My name is Lynn Kosegi, and those of you who know me know I’ve been in the clinical documentation biz a long time!

My first transcription job was in 1980 – I worked for doctors’ offices in those days doing everything from transcription to coding to emptying wastebaskets. 🙂 The first hospital I worked for was a small hospital in Warren, Pennsylvania. When we moved back to Pittsburgh from Warren in 1988, I worked in a busy physicians’ practice in Sewickley and eventually got back to the hospital world (Allegheny General in Pittsburgh) in 1989. During my time there I did about everything there was to do in a medical records department at some point and I also did transcription on the side from home. From there I made my way to UPMC where I managed Scribes Online, an MTSO owned by UPMC. UPMC sold Scribes to Healthscribe, where I was first introduced to speech recognition during a pilot that, well, didn’t turn out so well. But I certainly learned a lot!

When Healthscribe became part of Spheris (goodness, I have been around!), they were just making their first foray into speech recognition. Because of my experience at Healthscribe, I worked on and ended up managing the M*Modal implementation at Spheris. I suppose the rest is history!

I LOVED my MTSO years but we’ve all known for a while that it was headed for challenging times – and I saw M*Modal as part of the solution to a growing problem. I wanted to do whatever I could to help M*Modal to find a way for transcription to continue to provide its incredible service to the healthcare industry at large.

The company has grown a lot and continues to find new and innovative ways to capture clinical information and to increase its usefulness. M*Modal was using the term “Meaningful Clinical Document” long before anyone started talking about “Meaningful Use” so it’s an exciting place to be!

I’m so happy to still be part of a community of people who are passionate about the value that transcription brings to healthcare – and I’d love to share some of what I’ve learned and to hear what you have to say, whether or not we agree! After all, to quote Michel de Montaigne, “There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.”

So let’s see what we can learn together…


12 Responses

  1. Hi Lynn – I’ve been a medical transcriptionist for 13+ years and with the same company for 10 of those years. I just read your article on MT Compensation and felt as if it was written about me! I have been working with my company since April 2010 to improve my situation but I am one of those fast typists and editing is just not cutting it for me. I have been switched to several different regions within my company since then only to either lose the account to another company or the account goes to editing. I am able to edit over 400 lph but can type at least that fast, thus I cannot seem to make enough money. I, like others on this posting board, am in a very bad situation financially because of these events. I’ve run out of savings and will probably have to file bankruptcy unless this situation is resolved or I find another job.

    In years past I had my own business and made a very nice income. I was able to sustain and improve my income reaching nearly $60,000 just last year in 2009. However, as I said, this year 2010 since April has been an absolute nightmare.

    I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    • Hi Ann Marie: I just hate to hear stories like this – this is exactly the kind of situation I fear. I wish you all the best….there are companies out there who value your level of skill so don’t give up yet. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to continue to bring attention to the industry’s need to take care of its valuable members. I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.

      All the best –

  2. Lynn, interesting blog. I’m an MD about to begin using M*Modal through Greenway’s PrimeSpeech module. We are planning on housing an in house editor for our workflow. Very exciting stuff, will follow along and I expect great things with this tech. Glad I found the blog.

    • Thank you so much for you comment – how nice to have a comment from a physician! Please be sure to let us know if we may be of any help, and I hope the blog is helpful to your editor as well.

      All the best,

  3. Hi Lynn,
    I found your blog while searching “future of medical transcription.” What do you feel is the future of medical transcripion now? I have contacted several medical transcription schools about their programs and they are eager to work with me on enrolling. I have also contacted members of LinkedIn groups for medical transcriptionists and they have told me to choose another profession like billing or coding because speech recognition technology is replacing MTs. Should I go ahead and pursue a career in medical transcription, or should I look for another health care position? Thank you very much, and I look forward to your reply.

    • Hello! Thank you so much for your question! I am going to throw this out there to our readers and ask them to respond to you as well. My opinion? Medical Transcription is here to stay for a long, long time. Speech recognition may increase the amount of transcription one MT can perform, but it will not eliminate transcription. Are there challenges in the industry right now? Yes, there are. But on the other hand I honestly believe that there will be an upturn in the future of medical transcription because the narrative documentation that an MT helps to produce is going to be sorely needed for some of the technologies coming our way in health information. I’d like to offer a word of caution about some (not all!) transcription groups on the internet. Unfortunately some of them attract those MTs who are not happy.

