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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

I need help, fast!

Posted By: FLNewbieIC on 2006-01-03
In Reply to:

I'm losing my job at the hospital in two weeks due to outsourcing and have decided to go it on my own.  I have $800.00 in my budget to spend on a digital dictation system.  Do you suggest I buy a phone-in system or an Internet software system and what brand names of each/or do you recommend?  How much does the average one cost?

Thanks very much for your help.  I have to move fast because my money is fast dwindling down and I want to make sure I make a wise and good investment so I can get moving in trying to find clinic accounts.

Anne in Clearwater, Florida

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Prob is then you may get all fast fast fast talkers...not a fair way nm
depends how fast the MT is......No one would want to pay me by the hour because I'm fast.
how fast you can type, has little to do with how fast you can transcribe
Let's face it, we can only type as fast as the doctors dictate... worse, we can only type as fast as we can *understand* the doctors.  Given someone who slurs or has a heavy accent, someone who clears his throat constantly or shuffles through the paper, given an unfamiliar account or work type, or an area we don't have much experience in and have to look up words, etc., any and all of these things combine to make typing speed not really relative at all.  I personally type 110, but not when I'm transcribing.  I tell most folks who ask, if you type 65-75 wpm, you're solidly in the ballpark for doing medical transcription.
RUN, RUN, RUN, as fast
You do not want to work for SS. They lie, steal lines, and will work you 7 days a week for as many hours as you are willing and you won't get paid accurately. Their line counter is always "down" and you can't track lines accurately.
run very fast
I too am an ex-IC for eTranz and this company is not professional at all. I consistently received paychecks 2 weeks late. Deb Garrison, the owner, if very unprofessional, hollering on the phone, hanging up on you. There is no communication in this company whatsoever. There are some very good companies out there. Please do not work for this company.
Get out fast!!
Well you definitely need to get out fast. Easier said than done I know I lived it. He sounds like my exhusband except throw in some cheating as well. He called me every name in the book and never wanted to do anything around the house but griped about it constantly. He stayed out and drank and everything else under the sun. He was also violent and would throw things and hit things. I feel your pain. It took me one night just finally getting my fill. No crying occurred like before. No yelling. Just me calming saying that was it I would be leaving and wanted a divorce and by two weeks I was gone along with our son, not quite 3 at the time. It is hard to leave financially and emotionally but sometimes you reach that point. Get out as best you can if you can!
Run as fast as you can
from AIM platform. It is more like typing in fields such as data entry.
Need help fast
Before you jump into unchartered waters, I suggest that you start as an IC with a small national. You said you are a newbie. You still have much to learn. It takes a few years to hone your craft and be able to work independently without assistance. I would be afraid you would be biting off a little more than you can chew right now. Not trying to insult you. I have been around for a long time and would hate to see you make an investment like that and have to struggle. Find a position with a small national doing multispecialties for a couple to three years.
I'd go for a min. of $18 - now the fast MTs - sm
and the production guru's won't like this as I am sure they make more than that. But I only make $13-$15 now on production; some days down to $9/hour, depends on the dictator. But I think $18 is a fair wage, though I am sure many would disagree.
How fast can you run?
I would definitely not go that route.  It would not be my choice of transcription platform!
They want to seem as fast as possible?
Maybe because the more lines their editors do, the more they (the company) get paid by the hospitals? I dunno ...
fast fox
Fast Fox by NCH, the Expander by the people that gave you Express Scribe. It has been good for me, it is easy and CHEAP. Go to NCH.com to download a free trial.

No I don't work for NCH but I tried it because I always like express scribe.
Fast dictators

When are these ******** doctors going to figure out that by dictating 100 miles per hour they are NOT going to get an accurate accounting of their patient encounter????  I feel like I'm being set up to fail.  I don't care how much experience we transcriptionists have, if you're going to dictate a three page report if 1.5 minutes, SOMETHING is going to get missed or screwed up.  I hope that extra three minutes they saved themselves throughout their busy day is worth it when the patient's chart gets the wrong data and somewhere down the line a big mistake is made.  I've had a terrible morning, struggling with Mr. All-Important who dictates vital signs as one long rambling of numbers, never in the same order (one time it will be weight first, then pulse, blood pressure, respirations and the next time it will be blood pressure first, then weight, then respirations, then pulse) -- I've had it!!!!!  I've got so many blanks in this batch of reports that I'm embarrased to turn them in. 

Thanks for letting me vent.  I'm not a bad transcriptionist.


Speaking too fast
Wake up call -- they speak too fast so they can blame you for any mistakes. The same with those who write poorly - "That's not what I said." Another reason is they are too cheap to take the time to speak slowly, have to keep making those $$$. It's all about the money - not the patient. It also gives them a sense of "power" over you. You'll catch on.
Well it's pretty fast. SM

Brown your hamburger and maybe drain it if you don't buy extra lean. Add chopped onion and 2 cloves garlic, stir it all up till the onion is clear. Add salt, a smidge of sugar, just a little. Chopped bell pepper if you like that. Then add chili powder till it looks right, add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce (I don't like paste, but if you do, I guess you could use that). Ground cumin.

