Tag Archives: Medical Transcription

What to look for when hiring a medical transcription company

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There is a lot that can go right or wrong when hiring medical transcription help. Any company can hire reps that will write down what you say in a tape. But, can they do the job right and on time?

Error Rates are well documented in the Medical Transcription industry. It is the only industry I’ve seen with such detailed statistics. But, how do you know if their error rate calculation is accurate unless you take your own reading.

Communication is another factor. Does the company that you hired communicate well? Do they pick up the phone? Are they happy to hear from you? Dealing with unpleasant people is a sure way to ruin your day. The question is, can you find the right people?

Commenting is another issue. Can your medical transcription agent make appropriate comments? Also, can they differentiate between text they should include, and you saying “ouch” when you stubbed your toe? Many are so incompetent that they just put the ouch right into the text (and then get fired as a result.)

A smart medical transcription company can catch your errors instead of making errors on their own. It’s just a question of hiring sharp people who care. Some of the MT companies out there are so horrible that my chiropractor decided to train his own girls how to do the job even though it was more expensive. But, his girls did the job right.

The best place to find medical billing and medical transcription outsourcing companies is right here on 123outsource.net!

Curb Your Attitude – a skit about workplace drama at a Medical Transcription Company

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RAMESH: Everybody I’m working with seems to have awoken on the wrong side of the bed today!

PRAVEEN: Well, if everybody got out of bed on the wrong side, then maybe it is the right side.

SANKUL: No, it is YOU who got off on the wrong side of the bed.

DILIP: FYI, I sleep on the floor on a thin mat next to a wall. I only have one side to pick from!

PRAVEEN: Oh, no wonder you’re in a lousy mood. Maybe you should sleep in a chair like my sister.

STEVE: (ring ring) Hey, how come my medical transcriptions are never on time?

RAMESH: Why do you always exaggerate?

STEVE: It’s not always. Sometimes I exaggerate! You are exaggerating how often I exaggerate!

RAMESH: Okay, we were one day late on the last assignment only. We’re almost done with the current assignment.

STEVE: If you had a client who enforced deadlines, you’d be fired for being even three seconds late.

RAMESH: Okay, curb your attitude!

STEVE: It’s already curbed, I have it on a tight leash.

RAMESH: Praveen! Get that assignment done for Steve. The transcription for the transfusion.

PRAVEEN: I will transfuse the transcription right away.

SANKUL: I’ll have to diffuse your tranfusion if you don’t curb your attitude!

DILIP: Which one are you talking about?

SANKUL: All of you! I think we all need to go on a walk, inhale some rick-shaw exhaust, and come back to the office feeling refreshed!

DILIP: Yes, let’s reboot our attitude.

RAMESH: Agreed! Just get the work done so I can tell Steve the good news!

Outsourcing makes the world go round!

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Some people think that outsourcing is good because it allows you to cut costs. Others think that outsourcing is bad because it takes jobs that rightfully belong to Americans and gives it to undeserving poor people in foreign countries who have names that we can’t pronounce (and don’t want to learn to pronounce.) In California, some people think that there are too many Mexican immigrants coming in while others like the affordable source of labor. The truth is that without Mexican labor, nothing in California would get built, harvested, or done. The state would grind to a stop. You wouldn’t be able to get help at your restaurant and you would be able to run most types of businesses that rely on labor. We don’t realize this, but outsourcing is the same. Without outsourcing, America, Germany, and the UK would grind to a stop.

There is an acute labor shortage in industrialized countries. There are not enough people to do many of the tasks we need to have done. Those who are hard working already have jobs. Those who are lazy don’t deserve jobs. Whatever can’t be done here, needs to be shipped to wherever some willing and capable hands (fingers) can do it.

We take this for granted, but much of America’s medical transcriptions are done in the Philippines or India while we sleep. There would be horrible delays and triple the cost if those offshore agencies were not able to handle our medical transcription outsourcing needs. Something like 80% of UK’s programming is handled offshore. Without people in India and Eastern Europe helping out, how would the UK function? They would only be able to do 20% of the work.

I am struggling to find quality help in the United States for basic tasks such as programming, phone help, and other work. It is like pulling teeth to find someone willing to work who actually cooperates. It is not funny, and not pleasant. It is so nice to have the option to hire overseas to people who have a work ethic.

Also, there is a new outsourcing company in India that claims that they can enhance planetary movement through intermolecular technology (never heard of that.) I guess that proves that outsourcing really does make the earth go round — literally.

