MT Compensation

Last time we talked about the “percent gain” and how that metric is over-used and misused.

Today let’s talk about compensation.

Devising an MT editing compensation plan based on one across-the-board expected increase in productivity (often a 100% expected increase with 50% reduction in line rates) does not benefit the MT and does not make sense for the MTSO. MTs when typing have an incredibly wide range of productivities..how do we expect to pick ONE number upon which to base our comp plans when transitioning to speech recognition?

Here is the worst part…

Cutting line rates according to one expected percent gain in productivity will reward your lowest producing MTs, and will hurt your high producers! And your company will suffer in the long run.

Why?

Facts –

MTs who are low producers when typing will see a higher percent gain when editing. They have much more room to improve. They will see a pay increase because they are very likely to hit that magical “% percent gain” number.

MTs who are high producers when typing will see a lower percent gain when editing. They are already fast – and there is only so much that you can speed up an audio file and still produce quality work. We expect them to listen to the entire audio file, don’t we? If they don’t meet that expected percent increase, they will lose money.

Reality Check –

There is a number we should all use as a reality check point when determining if an MT can really achieve the productivity she’ll need for her pay to stay whole as she transitions to speech recognition.

At M*Modal we call it the Edit RT.

How many minutes does it take an MT to type one minute of dictated audio? An RT of 1 means the MT is typing or editing as fast as the doctor is speaking. She is editing in “real time.”

Average for traditional transcription tends to be around 4 to 4.5 for U.S. based MTs. That’s approximately 135 to 150 lph.

An MT who can transcribe from scratch at a rate of 300 lph (and they are out there) is already typing at approximately an RT of 2. For her to double her productivity, she has to get to an RT of 1. This means that you expect her to edit AS FAST AS THE DOCTOR SPEAKS for every job if you cut her line rate in half.

Do you want your MTs to listen to the entire audio?

You will hear talk about MTs averaging 600-700 lph when editing. Sure it’s possible…we see it every day. But this kind of speed usually means one of a couple things:

1. A good percentage of the text in these documents is introduced through Normals/Standards or template text. This means there are lines in the document for which there IS NO AUDIO. (think about this when you hear productivity claims from speech rec vendors)

2. The doctors are repetitive enough that the MT has created a good number of her own macros.

3. The MT is NOT playing back the whole audio and your quality is at risk.

HOWEVER, the MTs who are high producers with LOWER percent gain when editing are going to produce more lines, faster. Taking care of THESE MTs will allow your company to significantly increase its OUTPUT without increasing MT head count – and all of the subsequent support personnel and expenses.

Please remember this – your company is paid for its OUTPUT, not for that high percent gain!

This industry has seen an alarming increase in MTs who are not interested in transcription as a full-time career. What is happening to the career MT? How will the profession attract the quality-minded, dedicated professional if MTs can’t make any money?

It won’t – it will attract the person interested in making a bit of extra money working from home – the “hobby MT” as opposed to the “career” MT.

An MTSO who pays MTs for what they are – skilled professionals – will attract the career-oriented, professional MT. The MTSO who pays its MTs based on some arbitrary metric useful primarily for marketing for speech rec vendors will lose its professionals and will be forced to hire higher numbers of lesser skilled, less productive “hobby” MTs.

What does this mean to an MTSO’s finances?

What expenses do you have that are the same for every MT, regardless of her productivity?

How much does your company pay for:

• Turnover
o Training per every new hire?
o QA for every new hire?
o Support for every new hire?
• Supervisors and managers for every x number of MTs?
• Technical support people for every x number of MTs?
• Technology costs, foot pedals, software licenses, workstations, internet connectivity for every x number of MTs?
• Paid time off and health and welfare benefits for every x number of MTs?
• Administrative, HR, payroll personnel for every x number of MTs?
• Managers, directors, and senior managers for every x number of MTs and the requisite QA personnel, trainers, administrative personnel, technical support staff…..

Which MT is more expensive? Your low producer or your high producer?
• Which group has the highest turnover and subsequent costs?
• Who sends more work to QA?
• Who consistently delivers high quality work to your customers?
• Who requires more training, software support, and assistance?
• Who can you most rely on to work scheduled hours, to work extra when needed, and to help you meet your turn-around time requirements?

