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Daily minutes - time per tape

Posted By: Patti on 2006-04-27
In Reply to: Just wondering, for you MTSOs, about how many patients/reports per day... - curious

I have two Internal Medicine docs that average 25 to 35 minutes per day which equals about 500 to 600 lines each.  (time to do each tape 1 to 1.25 hours per tape)     Monthly line count is about 15,000 to 16,000 per month average .

Two oncology surgeons that dictate three days per week -- one is 25 to 30 minutes per day which can equal up to 1000 lines as a  lot of letters and consults the other surgeon is shorter about 10 to 15 minutes and equals about 300 to 400 per day. (time to do tape -- long ones about 1.5 hours and short about 20 to 30 minutes -- good money maker)  Monthly line count is about 11,000 to 12,000 per month

Plastic surgeon -- short chart notes only 10 minutes = 100 lines per day - 3 days per week.  Only get about 1000 lines per month if he has some letters.

Hand surgeon - some IME's, chart notes - 2 days per week depends but usually about 30 to 40 minutes per day.    About 4500 to 5000 lines per month.

Psychologist -- 3 to 5 psych consults - ADHD children - 35 to 40 minutes per report with accompanying letter about 600 to 700 lines per report/letter.  (takes me about 1.25 hours per report/letter)  About 4500 lines per month.

I have been doing these for so long I can type them in my sleep. 

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OMG! I was in shock for about 10 minutes first time I saw that!
Weird, but funny
How much time does it take you to do 60 minutes of dictation?
I talked to a newbie just the other day who has taken a course but has just started his first job and he blows my time clear out of the water!  I may  not be the fastest typer but 60 minutes in a couple of hours!  Does that seem real?
OMG!!! Why do ESL's sit there not dictating for 5 minutes at a time????
Geez, as if they're not annoying enough when they actually ARE talking! 
But, if you don't need a lot of minutes per month it costs BIG TIME.
My UPS has an estimated battery time of 19 minutes
which gives me enough power to finish the report I'm working on and shut down my computer correctly.
Well, collectively it probably took 20 minutes of my time to post today.
My kids are out and about. I did all my work. I'm a good girl, you see! I don't really get your perceived "jab" at me at all.  Why do you think that because I am in favor of someone being an MT and keeping their precious baby at home as opposed to in day care, that somehow that means I say I spend every minute of my life focused on my kids? I really think when you respond like this, its because you are not confident in your own life - I won't delve deeper, but you feel guilty. Guilty enough to have to make fun of me and put imaginary words in my mouth.  I never said a whisper or innuendo that MT mothers with kids at home have to focus every second of their lives on their kids. That's ridiculous! We all know that!  And I assume you're the same poster above about camp? You use the same SM.  I am sorry to disappoint you that I don't understand your "revelation" about my identity! I never said a word here about camp, and don't follow that thought at all.  The OP asked if she could do it - be an MT and have a baby at home. I recognize another poster from below, childfree by choice. She and I have had some wonderful debates in the past, and I think we usually agree to disagree! But certainly nice meeting you, I think??
5 minutes tops; if not tend to waste too much time - sm
google what you think it may be, or key terms in the phrase and usually you can figure it out that way pretty quickly.

I'm not wasting 45 minutes of my time for a 2 minute voice file.
I'm not wasting my time on a physician who can't or won't speak half way decently, English born or not. I don't have to work for crappy doctors. I found ones who are willing to make an effort if they can't speak English, they try and spell things as do my English docs. I've been an MT for a VERY long time. I'm an excellent MT and have nothing to prove to you. Have a wonderful holiday season filled with KINDNESS. Try being a little less judgmental. Sounds like you ride atop a very high horse.
I used to say he nursed for 30 minutes every 30 minutes. I was trying to figure
out a way to strap him across my chest so he could help himself while I went about whatever it was I had to do.    I really miss those days too.  
ATT- I was paying $320 for 7000 minutes, I am now paying $175 for 5000 minutes in CA. nm
Tape - sm
I just saw some down the street from me, it was yellow with black letters saying "CAUTION".
There is a tape
and available at most Home Depot or Lowe's stores.  Bright yellow with black lettering.  Used it on our home when we had a major disaster so no one would fall in major holes in our yard.  Worked well.
A few years ago I was shopping for Halloween goods and in a store like I-Party they have that tape for Halloween - try one of those stores. I bought some years ago for a mummy and coffin for front yard. Just an idea.
that is why I tape them
I'll watch them while I iron, etc. Then I don't feel so guilty for "just watching TV". Plus you can zip through the commercials.
The one I used did not use tape
Sorry, I don't remember make or model, it was a while ago. But I would dial into the hospital's dictation system. That was where the voice files were stored. I had to have a dedicated phone line with unlimited long distance for the C-phone.
I too used to tape the tape together (sm)
You might lose a bit of dictation where you are taping it together, but I was usually able to salvage most of it. Good luck! :)
Anyone know how to erase tape with...

a Lanier transcriber?  Bought it on ebay and do not see an erase function.



