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Questions re equipment

Posted By: Karen L. on 2007-12-27
In Reply to:


I'm thinking of setting up so a local physician can call in to dictate and I can transcribe her work for quick TAT. I've been working for services for the last few years, so am out of the loop as far as equipment. I've researched the Dictaphone Straight Talk system, but I wonder if there is something else "out there" that would be better, cheaper, etc. Any information or suggestions from anyone would be appreciated.




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Questions re equipment
I'm looking for something that will eliminate the transport of tapes between the dictator and me. I know the doctor has a hand-held, but I don't want to have to be fetching tapes and returning them. Any ideas?
Questions re equipment

Now you're talking about things I don't understand or know about. Digital transfer of voice files would be great but I need info on equipment, software, etc. I need to know what equipment is best, wha software to use, recommendations, etc.  I need the what, how, who, where, how much on this. I have researched, but I'm getting confused. I thought maybe someone with such a system could provide suggestions, locations, where to buy, etc. 


Thanks again,



Use Technical board for equipment/software questions, please. (NM)
Meditech questions and Cerner questions. Any input is appreciated. SM

I just recently went back to work in the office at a local hospital. We type in both Meditech and Cerner, depending on what you are typing, i.e. Medical Records reports versus Radiology.  We are currently typing blindly in Meditech, meaning we do not have access to our line counts and must depend on management to give us our totals.  In Cerner, we are able to run a line count report and print out a hard copy of our line counts at the end of the day.

We are finding that 800 lines in Cerner equals about 500 lines in Meditech.  We are not paid per line nor do we have an incentive plan, but we have a new HIM Director who would like to institute an incentive plan and the administrator over our department has laid down the law and decreed that all transcriptionists not making minimum in the department will be written up.  Problem is according to Meditech line totals that we have been given, that would be about half the department.

The transcription supervisor has taken our concerns to the new director who told the MT Supervisor to hold off on writing people and has taken home all the line counts from the last month and she is going over them with a fine tooth comb this weekend.

I am not a very trusting soul by nature, so I am doing a little research on my own.  I've been in this business for about 15 years.  I started out in a hospital and have worked for a few services at home and am now back in the hospital setting.  So I know a few things about line count and I consider myself to be pretty well informed on trends and technology in the industry.   I would like to walk into our next department meeting armed with as much knowledge as possible.  So I have come up with some questions that I would like some fellow MTs to answer, give opinions, and maybe even direct me to websites or individuals who could give me a better understanding of Meditech and Cerner.  Here are my questions:


  1. Is it possible for an MT to have access to her line count in Meditech or is strictly a management function?  Any MTs that work in Meditech on this board, do you currently have access to your line counts and if so, how do you check them?  Is it an option on the main menu after you log into Meditech?

  2. How is a line defined in Meditech?  (i.e. 65 cpl, with spaces, without spaces)

  3. How is a line defined in Cerner?

  4. What abbreviation Expanders work with both Meditech and Cerner?

  5. Examples of incentive plans (if anyone would like to share that with me that would be great, if not I completely understand).

  6. Measuring productivity by minutes of dictation versus typed lines.

    1. What would be the minimum minutes required for an 8-hour day?

    2. How would one structure an incentive program based on minutes?

I was thinking of presenting the idea that we keep track of productivity using minutes instead of lines since there is such a discrepancy in Meditech.  I also worry that if an incentive plan is put into place and we are still typing blind into Meditech, what's to keep management from shaving off a few lines here and there?

Feel free to email me or post here any responses.  Either is fine.  I really appreciate any input, comments, or just plain old supportive posts would be nice too! 


I have done some research and are willing to share if you want to E-mail me and maybe between the three of us we can figure this out as I have 3 different accounts that I want to switch over to digital.  So E-mail me and we can share info.


Patti -- pjsword@aol.com

We currently use the Audioworxs system and have it hosted by Gacela Group for our tech support. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions about the system. For more information you might check out the website at www.gacelagroup.com.