Your high producing MT is your biggest cost efficiency. Be creative – think beyond that MT line rate when you consider cost reductions.

Cut the line rates by a reasonable number – but use incentives or bonuses to keep your high producers whole! Use the transition to speech recognition to get rid of your dead wood – NOT YOUR MOST HIGHLY SKILLED EMPLOYEES!

Think about where that high-producing MT can save you money elsewhere in your organization.

Let me leave you here with one thought about what you’ll need to do as a company if you intend to stay in business as the dust from meaningful use settles and everyone finally comes to terms with the fact that there is no value in a paper document.

I once heard an MTSO executive say that his company would reduce costs by cutting line rates, allowing the high-producing MTs to leave, and then hiring a bunch of lesser skilled MTs at lower line rates.

Great idea – if you want to support three times the number of MTs you need to produce your volume, significantly increase your turnover and the cost of turnover, and if you have no plans to stay in business into the future.

We have all been talking about Meaningful Use and the EMR and the role transcription plays in that discussion.

The MTSO of the future will need to transition from a company that produces typed documents to a company that produces and VALIDATES meaningful clinical content.

I have heard a number of comments that MTs do not have the skill necessary to validate content in a meaningful way. I just heard that yesterday!

All I have to say is that a professional career MT certainly has an excellent knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and understands the subtleties of the meanings of words based on the prefix or suffix used, and the context in which they are used.

Come on folks – how many of us used to test applicants for MT positions who were nurses and coders and turned them DOWN because they did not have the wealth and breadth of medical language knowledge that a good MT has? But is an $8 an hour job going to attract a person with that level of skill?

Cutting your compensation rates such that you lose your highly skilled MTs may save you a few dollars now. But you will not be able to provide the level of service required of you into the future.

Thoughts? Would love to hear from you…

Lynn

38 Responses

  1. Amen, amen. Nicely put.

  2. Can you explain how an outsourced medical transcription service would validate “meaningful clinical content?”

    Thanks.

    • Hi Julianne: We’ll be addressing this in coming posts and at ACE this year as well! Stay tuned and thanks for your interest.

      Lynn

  3. I couldn’t agree more.

    I am in that position right now, have been a top producer of speed and quality for over 20 years, and now as an editor, I am sinking. I have taken a 40% cut in line rate, have not been able to make up that time (how can you possibly count control/arrow/arrow/delete and all the other commands) the same as typing a word? On top of that, my quality has slipped, because I am simply so concerned about being able to pay my bills, that try as I may, I miss a word in a report (something I NEVER did in 23 years typing), and I feel awful. On top of that, it is so easy for your mind to “wander,” when you are reading, rather than typing, that you WILL skip over things, I don’t care how hard you try. When we were taught to read as youngsters, we were taught to “skim a document,” not read every single word. I am so glad you said something, although I don’t think it is going to matter. I am going to have to find a 2nd job now, a “part time,” one, to pay my bills, while still working the same amount of hours, producing not so perfect documents. I am saddened to say the least.

  4. Hi Carrie:

    You make excellent points about the differences between typing and editing – which shows how important it is that companies provide MTs with sufficient training and practice. If you have specific questions about editing, please visit our Always Understanding blog. Feel free to ask questions of Misty and Bethany – if it makes you feel more comfortable they’d be happy to talk to you privately outside of the blog.

    Your post saddens me as well Carrie – I haven’t given up hope yet. The industry is going to need highly skilled professionals like you if it is to survive.

    Thank you so much for your post and thank you for your service to this profession!

    I hope all the managers reading this make note of your post.

    -Lynn

  5. You hit the nail on the head. I have been an MT for over 20 years and love doing it. Unfortunately, I can no longer earn enough to pay the bills due to the pay cut for doing speech recognition. Due to the poor quality of speech recognition programs, I spend more time correcting and formatting that it takes to type too many times. Unfortunately I have had to go and retrain for another career. After an intense year, I have finished my training and am ready for job hunting. It is scary making such a change at my age. I still love transcribing. Another hard worker has been lost.

