spaces/no spaces) employee/IC/SE status, minimal line count, whether work pools consist of 100s of doctors, or smaller pools with 25-50 doctors etc.   Having all this information on their website would save them time and the MTs time.   Phoenix Medcom has a really good layout describing pretty much everything an MT would want to know before testing with them.  I am just tired of testing with a company and then finding out the job wasnít exactly suited to my needs. 

Platform versus non-platform (templates)?

I've been working for MTSOs for years now, using their templates which sometimes cause productivity problems (macro issues, etc). I'm wondering if productivity is increased when working on a structured platform, such as one that a national company provides for its transcriptionists?  I've never used a platform, but it would seem that all one needs to do is straight type onto the screen and the platform program takes care of margins, page breaks, etc?

Any thoughts (as well as companies who are hiring who use platforms) would be appreciated.  Thanks

How about zillions of accounts. MQ has these accounts so overloaded even the new hires dont have any
work. I would love to read some of these reports and then they expect perfect QA and no blanks. Did they lose their minds completely.
The accounts are old and she keeps her accounts TRUSTING she hired the right MTs
who if in doubt will ask questions regarding reports. No one can find all mistakes in all reports and that is human to have a report with perhaps a typo. You think anyone reads through all the reports of a national company before they get to the hospital? Not a chance. Some random QA is supposed to correct all mistakes? Not hardly. Doctors/dictators make mistakes too. We all do. So do QA people. So the thing is this person hires good people who are trustworthy, the hospital likes the way she does their account and life goes on quite nicely w/o hovering editors/QA people. BTW, who QAs the QA people on your accounts. Ever wonder?
Not all accounts are good accounts. One
That should not be the case. Sounds like you need new accountant with strong knowledge of IC deduction.  We save a several thousand on what we pay in taxes based on what I can deduct as at home IC, $2000 off the top for what I pay my child to help with office chores, as an example.  The measly 7.xx% I pay that an employer would pay is well worth my independence in being my own boss.  
I would rather do some ESLs that some of the
sloppy southern drawls that you cannot ever understand. Wish those people would learn that not everyone is in love with a southerner.
What is an ESL ..... and I agree with you completely about the time spent on GRAMMAR!!!!

They can take the smallest so-called "errors" and put a black check by your name. We are medical transcriptionists, NOT English teaches.

Any GOOD MT has equally good grammar. Plus there should be less emphasis on grammar and more emphasis on the medical terminology. Do you REALLY think the doctor cares if a comma was put in or left out? NOT !!!!

I wasted a lot of time agonizing over GRAMMAR when I could have been getting in more lines and doing what is best for the patient .... accurate medical terminology.
Bad ESLs

Wouldn't it make sense for companies with bad ESLs, to hire US MTs who speak the dictator's mother language to do the transcription? 

If it makes you feel any better, I once worked part-time for a doctor in his office. I wanted to get back into a hospital setting so I gave him my notice. He couldn't understand what I loved about being an MT. He said, "At least I have the benefit of reading their lips." AND I was once transcribing for this absolutely miserable ESL one day, pretty much the way you described, and waiting for him to hang up. Instead he was chatting with someone when I heard "I don't know how they do it, but I give them a lot of credit." I had to rewind to make sure he was talking about transcription and he was. Not all of them are that sweet. I once had to show an English book and the BOS to an extremely arrogant ESL oncologist. I hope you had a little chuckle here and feel better!
That's why AAMT is no longer a valid entity for us. The standards have been lowered to accommodate the ESLS because they can't make a decent sentence and don't know how to convey what they did or did not do to the patient. How the hell are we supposed to read their minds???? Those who can speak English and demand verbatim get what they deserve. Just the other day, the doc gave a female who had a vasectomy. He was a verbatim ESL and he got exactly what he dictated. When enough of them get sued or reprimanded, maybe standards will return, but I have no doubt in my mind that ESLs have lowered the standards at the hospitals and that's why we no longer change the dictation to make it sound like they at least passed English class. When I started it was not verbatim. We edited to change context and not content. Hospitals should make it clear they either speak clearly, or write clearly, and failing both of those, they should hire a PA or someone who can dictate like it should be, and some of the PA's aren't much better.
ESLs sm
Once they know you're good at it, expect them to send you nothing but!
Hey, we all were horrible at ESLs (and I have to be honest that I often still struggle myself), so don't feel bad about that is how it goes. :) Good luck to you.
Had it up to here with ESLs....
I used to be one of those conscientious MTs who went back and re-listened sometimes 2 and 3 times, because I hate to send blanks to QA. After this morning, NO MORE !!!! This particular ESL doesn't even say the complete word, only the first syllable which is mumbled and scrunched into the first syllable of the next word. From this moment on, I go through it once, proof it and off it goes. If it's shot full of holes, then so be it!!! I'm telling ya, Wal-Mart is looking better and better. UGH !!!!!
What about ESLs
who dictate 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, etc.? These people are prescribing medications and they can't even COUNT in English? I can see messing up and missing a number, but totally messing up like that? On more than one report?
If only the ESLs would be more
organized, be briefer, and pay attention and use normal phrasing instead of these long, awkward sentences they put together. They are strangely worded whether they are routine or made up on the fly. If only they would notice which phrases we can't understand and study the non-ELS dictators' short reports. If they could keep their reports short, we could knock them out much faster and be done with them.
Speed up the dictation and listen carefully..then repeat by slowing down the speed. Think in terms of how the ESLs would transpose certain leters. What nationality is the dictactor? Example: S might actually be a T. Hope this helps. Good luck!
I can totally relate.  I get SO fustrated with some of these ESL dictators because like you say they cannot speak decent English.  And yes I wonder how do they understand their patients?  If they can't speak English properly can they just understand it when spoken to them?  I cannot believe they actually have MDs either.  I swear sometimes I sit and just curse when trying to figure out what they are saying.  I am glad I am not the only one.  I just feel like saying if you can't even speak where I can understand what you are saying then you don't need to be a doctor.  I know being a doctor entails much more than speaking properly but geez they are terrible. 
I do a lot of ESLs too and I can actually take