My doc wanted to go digital so I had him purchase the equipment. If you purchase you are responsible for repairs and such.
IC DO pay for their own equipment, etc.
Poster doesn't say what the situation is but you're wrong to state that you don't pay for your tools to do work--I'm an IC and it's my responsibility to have what I need to do the work.
Example of EMR equipment - what do you think? sm

Does anyone have a doctor who is already using something like this:  http://www.mdtablet.com/demo.asp

I have such mixed feelings about this (EMR).  On one hand, I think the technology is awesome, and I think it makes so much of sense to have our medical info. available electronically (pretty much immediately) instead of a doctor having to request a hard copy and wait for it to be mailed or whatever (like when you change PCP doctors or go to a specialist or whatever). 

On the other hand, is every doctor going to be running around with one of these handheld devices in his/her pocket, with all this medical info. on people?  What if they lose it?  How secure and accurate is the info. really?  And of course I won't even go into the effect EMR will have on our jobs as MTs. 

BTW, I saw this "MD Tablet" thing in the background when I was watching a story on Nightline.  The story was about how the super rich in America are pretty much oblivious to the state of the economy, and still carry on with their usual lifestyle, spending money lavishly.  No cutbacks for them to worry about.  The one rich guy they were showing is involved in this MD Tablet product. Ever feel like, as MTs, we are sooo on the wrong side of things?  LOL

Because QAs often have a better equipment.
Not because they know more, they HEAR it better. But not all of them.
The core problem in this profession are crappy dictations and not maintaining their equipment by doctors.
Then why don't you just buy better equipment???nm

Regarding better equipment
Even without better equipment, often when they start listening to your blanks they will be plain as day.

If I have a blank toward the beginning of my report and go back to listen after finishing the report, I will many times understand it as well. There is something about hearing it out of context that makes it understandable.

This isn't always the case, (obviously sometimes it's just plain not understandable), but it happens more than you think.
What companies provide equipment?
To all MTs, keep your equipment sm
current, same with software, keep up on today's transcription standards, don't end up like this person above who has stayed comfortable all these years and suddenly needs to find a job.
Help on equipment board please. nm
There is no equipment involved.
I use my own computer. I don't use any of their stuff.
Lightning and Equipment
Had a bolt of lightning melt the components in my Dictaphone several years' ago. Had it plugged into an expensive surge protector. Dictaphone rep said I was very lucky I did not have the headphones on when it struck. Also told me if lightning strikes close enough, no surge protector can handle it.
does anyone have backup equipment?

I have a second computer available, but I'm seriously considering getting a second Dictatphone system. I've already had headsets and foot pedals go on me.

Anyone else?

Back-up equipment
I have a back-up laptop, just in case.  Good thing, too.  Just a couple of months after I got laptop, PC had to go to the shop, lol.  I don't use a call-in system but if I did, I would probably get back-up. I figure if you have the back-up stuff, just in case, you will usually never need it.  If you don't have it, you will wish you did.
Equipment For Lease
Hi! I would be doing part time transcription for two months and would need micro casette transcriber. Does anybody know if there is any company that lease transcription equipment. Thanks in advance.
Lease Equipment

Do you need a cassette transcriber. I bought one from ebay that works great. Think it was about $80.00 and never used it. Will sell it to you for the same. Or you can try EBAY.
my email:

Hope this helps.

Equipment Donation
Does anyone know of a tax charity to donate Lanier transcription equipment?
e-bay, equipment board here, probably any

transcription equipment company. 

yes, they provide equipment. NM
Need help on equipment board..
See equipment board...
Basic equipment

I know I am of the "old school" but I think that you do need to have some basic equipment on hand when you are advertising to do transcription.  You don't have to have everything but a basic microcassette is not that much money.  Any account that I have gotten -- though it was years ago -- asked me what equipment I had and if I did not have what they needed --they searched elsewhere.  That is why I invested in my transcribers starting with the micro, then standard and then mini.  All accounts had me start within a week of talking with them.   Last year when I was thinking of expanding and had a couple of inquiries when they found out that I was not immediately set up to do digital -- though I told them I would buy the equipment and get set up -- did not hear back from them.  So I think you need the basics so that you are ready to go when they ask.  Since she has been working for a national already, she has her foot pedal and can do digital, just get a transcriber for the tapes --most of the smaller offices still go with the tapes.  But again, I am of the old school and have not looked for new clients for a while.  But I sure would not advertise or attempt to get accounts without the equipment and being ready to go at a minute's notice since they might use me for overflow and I could get my foot in the door.  A client does not like to hear,  I will be set up in a week for you or ten days.   Though they can say it, when they want your service and you are solicting for the business you had better be ready to do it.  Just me.