    • Dear Chris: I am so sorry to hear this. I suspect, though of course I can’t be positive, that you are one of those MTs who was already quite productive typing from scratch. The problem is often not that MTs like you have to make too many edits, but rather that that your pay cut was determined by that “expected % gain”…you may have been expected to see an unreasonable % gain in order to keep your pay whole according to your productivity typing. You might actually have been very productive when editing, but because you were fast to begin with, you weren’t able to achieve that “% gain” that you needed.

      Other contributors to this type of problem are sometimes lack of training, and poor implementation. I hope some of the managers out there take heed and learn from what has happened to you.

      All the best to you,
      Lynn

  6. I too am sick and tired of hearing about how much more money we will make editing than straight typing.

    Yes, if we were snail’s-pace typists, maybe. Not I. I am a scary-fast typist.

    I’ve been at this for 38 years, starting on the kind of typewriter where if you set your coke bottle down in the wrong place, you would soon regret it, and spend the next 20 minutes cleaning soda pop off of the wall, the floor, the desk, the typewriter, the stack of charts, your co-workers….

    Last time I ran a straight-typing speed test on myself, I did a 37-minute audio file in 1 hour. The resulting line count was 475 65-character lines including spaces.

    Can I keep up that kind of pace all day long? Of course not. My “normal” pace throughout a work day would be closer to 225 to 250 LPH.

    I’ve only been editing for 4 months, and our “speech wreck” is actually pretty good on most of the dictators. However… I just don’t see how much more I can speed up. I’m averaging a little over 400 LPH editing, trying everything I can think of to get faster, so I can make up the pay cut, which I couldn’t afford in the first place.

    As the years have gone on, we are expected to know more and more, and be responsible for more and more (i.e. if the doctor makes a mistake and we don’t catch it, guess who gets thrown under the bus; hint: it won’t be the doctor) but our pay keeps dropping and dropping and dropping…. I’m now making about what I was making during the Reagan administration. The first term. But guess what… my rent alone is about 5 times what it was back then. Gas and groceries? Forget it. Math wasn’t my best subject, but even I can see the difficulty in that equation.

    The crowning irony is that coders are now paid more than MTs, because the hospitals want to squeeze every erg of billability out of every stay. Does anybody besides me see the cognitive dissonance in this? Who do they think is producing those documents wherefrom the coders squeeze out those billable things?

    Is any of this getting through to the hospitals? That if they want a quality product, they’re (duh) going to have to be willing to pay for it? Or is it going to take a series of gross medical errors, caused by substandard transcription, that endangers the lives of some powerful and influential persons? Or their loved ones?

    • Dear Caro: thanks so much for your post. You make some excellent points. If you are up to 400 lph from 250, that is a 60% increase. If your pay is still not where it was typing, then it seems your employer expected you to see a higher gain.

      Remember that “RT” I talked about? If you are editing 400 lph, then your RT would be somewhere around 1.5. In other words, it is taking you approximately 1.5 minutes to edit one minute of audio. Of course, this is a rough approximation since I have no way to know how many lines your doctors dictate in a minute of audio.

      But the point is – you don’t have that far to go until you are editing almost as fast as the doctors are speaking. You are doing a fabulous job! I point this out so that managers out there understand the reality of asking a high producer to “double” productivity when doubling would mean editing almost in real time (as fast as the doctor speaks). This is doable depending on lot of variables – but is it a realistic expectation across all of an MTSO’s work?

      Many would recommend keeping you out of speech. But lets think about this. At 400 lph, lets say 2,000 working hours in a year, you will produce approximately 300,000 more lines editing than you would typing at 250 lph. An average MT who types 150 lph will produce approximately 300,000 in that same year. Hmmmm…..so in other words, you have added one full-time MT’s worth of capacity to your company. And if they keep your pay whole, even with the technology charge, they are saving money over their original cost per line. Add in the cost efficiencies they gain because you have added the capacity of a full time worker WITHOUT adding any of the costs of a full time worker, and keeping your pay whole is a win-win situation for your employer.