an Asian with a very thick accent and do him without any blanks at all, but then I get the fast talking, slurring, nonenunciating American born doc and I have problems.  Even if I had a copy of his physical exam that he says the same every time I still would not be able to hear it because it is so slurred.

I recently started a new account and I have doctors with 13 or more letters in their last name and I just take a deep breath and prepare to have a difficult report, but they have no accent at all and then I get a Dr. John Smith and his accent is so strong that I have a headache and am cross-eyed when I get through his dictation. 

Like it or not the ESLs are here to stay and you can learn to do them or you will find your options limited, especially if you do acute care. 

Yeah she made the comment let his own people figure out what he is saying. She said this out of fustration. I for one know how fustrating it is when you are struggling to understand what a dictator is saying. You just get so fustrated. It is our job to transcribe no matter if it is an ESL or American, that is true. That doesn't mean we can't get fustrated when we have to struggle to transcribe what they say.
Also I think she meant the MTs in India are the ones doing it for 3-4 cpl. That's why alot of outsourcing goes over there because they work much cheaper. I guess what I am trying to say is I understand your point. It is our job. But I understand hers too. It is very fustrating. :)
You know that is a great way to look at it. I hope I gain something for all the struggle I have to go through to understand them. At least I will have gained some experience.
Not only the ESLs
We're being awful hard on ESLs, and alot of the defense for them is they are no worse (or possibly better) than poor-speaking English speakers. The bottom line is that if you are speaking for other people, you should speak clearly, regardless of where you are from.
I have had a real difficult time with some ESLs too. But I was on an account where basically I could do them or not work. So I pretty much had to just do it. It got a little better the more I would hear the accents. And I mean a little. Do they provide you with samples for these ESLs? That often helps alot. Good luck!
I totally agree with you. It is just as important to know how to speak it as write it if not more so in medicine. There is no excuse. It doesn't matter what nationality -- Latino, Indian, European, or Asian. It makes no difference. They should learn the language fluently to practice medicine. An accent is one thing. But just flat out not being able to communicate clearly. There is no excuse. And no you don't see ESL lawyers. At least I haven't. I am sure you will get some posts telling you you are racist or a bigot. But it won't be from me. And by no means do I have a problem with ESLs who are fluent speaking in English.
I have one who says "please use inverted commas," which means (to you and me) quotation marks.
I have also heard them refer to blood pressure as 120 by 80 for example. I don't know.
You know you are just preaching to the choir.  So what if they say 120 by 80.  You are a professional.  You should know what to put down.  If you want to gripe about something, make it something that matters. 
If ESLs want our $, should be able to
A lot of ESLs
I was told that they have a lot of ESLs so if you are ok with them you will probably like them. 
You said VR does not get ESLs
but the platform I work on does them better probably than I could. I am totally amazed it can but it does.
Well, fortunately for me, ESLs were my specialty because of my strong background in foreign languages, so I loved them when I was working. BUT I've known many excellent MTs, including my own sister, who had an extremely hard time with them and would literally weep, wail and gnash their teeth! And you're right, on some accounts, the great majority of dictators are (or were) ESLs. Why, I don't know. I retired at about the time when everything was starting to be sent offshore, a few years ago. I'm glad I was able to retire before our whole profession had gone down the tubes.
Well, fortunately for me, ESLs were my specialty because of my strong background in foreign languages, so I loved them when I was working. BUT I've known many excellent MTs, including my own sister, who had an extremely hard time with them and would literally weep, wail and gnash their teeth! And you're right, on some accounts, the great majority of dictators are (or were) ESLs. Why, I don't know. I retired at about the time when everything was starting to be sent offshore, a few years ago. I'm glad I was able to retire before our whole profession had gone down the tubes.
Probably best for ESLs.
Or really anybody who can type better than they can dictate.