Equipment help -URGENT

Is anyone using the Voice Solutions DA-128?  If so, could you look at the power source and tell me the input and output voltage specs?  I recently moved and lost my transformer!  I need to find a replacement in order to work! 

Equipment question
I am about to start an internship. I am very excited but need some equipment. I would like to know if there is a good free word Expander that I could download from the internet. Also I need a foot this is the brand - Start Stop PEDAL POWER for EMDAT Inscribe®pedal. Does anyone know where I could find a good used version of the footpedal? As I have said I am just getting started and I really don't have extra funds right now to buy these but I want to be able to do my job and do it well.

One last equipment question. :)
Does anyone do their transcription on a laptop?  .... using a cordless keyboard, maybe?  I want to get a laptop so I can work when I travel.  This seems like it would be possible as long as I don't need a C-phone or Lanier and all work is done over the Internet.  I'm wondering what I would need to look for when shopping for a laptop, since most transcription techies seem to have no idea!
Should provide equipment for doc?sm
Am IC who does transcription for local MDs -- want to go digital - Should I purchase the equipment or should ask MD to do this??  help
Need special equipment
I did some overflow for a company that did this and it was terribly hard to hear, reception was very poor.  But I do know that you need to play the tapes onto the digital player or whatever it is called and then download to your computer, upload to the FTP site.   And the sound quality is  not good at all, at least to me it wasn't.  But good luck.  
If you have any company equipment or
supplies, you might want to mention when and how they will be returned. Some employers withhold the final check until they have everything back.

As far as giving an explanation, I don't think that details are necessary.
Most companies have an at-will employment policy, which works both ways.

Good luck in your new job!
Equipment forums say you have to really hit
Since they have Dictaphone equipment sm
maybe Dictaphone could set them up with Transnet. Just a thought. Don't know the cost, though.
what kind of equipment do you need?
I thought I saw a position posted here not long ago, but Cphone was required. I am interested, too, in case you are not already flooded with requests.
MTs who "steal" equipment

I was just wondering how any of you feel, AS A COMMUNITY...about medical transcriptionists that take jobs, get equipment, but never work and suddenly dont answer calls or emails, but keep your equipment.  I am not talking about just MTSOs out there, but even the little ole MT that hires someone to help with an account or overflow.  This has happened and I am not sitting and waiting for at least four people to return equipment that suddenly arent available for emails, phone calls, anything.  BUT they have hudnreds in equipment.  I am not MEDQUIST, so cant afford to just chalk it up.  AND PLEASE DO NOT SAY THAT IS THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS.  I think that just shows the sad state we have entered into to feel that theft from someone be considered a cost of doing business.  We are a small enough community that I would hope this is not truly how anyone feels....hey take a job...take the equipment and run.  That is just plain horrible.

Why cant this board allow names like that to be posted?  Enough is always posted about bad companies, but why not for something like this?  Why should others take the chance of this happening also?

THis just really saddens me.


MTs who "steal" equipment
Just a thought, but since they never worked to begin with, maybe they were'nt MTs at all and it's a just a crook's scam to get some equipment to sell for some quick cash. Did these people take a test? Or were you going on their resume?

? re: airports and MT equipment
I will be making a trip soon and hope to be able to work some while I am gone.  Has anyone experienced any difficulties with traveling with a laptop and foot pedal recently?  I would like to take it as a carry on due to the expense of replacement.
HELP! What type of MT Equipment should I buy?
I am only a recent MT graduate, and I would really like to hear from an experienced Transcriptionist as to what type of transcription equipment you use most.  I am a little overwhelmed and don't want to purchase digital equipment if Drs don't even really do digital...any advice would be a huge help!
They should be paying for the return of the equipment - sm
When I worked for Diskriter, they made a call to UPS to have the equipment picked up and sent back to them in Pittsburgh. All I had to do was box it up.