      AND, I’m venturing to guess that you are reliable and that you do not need to send much work to QA, that your supervisors don’t need to hound you to get you to do your work….on and on. Again I don’t know this – but that was my experience with my high producers in my transcription management days and I have talked to countless managers who support that. :-)

      All you MTSOs out there – do you want to lose your Caro’s because you’ve cut her pay? Lets say (and I don’t know this – this is purely hypothetical) that her pay was reduced expecting a 75% gain. And with her 60% gain, she’s losing money. Now lets say you had an MT who types 125 lph, who doubled her productivity to 250. Since the threshold for the decrease was set at 75%, this person got a pay INCREASE.

      An MT typing 125 lph, getting paid .08 per line is making approximately $10 an hour. In order to keep her pay whole with a 75% gain, you’d pay her .0457 per line. If she now types 218 lph – a 75% increase – her pay stays whole – $10 per hour.

      But if that same MT increases to 250 lph when editing – very doable for a low producer – at .0457 per line, she’s now making $11.42 per hour.

      So, now you are now paying the slow producing MT $1.42 an hour MORE than she made before, plus you are paying for the speech rec technology – all to get the slow producer to the same level of productivity Caro was at when she was typing from scratch.

      Now lets say you have about 10,000,000 lines per year in volume. At Caro’s editing productivity, you need 12.5 MTs to meet your capacity needs. At slow MT’s editing productivity, you need 20. And if you’re a larger company – that number only becomes more important.

      Ok folks, what’s wrong with that picture?

      -Lynn

      • Perfectly put Lynn! Perfect, perfect, perfect!!! You couldn’t have explained this any better. Thank you! :)

      • Why thank you Jill!

      • Hi, Lynn, I’m still here, still subscribed to this post…. In the intervening months, my editing production has crept up to where I am averaging in the high 400s to the low 500s, and that “RT” number you talked about is now in the 1.2s to 1.3s.

        I am fortunate in that my employer (and more importantly, my team) makes aggressive use of training the “speech wreck” engine as an ongoing process; but the biggest jump in my productivity came when I took my fate into my own hands and used my expander to create some closer-to-home-keys shortcuts for CTRL-right and left arrow keystrokes as well as delete-the-next-word, backspace, and delete, as well as adding commas and periods where appropriate. It’s amazing how much I was able to speed up simply by not having to take even one hand off the home keys to do those things. And now my lead wants me to teach my tricks to the team….

      • Good to hear from you! And I’m so glad you’re seeing such success. You are editing almost as quickly as the doctor speaks!! Congratulations on finding ways to make it work even better for you! And congratulations to your employer and your team for taking the time and effort make the technology work for the MTs who use it. You have indeed mastered one of the most important skills – making edits while keeping your hands near home row. Now – if only we can get you to stop referring to it as “speech wreck” so that you don’t inadvertently discourage others who haven’t yet come so far, then I would consider this a good day’s work done. :-)

        Thank you so much for this terrific update!

        -Lynn

      • I’ve done the same thing as Caro has, by using Shorthand to create shortcuts to delete-the-next-word, backspace, and delete, as well as adding commas and periods where appropriate, and yes, without moving my hand from the home edit row. That too helped me push up probably close to 100 lph editing, now consistently in the 500s.

        That totally is something that should be taught and learned by anyone who wants to up their editing production. :)

      • Excellent!! Thank you for your comment Jill!!

      • Oh… Jill has appeared on our Always Understanding blog as a guest blogger, sharing some great tips! check it out here… http://mmodal.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/guest-blogger/

      • Well… I will say that MOST of the time, it is a speech recognition engine… but once in a while, for no apparent reason, it goes off the rails and morphs into speech WRECK. :) I have had reports (fortunately, only very occasional) wherein the only resemblance the draft bears to what is being dictated is that they are both using the same alphabet, but one is soup and the other is not.

      • And thus the reason we still need humans in the workflow. Machines can’t think more like humans. They are just technology. :-)

  7. THANK YOU, Lynn. Now would you please go talk to my employer?

    Actually, my 250 LPH average straight typing encompassed an entire shift and included brief breaks, e-mail, net-surfing, research, etc., etc. I had no way to track my actual speed for the actual time that I had typing jobs in my custody.