Tape erase

A lot of people also have disabled the erasing mechanism so that tapes cannot accidentally be erased and have to manually erase them.   I have always done that to prevent it after my first accidental erasure.  Other than allowing the tape to play forward without background noise, to tape over what is there,  no answers here and have been using tapes for 15+ years.   A manual eraser cost is cheap.  


Tape eraser
You might wish to invest in a tape eraser; the one I have is from a company by the name of Geneva. The device consists of some strontium-ferrite magnets in a housing; just pass the tape through the housing and it is erased. The part number and description are as follows:

Audio cassette / mini-data cartridge eraser QM-230

Phone: 1-800-328-6795
Hope this helps.

Do you have a tape transcriber, or does it have to be
voice files?  I have some practice dictation minicassette tapes here that I'd be willing to send you.  As for the voice files, you could try Google searching.  I typed in "medical transcription" practice sound files download   but don't really have time to search through the results.  I don't even know if there's anything out there.
tape her or get it in an e-mail or IM, something
try barricade tape
or cordoning tape, but I didnt find much on that
To MTs who transcribe via tape- SM

I found great, low-cost software that allows you to convert tapes to digital files (MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.).  Check out www.dak.com !  Your PC needs a sound card and a line-in connection (usually next to your line out to plug in your headset or speakers), as well as a tape player and an actual line that plugs from your PC line-in to your tape player.  Think they call that line a male-to-male or male-to-female or something like that (got my line from www.martelelectronics.com).  Use Dak to convert your music cassettes, too.  Hope this helps!

P.S., I'm an MT, not from DAK

The end of the tape becomes detached
from the spool and is no longer winding outside the case/housing. It is all wound on one spool. Our office manager has been able to repair some by taking the tape apart and reattaching to the spool, so we can get some of the info off of it, but by handling the tape, etc. it distorts it to where we can't hear some of what was dictated and we lose some notes. Thanks! I will suggest one of those brands.
I never got rid of my tape-player or my -sm
typewriter. You just never know what sort of disaster could come up in the future, where those things would be a real life-saver. And amazingly, PCs never increased my daily work output. It actually DECREASED a bit once we went to PCs.
One tape about 2 hours.
or make templates.
Broken tape

HELP!  I have had a microcassette tape break.  Any ideas on how to fix it (if possible!)? 


fixing tape
I had that happen quite a few times - take a very small piece of scotch tape and splice the pieces together- cut the scotch tape as narrow as the cassette tape is so that it will line up on the rollers.  You will lose the dictation at that spot - probably a sentence or so - but it's better than nothing. On mine, I had to pry open the cassette case because the ends were inside.  If you end up having to do that, pry it open carefully. Hope this helps. 
Scotch tape
Try putting a little scotch tape over the letters.  You can rewrite them with a fine sharpie.
I have 2 tape accounts.

I love it!  It is so cut and dry.  I throw the tape in and start typing.  You may save time so people think by going digital, but it takes time to upload and download voice files.  I just find that throwing the tape and typing is just simple!  Of course, I'm a simple person.

In answer to your question, yes I think you may have something there as the tape doctors do not want to go digital because they like doing things simply.  They don't want a lot of hassle, and yes, I do believe there are physicians that still like the old method.  Some do not think that digital is very user friendly. 

The other problem with digital is there needs to be someone in the office doing the uploading, which mean the physician is paying them to do that.  With the tape, the doctor puts it in a folder with his patient list at the end of the day, and then leaves it for me.  The only thing required by the office staff is the copying and mailing when I bring the work back usually anywhere from 3-4 days later.  They do not require 24-hour turnaround, which is great.  But, if they do need a note, which happens very rarely, I can simply fax it over to the office.

I am quite content with my tape accounts and the other thing I like is the networking.  I can network with the office staff and feel like a movie star since they don't see me every day.  They usually stop what they are doing for a friendly quick chat, which is very nice.  I have business cards that I carry just in case someone mentions to me that so and so is looking for a transcriptionist. 

Broken tape. sm.
I just broke my dictation tape while rewinding it.  Should I try to open it and put it back on the wheel.  Any ideas.   I has three days of dication on it.   Thanks.
if you need to cut it, you can tape it back together.
mangled tape
I was able to take the cassette apart to get the tape inside unmangled, but now I'm trying to figure out how to roll it back up as tight as I can so it doesn't happen again, and I don't know how to do that. I have a few feet of tape hanging out and I can't roll it tight by hand unless I want to spend days on it, and it still may night be tight enough around the spool. The tape is intact so I don't think I need any splicing. I'm think right now this is just ridiculous that I'm having to do this and yes, the doctor is technotarded. He kept erasing his dictation accidentally on the digital recorder so went back to using cassette tapes.
tape broke
Did you hear me scream? I guess I'll cut and tape and try it from there.
mangled tape
A company I found on the web called audio-restoration.com repaired a tape for me.  The cost was $25.00.  The doctor's office paid for it because it beat having to redictate 1-1/2 hours of dictation.  It took about five days to get the tape back.
Do you have a tape in the machine?--sm
If there is no tape with dictation, there would be nothing for the machine to indicate. My Lanier has a counter but is not this model. This site has info on the 210--http://www.transcribesolutions.com/lavwmicama2.html