I'm no Texan, so I like beans in my chili. Pork & beans used to be $.22 per can so we got a taste for those in our chili, LOL. That's what I use.

Did I forget anything? Oh, if it looks too clear and orange, you can make a paste out of a tiny bit of flour and water and thicken it with that. Simmer. Serve.

Any chili cooks out there? Did I forget anything? I just make it without thinking!

You can also use chili seasoning in a packet but I don't like that as well, personally.

Not so fast sunnyMT (sm)

EMTEE's duh was not directed to you, it was to the subject they typed in their response (digital records instead of digital recorders)

Philips makes digital recorders that do not require a docking station.  The DPM-9360 is one of the cheaper ones.  It can use either a USB cable or memory card for transferring files.

Try looking at WinZip for securing the files.  Email is not a secure method of tranfer and if the files were intercepted, it would be a HIPAA violation.  Using a password to zip the files with WinZip will make them secure for transfer and zipping will make the files smaller allowing you to download them quicker.

Fast Chart
Any info about Fast Chart? 
Geewhiz, that's fast. Don't know how you do it!!
I bow before thee. Hahaha
That was fast for you Jodi!

My ex kept playing games,scheduled the pick-up over 11 times, each time the police had to be here and set up in advance, so they were not happy at all.  Realtor called the judge because the house showing did not do well with a 2 car garage packed with all his junk.

Judge finally "ordered" him to show up on a date SHE chose and if he did not, then his stuff (including his furniture) would be picked up by a local battered womens shelter and the Salvation Army! 

7 months post exist he showed up with some help but the cops who had previously sat around waiting for him also showed up off an on (besides the 2 there to protect me) and did some subtle irritating

Keep reaching for that star Jodi, it will all work out for you.  You've taken the most important step in gaining control of YOUR life again and freedom with security is sweet!

you are right! I read too fast!
I had to purchase the StartStop foot pedal for $200. The first day was a nightmare. The second day was worse. The third day was just pathetic, but the fourth day was okay after I sent them a nasty email. I had to explain to them, I was a Transcriptionist and not a translator. They put me on another account with doctors speaking English and as soon as I got my line count decent, they put me back on the ESLs. Their accounts are 99% ESLs. When I say ESL, I mean they do not speak any English whatsoever, i.e. "thrappy" is therapy and "palowang" is electrogram <---- I am still trying to figure that 1 out. Their QA/editor must be an online transcription course poster and have no experience in grading a transcriptionist's work. They constantly change your report, spell it wrong, and then turn it in to the client with words misspelled under your name. Then to top it off, they send you nasty emails stating your accuracy rating is low due to mistakes. When you go view the corrected report, your report was actually right and they were the one who changed it for no reason because they do not have grammar, medical terminology, etc. So I would not take any offer with them. They are more of a learning transcription company who have not mastered transcription itself. Therefore, they are not capable of grading an experienced transcriptionist's work because they are still learning.
Running away fast...
Thank you as well NM, I will certainly take your advice!!!

fast docs
Why don't you get with the office manager and get copies of their standards and then all they have to do is say "use my usual or make changes". Mine were too happy to do this because they HATE dictating as much as we hate hearing them like that. And, I still got my line pain in spite of using normals.
depends on how fast you are as an MT

its difficult to get any sort of speed i.e. production, as an Editor whereas as an MT, if paid by the line, the faster you are, the more money you make. The people who make more money as editors are generally slower typists or else people who really have heard and done it all.

oops...too fast! There should be

an employment area on the site to let you know if they are hiring in all departments.  At least, this is what I have found when I googled our area hospitals.  Hope this helps. 

How fast do you type? I do about 130 wpm.
I think that when one is a good, fast MT, when those - sm
requests to work extra hours or fill in for extra accounts, the answer to that question always has to be, "Since this is extra work for me, how much extra are you going to pay me for this work to make it worth my while?" If they aren't willing to pay their top-notch MTs a premium wage to do that "important" work, then let someone else do it. My time off to be with friends and family is worth a lot to me, and it's going to take something substantial in the way of an incentive in order to convince me to give up my "R&R" time.

does everybody have fast internet but me? sm
If you do not have it, what do you do for a solution? It is so frustrating. I can't move, I can't get it, no one wants satellite, forget dialup. Just wonder what the rest of the world does out there.
I believe it is Talk As Fast As You Can Day sm
My NPs, PAs and most of the docs are talking faster than the speed of sound today. I have to run them on real slow just to hear them talk normal.
Naturally Fast?

I am fairly new on here and realize I am asking a lot of different questions (hope you don't mind).

I am wondering if most people who end up fast enough to make a decent living at transcription are fairly fast from the start, or if one can really increase over time.  I am really struggling financially and don't want to give up, but I also don't want to spend endless time in a field that just isn't for me.

Any stories?

Naturally fast
I feel I am just naturally fast. Yesterday I transcribed 2000 lines in 6 hours without pushing. I learn new accounts quickly, including ESL. Technology has definitely made me more productive. It sounds corny, but I feel like I was "born" to do this. Like I said, corny.
Any not naturally fast out there?
I can see I am not naturally fast, so I'd really like to know if there are those out there who had to work at getting fast (and were able to).