    However, now that we are editing, we get a weekly proficiency report where our editing LPH is figured based on the actual time that each job spends in our custody, and if we need to leave our computer for more than few minutes, we are strongly encouraged to put the job “on hold” so it doesn’t skew our times.

    I ran some calculations, and the sum of my minutes spent editing divided by the number of audio minutes is creeping downward, slowly… right now it’s averaging about 1.6. So you were very close with your guess. (Hey, I’ve only been editing for 4 months.)

    The only areas of productivity where I still need to bring up my scores are “editing during playback” and “speeding up the audio.” Well… some dictators you simply can NOT speed up… if you want to produce an accurate document, anyway…. And quite often, if I want to get an edit exactly right and not miss something in the audio, I WILL stop the audio. So sue me.

    With the statistics available to me, I have no way to calculate how much per hour I am making doing editing versus straight typing. I can only calculate an overall figure, based on an entire day’s production, i.e. how many edited lines I produced (multiplied by the line rate) plus how many typed lines (multiplied by that line rate), combined and then divided by the actual number of hours I put in on my time sheet. Of course it varies widely from day to day, depending on which dictators I get, but I am averaging about $4 per hour LESS doing combined editing and typing (heavy on the editing) than I was making straight typing.

    And as I did my bills this morning, once again I had to calculate how much has to come out of the savings account this month to make ends meet…. I am trying every trick I can think of to get faster, but frankly, this job is simply not long-term financially viable for me. Period. Unless something changes, I am going to have to rethink things, and this late in my career, that’s a very scary proposition.

    Oh, and by the way, my company pays a FLAT RATE for editing, nevermind how productive (or unproductive) one might be. (I am one of the top 3 producers on my team.)

    And need I even say, there is really no pay differential, even with straight typing, for years of experience, for showing up on time (yes, I do), having a very low percentage sent to QA (yep, you were right there too, and most of what I send to QA, QA can’t get either), or even a production incentive for bashing out X number of lines in a pay period. I guess the “incentive” is that I meet the requirements for full time employment, and I get to keep my job and my benefits.

    Thanks a lot.

    And in all sincerity, thank you again, Lynn, for what you are doing. I’ve only just discovered your blog, but I will be following closely, to see if you are making any headway on convincing the MTSOs (and the hospitals) that what they are practicing is false economics. The old adage is true… you really, really do get exactly what you pay for.

    • Hello Caro: I hope that by publishing your comments, we are talking to your employer. :-) You are absolutely right about editing during playback and speeding up the audio – sometimes you just can’t do it without risking quality and quality always comes first! ALWAYS! If your employer is using M*Modal, and you happen to talk to your management, and they’d like to run a few models with me – please do have them contact me. I’d be very happy to talk privately.

      And please feel free to visit our Always Understanding editing blog, http://mmodal.wordpress.com – even if your employer doesn’t use us, you might find an editing tip or two that helps, and you are most welcome to join us there. And if you have any tips for MTs who are new to editing, we’d love to share those as well.

      Thanks much!
      Lynn

  8. Caro is speaking my language. Thank you. After transcribing for 40-something years with the last 10 being medical transcription, I’m looking seriously at new careers. Our craft has been devalued and is now micromanaged at the keystroke level. It’s just not that much fun any more.

    • I like that you refer to transcription as your craft Crystal…

      Let’s keep plugging away and save it!

      -Lynn

  9. Yes, I work for a company that does have M*Modal hooked up to our platform…

    I will definitely take a look at the other blog you have provided a link to. Thanks for doing that. But I won’t be doing it right now… because even though this is theoretically my day off (and we all know how THAT works out, in practice), my primary account is sliding out of TAT, so I’m going to go nail down some lines.

    Again, thank you for doing the math, and putting it all in a context that hopefully will get the attention of (and make sense to) the CEOs and bean-counters who make some of these not-entirely-thought-through economic decisions in the first place….