My PCP has a point-and-click system and during my visits the PCP spends most of the time typing comments into the space provided. I have a feeling that a lot of providers may quickly grow weary/frustrated with the constant typing/spelling/grammar when they should be seeing patients. I'd hate to see what their medical records look like.
I have had my share of hard ESL doctors, but by far the worst dictators are English and just go too darn fast or speak sloppy.
But ALL ESLs ALL the time? Please say it isn't so!
It is your job to learn the ESLs and if you can't/won't then you need to
find a new job because you are in the wrong one.
I am very good at ESLs, but if I see an ad
that says lots of ESLs I bypass it.  Most companies have at least a few, but I figure if they post ESLs they must have a bunch or some really hard ones.   There isn't enough $$ to it for me to do it every day, unless I had just a couple of the same ones all the time and then could learn them. 
I have done ESLs I worked for SS before
Look I understand the difficulty with ESLs but for 6 months I never heard a word about my work or quality of, so just to fire me was not fair...because I am sure everyone has had a bad doctor or a bad day.. I am not starting any flame throwing but I'm sure every MT has had a doctor and said "What did he say, is that English????"  The doctors should learn how to dictate and I am sure that someone with experience could have handled it... I could not ... I asked for help no one responded because it was late at night, I'm I looking to cry on anyones shoulder, I am just stating the fact that we are a profession of experienced and newbies, everyone deserves a chance and should not be thrown away like your nothing
ESLs are hard enough for exp MTs...sm
I was wondering if you had a QA department to rely on (tell them you are sending a report with blanks and ask them to send it back to you when corrected), or if you had a leader you could have told that the ESL was just too hard, and you needed some help. I think, and hope, that QA would not mind helping in this kind of situation.

When I have a troublesome doc, I do my best to finish the report leaving blanks throughout, then I go back through the report and fill in what I can, and then send to QA or supervisor. Unfortunately, the last 2 nationals I have worked for did not look kindly on that, and one national ignored my request and never sent it back for me to learn from. (I've been transcribing for 24 years, and getting the corrected report back and being able to relisten is great way to learn, I think).

I really feel for you, and we're not garbage (new or old). Most of us have been there, done that, so please don't let this keep you down. Keep applying; you will find a job where they will support you.

I hate to recommend a national that I left because I felt so taken and the work dwindled down to nothing, but I have heard Medquist accepts new MTs. Don't work for free, but you may have to work for a reduced rate, I'm not sure. Keep your chin up fellow MT, you will find your place!
I don't think 25% ESLs is an overload and most are
fairly easy. So far, Transtech has been a great place to work, great people, plenty of work, and easy to maintain a consistent line count.
Amphion ESLs
There are many ESL doctors on some accounts.  It would depend on which one they assign you to.
tips on ESLs
I am new to acute care at a hospital where there are many ESL docs. I find it helps not to slow them down because it makes it worse. Also, try asking for the same doc because repetitive listening really helps. Good luck to you.
Of course some non-ESLs can be worse...
than the ESLs. Having said that, I prefer long reports because it forces me to type more. I don't stop typing until I have completed the report. I am happy to see a 4-minute report or higher. However, if it is a clear dictator, it doesn't matter whether it is a long or short report because I will usually forget to take a break and just keep typing away.

I get frustrated with ESLs as well,
I take exception to your statement that *whites are smarter and work harder* and *can't help it if we're born white* Do you REALLY believe that? Do you know how racist you sound? ESLs are ESLs because their primary language is something other than English---how does this prove they are are not as smart or don't work as hard as *whites*. I guess ESLs also had the choice of being something other than *white*. I feel sorry for you if this is how you genuinely feel, because you sound like a Nazi.
Discrimination and ESLs
What do you think should be done about the inferior treatment that was heaped upon other groups of people for centuries? I believe your comments were mean spirited and insensitive, and if I were you, I would search my heart and think about what is in it. ESLs help to keep MTs busy and sharpen our listening skills. One of the worst accents I ever had to transcribe for was from the United Kingdom--where "proper" English is spoken. We now live in a global society, a diverse America, and there is no going back to how things were before. Thank God for that!
Radiology usually has few ESLs.
But they may use a huge English vocabulary because many have PhDs, LOL.
All clear and no ESLs, only wish
I would be in 7th heaven if this were the case. I have my share of ESLs but the ones I have the VR picks them up much better sometimes than our English ones. I have no clue why? One English physician I think really good, the VR fails on this one??? I have some dictators (as probably all do) who talk with speaker phones, snort and go on but I am very pleased with VR and really love.