Any testimonies will be very much appreciated!
If you are Fast and Good
MDI of Gaithersburg Maryland will pay 10 cents a line do not promise more than you can type or they will make you prn like they did me.
I do VR, have my speed as fast as I can get and
I only average about 357 lph. There is no way I could get 1000 - my speed would not even go that fast.
She has probably promised a fast TAT.
It must really nice pay to put up with that sort of a schedule. :-)
ever gonna be fast enough?
Oh boy!  I can only hope to ever move so fast I burn up a keyboard!
Question for Fast MTs

What does it look like to be fast?  I read somewhere that one can gain speed by watching someone who is fast.

Is anyone willing and able to film themselves and put it on You Tube?  I could use the help. 

This job is not about how fast you type, SM

but how smart you type; meaning using lots of macros. There are numerous books on the topic *** to get ideas. It's not about speed.

*** Edited by Moderator

Fast Chart, Inc.
Anyone work for Fast Chart or know anything about them?
Fast typing
It takes quite a bit of experience and knowledge to be able to produce high line counts. I have seen some new transcriptionists that can transcribe 1000 to 1200 lines a day within six months, and some take years. There is no hard and fast rule and, for my part at least, we have no minimum requirements for daily production. However, what an MT can produce or the number of hours they want to work may determine the volume of work they get, depending on accounts available. This may account for some of the MTs who complain there is no work available on their accounts. That's another reason we cross-train on all accounts.

Nobody said they were fast and inaccurate...
When people are shopping for an expander, they want to know how it will improve productivity. It doesn't mean we don't care about accuracy.
i'm not too fast either (comparatively)
and i do approximately 1100-1200 in 6 hours, with high volume of ESLs, BUT, i do have lots of experience with same and their not that bad of ESLs as some either. But if you are not too fast and not experienced with them, then i think you're going to have problems reaching that number...
If you already set the speed as fast it will
look for other places to improve production. With the speed that fast, do you have to stop the audio to make corrections?

If you have to add headings or correct the same phrase or term frequently, do you have shorts set up? Is all of your reformatting, like creating numbered lists from paragraphs or vice versa, automated? Do you use all the Word-based navigation shortcuts to move around the text?

The fewer times you have to stop the audio to make a correction and the fewer keys you have to strike to get the correction made, the better your line count will be.

If you are listening at the fastest speed, seldom stopping the audio, using an expander/AutoText/AutoCorrect, and utilizing all production shortcuts available in the platform and in Word, then you probably have reached your peak production.
Fast Chart
Does anyone have any information about Fast Chart? I applied for a position there and am curious to know if it is a good company.
Fast Chart

It could be better, but could be worse.  Pay is low, but there seems to be plenty of work and pay is on time.  They seem very friendly and tend to leave you alone to do your job.

QA may or may not be "friendly" but do not tell the QA anything that you don't want repeated to the owner.  Pay attention to details and always confirm, in writing by email or otherwise, your understanding of anything important that is discussed in a phone call, especially with regards to the account assignment, pay and contract.  For instance, you may be told that an account with XXX specialty is not available and then find them advertising within just a few days for that same specialty.

They seem to be a bit disorganized, with account specs being rather vague and incomplete.

They are very flexible and allow you to determine your own schedule monthly; however, they do require weekend work.

IMHO, Fast Chart is a pretty good company compared to some of the other choices in the industry right now.


Fast Chart
I have been at Fast Chart for a little over 2 years.  I did start off at 6 cent typing 3 cent editing and worked my way up quickly.  They pay headers, footers and spaces.  The accounts are easy and the people are always available to answer questions.  I know they do not send anything to india.  The owner is adamant about keeping work in the US.  The edit script platform I am on is so user friendly.  I am so glad to have a job with consistent work and receive my money on time.  I say go for it.
Fast Track
I wanted to thank all of you for your responses. I don't want to make less than I do now, which is 4 edit/8 typing. It's just that it seems like what we are doing is "softening up" the accounts so they can be transferred overseas. That is very discouraging, especially when you have been on an account for over a year
Fast Chart

Actually, I understood it a little differently.  Fast Chart seems to have two fees.  The $7.50 per pay period is if you do not commit to at least 13,000 lines per pay period.  There's another larger fee if you do not reach your promised line count, based on the percent of your promised lines that you DO produce.

As an IC, wouldn't these fees be somehow tax deductible?

Fast Chart
Yep.  And a friend of mine told me that she was chastised by the company President for communicating too much with the QA and other administrators by email.  She asked too many questions.  I guess they prefer her to figure it all out by herself and not bother them.
You would need to be extremely fast on your
computer in order to straight type 3000 lines per day. I never did that many and said before, used to have people seek me out in the office as they would hear me typing fast and they wanted to watch me. Straight probably for me never got over 2500 if that. Having said that, had 2 bosses at different times and would be willing to say both probably consistently got that per day. Your speed, I would think, would have to be around 150 to 160 or higher. Can you do that?
Call in the professionals unless you think it will dry really fast.