    • Thanks for keeping up the good work Caro – and keep up the good fight! :-)

      -Lynn

  10. I too am a high producer, averaging 400 to 500 LPH straight typing. With voice recognition, even if my average is 400 LPH editing, I still get a 40% pay cut. There is no way that anyone could edit 800 to 1000 LPH, humanly speaking, and I will not compromise on accuracy. I get every the, an and a. Therefore, when my company instituted voice recognition (and I was one of the first ones chosen to be the guinea pig for it), I promptly went out and found a second local part-time job that is straight typing, and a much higher CPL (because I work directly for the clinic, not a MTSO). Through the course of the year, I have gradually made my second job my primary, and the voice recognition job is my secondary. Not only did I suffer with a pay cut, but my company suffered because I no longer produced the same quantity as before. Why should I be punished with a 40% pay cut for being a quality producer, as well as a high producer because I am a “scary fast” typist (140 WPM)? I love this profession. I have been a MT since 1984.

    • Hello Molly: Wow, you are UNIQUELY fast straight typing. I suspect you might also be GREAT at making use of technologies such as macros and text expansion, in which case you are already actually “editing” and would not see a significant benefit. You are right…you cannot expect to hit 800-1000 LPH. That is quite a bit faster than most doctors would dictate – and can realistically be achieved only for reports that are made up primarily of Normals/macros/template text – or some other means of introducing lines to a document for which there is no audio.

      I would be curious to find out what you’d be able to do editing – it is not true that fast typists can not be great editors. It is ONLY true that they cannot be expected to hit that same high % gain. Even if you saw only a 20% gain increase, you’d be doing the work of 4 average MTs doing straight typing and would be a tremendous value to an MTSO or hospital.

      But I certainly understand that you cannot afford to take that kind of pay cut.

      I wish you all the best…
      Lynn

  11. I read all the posts and replies. I have been straight MTing since early ’70s. I have made a point to learn it ALL and to keep constantly updating. I really don’t see it changing at all, no I do not.

    It is instant gratification the MTSOs are looking for, they don’t really see the big picture at all. If they had any insight whatsoever, they would tackle the quality of dictation we deal with; there is really NO EXCUSE, NONE. They don’t care, they have the client, let the MT deal with it, insist on 98% OR BETTER the ads say accuracy.

    I will NOT work for 2.5, 3 or 4 cents a line. I worked too hard to get this skill and still working to keep up daily. As it now is, the “industry standard” of 7,8 nd 9 cents is already toooo low to make a living.

    Three years ago I decided to try and reinvent myself in order to make a living. I started developing a cardiovascular word book, similar to Stedman but I see a greater need to fill in this quest.

    I really do not see any hope for change, no, I really don’t. It is get the client, see instant money now, increase the MTSO income anyway they can, the MTs are just a piece of disposable meat on the rack. Sorry to be so negative but I KNOW I am right here.

    You see the job ads, requiring unlimited long distance for THEIR clients, pay a monthly fee to uploading there client reports, pay for use of their software, pay for this $350 pedal that only works with Lanier, no pay for spaces, very high line count expectation, they lose medical coverage if line count not made even though THEY KNOW there was not enough work available, many many are not following through with paychecks and everything they can think of to drop a living wage. .

    • Hi Darlene: Thanks for your comment.

      I really hope that change will come – and I will continue to do my best to promote it. In the meantime, thank you for reading and for commenting. There are companies who do value the highly skilled MT and I hope we can reach more of them.

      All my best,
      Lynn

  12. Very well written article, echoing what I have been thinking for a while. Unfortunately, I was not willing to stick around while my former MTSO made money off of my hard labor, while I had to take a 40% pay cut. I solely supported my family as a single mother for a number of years by doing MT, but I would hate to think that I had to depend on it now. I have gotten out of MT and I am glad of it. There was a time I loved it, but I am not willing to be taken advantage of any longer.

    • Hi Shelly: I’m so sorry to hear this. The MTSOs are struggling these days too…prices are being driven ever lower and they are competing with forces who claim transcription is an unnecessary expense – but there are more creative ways to gain organizational efficiencies than to target MT pay across the board.

      Best of luck to you,
      Lynn

  13. Hi Lynn
    I read your MT Compensation with great interest. I have a small medical transcription company with a radiology account that is switching to voice recognition. They have requested my company continue with them to do the editing of the VR. I am at a loss of where to start as far as pricing to charge them to do this work, charge per line? per report? I understand we will take a salary cut but I want to be sure I am in the ballpark when submitting my contract with pricing in order to compensate my transcribers (3 of them) to ensure they stay and hopefully still make a decent amount for them to be able to pay their bills.