Hope this helps.

erase tape update

See below, don't want to rewrite the entire thing but it did all work out.   Basically I had put the envelope and tape from one day in a different spot due to being in a hurry and the other one the doc did not hand in as he was going on vacation.  So when both were gone, I thought I had erased them and handed them back in.  When I told the doc that I thought I had erased one and he grinned at me and gave me the tape, he told me to include some extra charge for the time I spent looking for the tape -- so it did all work out.  God just threw me a curve to tell me to slow down.   I averaged 2500 to 3000 lines per day last week and that was with one doctor on vacation.  So just hurried, hurried, hurried.   Thank you to all of you for your support, it really helped me in a tme of need.   Patti



Also many offer $30 for a 60 minute tape -sm
so if 600 lines you get a whole .05 a line, WOW!! I have only seen 1 I was remotely interested in doing so far, but have not bid on any as yet, doubt I ever will.
All the different colors of correct-tape!

Sure does bring back memories.  I remember sitting at my Selectric in my basement when I was a newbie back in 1975 crying my eyes out because I had just finished a 3 page report and the doc wanted me to insert a paragraph at the beginning of the report!  There was no "memory" back then and the whole thing had to be retyped just to add one paragraph!  I remember them fondly, but am much happier with my computer!  Thanks for the walk down memory lane, though!


Oh no! Tape missed part ....

I have Desperate Housewives and Grey's preset to tape every week.  Wasn't thinking with the Super Bowl that Grey's would start late.  The tape cut off right after Dr. Burke sent everyone out of OR except for 2 other people.  He had just told the EMT that her hand was keeping the man from bleeding out and the bomb squad was coming.  Then <poof> that was it!  What happened next?  Anyone, please?  Thanks.

I don't think anyone is saying give up a tape account but
I think what started this whole thing is a person asking about how to go about getting a new account, picking up tapes, how much to charge for paper or whatever. In that case, I think OP should research the options out there and start with the approach to go digital first, then accept a tape account only if you have to. Of course you don't give up an account. No way. Never. Ever.
Re: Going rate for tape tx/delivery
The only advice I can offer, since I have never been in business for myself, is to state where you live. Rates can vary by region.
If you mean one side of a mini tape
For my private mds, each side of a tape yields approximately 500 lines, takes me no more than 2 hours to do a side, sometimes 1-1/2 hours if I'm a speed demon and take no breaks!! 
huh? even if you speed up tape you'll
albeit, if the OP does speed up tape, she'll make those lines quicker! 
I'd go for at least $60 a tape; if 600 lines then .10 a line - sm
but I would not go any lower than that. If you can get a sample and do a count that would be the best way of course to figure out a fair rate so you don't get the short end of the stick. Obviously try to use an Expander to its best ability so you can maybe get your time down to 4 hours, which would be a reasonable time to do 60 minutes of work. Plus printing and delivery, yeah, no lower than $60. Think I'd go for at least $72 since you are doing printing and delivery.
Broken tape memories
One of my docs about 15 years ago broke a tape and he spent more time putting the tape back together than it would have been if he had redictated. Another time, the same doc walked in my office and handed me the tape while I was running a finished tape through the little erase box and I immediately took it out of his hand and erased it right in front of him. I almost died. He always dictated on half speed to get more on a tape. What would you have done if you did that?
Sounds like tape delivery sm
Do you still do tapes? I would like to do this, so there is hope. I am going to retire and want to offer such service to those docs who have not gone digital. Am I going backwards? Yes, but I would like the flexibility of a 48-hour turnaround and going back to what I used to do. I like it better, as I was totally in charge of my own destiny. Don't laugh, I loved it!!! As long as it's close by. I live in New England. I loved the one-on-one contact with the client, etc., and I was appreciated! Let me know if anyone is still doing this horse and buggy type work.
Tape crisis solved-so far
I manually wound the tape up, holding it taught with one hand while winding with the other. It only took an hour. So far, so good. Thanks for the responses. If it ends up getting mangled again, you will all hear me scream wherever you are:)
I suspect it's another newbie doing a test tape to get a job




Any first year terminology student wouldn't have to ask about these elementary MT words.  It's a cheater trying to pass a test she is in no way qualified to be taking.

so then why did you LIE and say you were doing a practice tape of your friends??? if it truely was a
barricade tape it was, but can only find it online and need