      So, all that being said, I am going to ask some of our other readers for their advice to you. My advice? If this is a career that peaks your interest and you are someone who is able to work independently and remotely – go for it. If on the other hand, you think you’d be more interested in coding – go for that. But if you do go into medical transcription I definitely advise learning to edit rather than only learning to transcribe from scratch. The volume of transcription produced with the help of speech recognition is only going to increase, so knowing how to edit as well as transcribe will be a big help to you.

      And whatever you decide, best of luck to you!

      Folks? What advice do you have for PG?

      • It is exciting to see people who are still interested in medical transcription as a career. It is a wonderful career and can provide a certain degree of flexibility. I’ve enjoyed my time in the profession and it’s allowed me to do a lot of things I thought I never would.

        I won’t repeat Lynn’s advice to you; her points are all spot on and I agree with each of them.

        After working for many years with new-hire student MTs, my advice to you is this: Be careful of your expectations. MT schools will try to sell you on a profession that is full of flexibility; they will play into your expectations or beliefs. They want to sell you their product. They will tell you that you can work in your PJs; that you can run the kids to school, doctors appointments, babysit, get your hair done all while making oodles of money. This just is not realistic. When you are employed by an MTSO, hospital, clinic, etc., your employer will expect you to be available to work your shift, to meet turnaround times and contracts, in other words, you need to be there both mentally and physically. If you can separate the appeal of flexibility from the realities of the curriculum that is being offered, then you will put yourself in a good position to make a decision that works best for you.

        Best of luck!

      • Great point Sharon! In other words, they will expect you to behave as a responsible employee. 🙂

        Thank you for your comment!

  4. Lynn and Sharon,
    Thank you both for your responses. Where did you learn medical transcription, from a school like M-TEC or from a college or university offering a Medical Transcription program? I’m thinking of going with M-TEC or Career Step rather than a college or university because the MT schools are advertising the latest training and career help once I complete the program. Should I look into colleges and universities also?

    I am hoping that I’ll have time to write once I have finished my tasks for the day. I am a writer, and I chose medical transcription because I want to work and write in a quiet environment. Will I have time to devote to working and writing? Thanks again.

    • Hi: I actually learned while going to school for a medical assistant program MANY years ago. 🙂 Personally I would at least check into the colleges and universities because you may be able to get college credits through some programs that will apply towards a degree program that you might decide to pursue in the future. But again, I would definitely stick with something that has a speech recognition editing component.

      Sharon and AHDI folks – what do you think?

  5. Hi! I feel the need to state this disclaimer first and foremost. 🙂 I am currently the director of education for MTEC – one of the schools you were looking into. But prior to coming here 18 months ago I spent 3 years as director of credentialing and education at AHDI – the professional association that represents medical transcriptionists and other healthcare documentation professionals. In that role, I oversaw the education approval program. AHDI and AHIMA partnered back in 2004 to create an approval process for medical transcription and coding programs. There are strict guidelines in place and schools must go through a rigorous application process in order to receive approval, which is valid for 3 years.

    In my tenure at AHDI, I spoke to dozens of disillusioned graduates who put out thousands of dollars to attend a medical transcription training program, only to find that the coursework was not comprehensive enough to make them employable in the end.

    Please do your due diligence. Go to AHDI’s website (www.ahdionline.org) and check out the schools that have been approved. Remember that no two schools are exactly the same – so find the one that is going to fit your individual needs. Are you the kind of person that needs deadlines? If so, the open, self-paced programs may not be for you. On the other hand, if you need flexibility then the traditional community college schedule may not be ideal. Ask the schools what kind of interaction you can expect from your instructor – and what their experience in the industry is. What do they do to help you find employment and what kind of ongoing support do they offer after graduation? And if you believe what Lynn is saying about speech recognition editing (i do!), then inquire about how those schools are approaching this shift in the industry.

    Speaking for MTEC – 50% of the 2400 minutes of dictation in our program is completed as speech recognition editing on our proprietary transcription/editing platform (Fuzion). Students are assigned to an instructor that works with them from start to finish. All of our instructors are CMTs (certified medical transcriptionists) and average 20 years of experience in the industry. MTEC has a dedicated technology instructor and we host several live webinars each and every week.

    I wish you great success in your pursuit of a new career!

    • Thanks for the response Kim!

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