    • Hello Teresa: I am so sorry that I didn’t reply sooner – I missed your comment somehow.

      Just in case it isn’t too late, I would recommend charging by the report for radiology reports. Because radiology reports tend to be shorter, there is more time spent getting from job to job and performing job completion tasks (ADT selection, cc’s, etc) than there are lines so being paid by the line can be a loser for you.

      I would base the pay on your costs – and carefully monitor your MT activity. Make sure your most reliable staff gets this work. Make sure you aren’t supporting MTs who don’t take shifts seriously.

      In this day of pricing cuts and technology, you can’t afford inefficiencies anywhere. But if you run lean and mean, you’ll be ok. :-)

      Wishing you all the best,
      Lynn

  14. I think it’s impossible to achieve higher line counts if I am transferred to new accounts and have not had a chance to get used to the doctors’ speech and make macros. You have to read and memorize account specifics, each with different rules. I am assigned to 4 accounts now, and was assigned to 5, just to have enough work. The first report on on my shift is for one hospital, the second report for another hospital, and so it goes. I usually have to stop to look up rules. I was getting pretty good after 2 years being on one account, then switched to 3 more, and then 1 after that. So you see how my productivity is.

    • Hi Brenda: Yes, multiple accounts do make productivity – and quality – more difficult. If you ever have the opportunity to provide input to your employer, you might want to point them towards some articles about standardization for account specific rules. It just does not make sense for anyone to have lots of customized rules – and in this day of electronic medical records, providers are being forced into standards whether they want them or not.

      The application of standards increases quality, safety, and productivity. Just a good idea all around.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Lynn

  15. Kudos to Lynn Kosegi for having the courage to write this outstanding article, which lays the facts on the table. Greatly admired will be the CFO who admits that this is true and takes action to lead his or her company in the right direction. As a career MT, I commend Ms. Kosegi for speaking up on our behalf.

    AK
    Nashville, TN

    • Thank you for the kind words Anne. I always thought the first company with the insight to both pay and manage its staff appropriately would have the good MTs beating down the doors to work for it.

      Wishing you the best,
      Lynn

  16. Oh boy… I am reading all of these posts and it is everything that I have been going through. Straight out typing… I was averaging 300 to 350 lph (lots of macros, short cuts, etc). Loved my job. Loved my paycheck! Now… not so good. I feel like a slave to my computer. My supervisor tells me to “keep practicing” your shortcuts… and I keep telling her there is no way in God’s green earth would I ever be able to edit 600 to 700 lph… ever!! The docs don’t even talk that fast!!! I too have taken about a 40% pay cut – and I am working 7 days a week – and about 60 hours a week – and still making about $500 less per paycheck!! I have been trying to be optimistic and just thanking my lucky stars that I still have a job, as so many others do not… but I hate the lies. I just wish they would say “you’re right… your pay has been cut.” They take us for fools. The low producer is doing the happy dance… and I am dancing to my grave. We have been doing VR full force since June – and my VR lines are averaging about 450 per hour – but I’m killing myself. Like one person said – my eyes are tired, I feel like dozing off, I can’t concentrate, and QA sends me back the most horrific mistakes (for me)… that I am embarrassed. I just feel like they don’t pay me enough to “slow down,” so my work ethic is now suffering – I just feel like I don’t care – and I really am not that kind of worker. Just so sad….

    • Hello Cheryl: You are absolutely right. You are suffering from the mistake that many organizations make. Rather than looking at your overall output – which since you started out so high is very high – they are measuring success based on that percent gain which is just not meaningful when you expect all MTs to reach the same goals. Unless you are doing radiology, there is no way they should expect you to double your productivity given how fast you were to begin with.

      Is there any way you can direct your managers to any of my articles? It really does make financial sense for an organization to take care of its high producers based on total output – NOT based on “percent gain” – that is where the organization sees ROI on the technology.

      I wish you all the best and I hope things get better for you.

      -Lynn

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