Do not let them bully you or threaten you by holding your check until they get their equipment back.
I had to pay to return equipment for two jobs.
Spheris was the only one that sent someone to pick up their equipment.
???about equipment and working at home????
I have 10 years MT experience and I am in the process of trying to work from home. I haven't done any T in 11 years and I am rusty. I have purchased books, and downloaded needed info to help with MT, I have a foot pedal and a very high tech computer. Any hints would be helpful. Should I have a second phone line? Should I have a C-phone? Should I have a great spellcheck? Should I have expander? Would like to start, any suggestions where? With what companies? Thanks for any and all
Need dictation equipment advice

Please help!  A 5 Dr. practice that I do wants to switch from tapes to digital portables.  I have help with this practice from other transcriptionists that work out of their home.  Can anyone recommend an easy to setup, user friendly, affordable dictation system to accomodate this over the internet for a non technical person?  Ideally, I will be able to set it up so that I can specify which Transcriptionist gets which Dr. & track the status of the dictation.

What equipment for starting own business?

MY SHRINK KEEPS ASKING ME IF I HAVE TRIED GETTING MY OWN ACCOUNTS VERSUS WORKING FOR A NATIONAL....(we are working on how to better handle life stressors).  (MQ?)  Anyway, I always tell him, yes, I have thought about it and I do know of two MTSOs as aquaintances.  I told him I am getting closer and closer to sending letters out to these MTSOs letting them know I am working as an MT and ask if they have any overflow work, to keep me in mind.  I told him I thought that would be the first step as I don't have a clue as to what equipment they use and how you go about the whole deal versus what I am doing now (wav files over internet). 

I am sure some of you who are or were MTSOs could clue me in as to how it is done, equipment wise, and what is involved.  I already know about the tax issues as we have had two small businesses previously. Is it still done with tapes that you pick up and what kind of equipment for that, or can it be done over the internet as per the nationals?


In the dark here.

Webmedx supplies all equipment. They do have a (sm)
pretty high ratio of ESLs, but the QA is really good here. They DO NOT penalize for blanks or sending reports to QA. I don't know about family insurance, but single is very reasonable, BCBS. They also offer dental and vision.
It means you won't be able to buy equipment anymore
to do medical transcription.  It will all be phased out.  I've seen it happening too and am going to be prepared.  Sure, I will do MT as long as it is around at fair pay, but after that I'm outta here.
Some prn at home with own equipment, is there such a thing?
Don't know which board this should go on, as I am looking for some company or practice who will allow me to use my updated equipment, ref. materials, etc., but allow me to "plug into" their system when I have the time as long as I put in a certain amt. of hours per week. I have the experience and the necessary equipment but my circumstances do not allow me to commit to certain hours or days of the week, would just have to play it by ear and be glad to have the chance to work. At one time there was a local company (in NE) which allowed a friend of mine to just "plug in" when she could to relieve them of some of the backed up dictation. She was retired and could only give the a few hours here and there but they were glad to have the help. Is there such a thing anywhere today? Some of the things I read on here make it sound like there's a pretty rigid commitment and you almost have to be "chained" to your chair. Anyone out there allowed to work ad lib to help out a good company in exchange for a good worker? Don't laugh now, it doesn't hurt to ask. There are days when I could give them 4 or more hours and days when I can't type at all. You never know. No nasty posters, please. If you hear of any such setup, let me know, be it medical or otherwise.
Stedman's Equipment book, but there is new

equipment coming out all the time.  I use the websites for the manufactures, Johnson & Johnson, U.S. Surgical, etc.  I Google things like Ethicon and Mitek.   Equipment is hard too because a lot of the times the whole word may be capitalized, or you think it should be 2 words and it is one word, with various parts capitalized.  

When you have to look something up write it in a notebook if you don't have a reference book.  When you have down time go to the various manufacturers websites and read about their products. 

See equipment board about headphones. thanks
I need an answer ASAP, so admin, please don't delete this message again, or at least leave it for a few hours.
years ago, older equipment an MD would