Which countries are the best to outsource particular tasks to?

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When you boil it down, is it about the individual company, its boss or its workers? Or is it more about the available labor pool in that particular country, and its cultural tendencies? The answer is that it is a little of both. Each country has different attributes. Thank god the world has so many countries, because to get anything done you need them. Can you imagine Danish pastries made by Americans? Or French Croissants made by Germans? What about Chinese food made by Koreans? It just doesn’t taste the same.

IT Outsourcing / Software Development Outsourcing
There are several countries that are good for this type of work. Keep in mind that the market can change abruptly if a single large company like Google decides to hire or fire in mass! Americans are the smartest at programming. We invented the computer and the internet in my state of residence here in California. But, due to market conditions, people are far too busy to be able to get anything done in a reasonable timeframe. Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and India are my best picks for getting outsourced software work done. These countries need more hours to do the same work that an American could do in fewer hours. But, at least they HAVE those hours. The

Europeans are reputed to be more careful about following directions than Indians, but there are companies (if you search hard enough) who are very nitpicky as well. If you plan on visiting these companies, the weather is nicer in India, especially during the winter. Shop around and test these guys out.

Call Center Outsourcing
India has a reputation of being big in this business. But, the sad reality is that they lack the social graces to maintain a client base. The Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and other Central American destinations are now popular picks for outsourced call center work. They have better accents, more graceful social skills, and the prices are reasonable as well. Indians might have an edge at technical support since they are stronger at IT tasks as a culture in India. India might be a good destination for Telemarketing since they are more aggressive than Filipinos. Once again, shop around and compare. Pick your agents by hand as well.

Data Entry Outsourcing
India leads the pack in this type of work, but I have not found so many companies that seem meticulous enough to do data entry outsourcing. I have no recommendations here other than to be careful.

Medical Transcription & Billing
It might be a better idea to find a US based provider that has staff members throughout the world. This practice is already commonplace. So, you can get the price benefits of outsourcing — without outsourcing, at least not outsourcing yourself! There are a few good medical transcription companies in India an the Philippines who I spoke to who gave a good impression so far in these industries.

Web Design
India once again has many Web Design companies with charismatic bosses who communicate well. Prices are low as well. But, don’t overlook Argentina. Please understand that the Argentinians culturally are great artists, and their web designers are no exception. My staff learned that they lack a business mentality in South America. The work is good, but quotas, schedules, deadlines, websites that actually have phone numbers, and other “being businesslike” characteristics are lacking down there! No country has it all, but the South Americans have great art skills and the warmest personalities in any hemisphere. Worth a try!

Accounting, Finance & Legal
India, in particular Delhi has many companies with very educated people engaged in Accounting outsourcing Finance outsourcing as well as LPO or Legal Process Outsourcing. Please keep in mind that the LPO companies cannot do all of the tasks that an American law firm can do, but they can do many support tasks at 30% of cost while you sleep.

(1) Finding the right country to outsource to is a combination of culture & cost effectiveness.

You might also like:

Outsourcing mistakes — pick your offshore service providers with care!

How to make sure outsourcing companies follow directions

A Chiropractor Stops Outsourcing Medical Transcription

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I just got adjusted a few days ago. It felt good. My Chiropractor is the best. I have been his loyal patient for more than a decade. I get electric stimuli, a double treatment of ultra-sound, and an adjustment for only $40. I should offer them more since they are the best in town despite their out of the way location that takes me over an hour to reach!

But, during my last adjustment, we had a chat about Medical Transcription Outsourcing — his least favorite topic.

Me: “That was a loud one… so, I found some good software outsourcing companies who actually communicate effectively for a change”
Chiropractor: “I stopped outsourcing a while ago. I had a Filipino Medical Transcription company doing my dictations. They included verbiage I was yelling to my secretary during the dictation like — ‘close the door please’. I can’t believe that didn’t have the brains to know that was not part of the dictation. I can’t use these guys anymore. They are clueless”
Me: “I guess it was not worth the savings”
Chiropractor: “They were charging me $5 to do it wrong when I only get $10 from the insurance companies and American companies charge me $20 to give me a headache.”
Me: “That sounds really bad. I’m sorry to hear that.
Chiropractor: “Your neck is really bad, what have you been doing?”
Me: “I’m stuck at a computer all day and all night”
Chiropractor: “You need to go back to your old massage therapist, your adjustments were easier a few years ago”
Me: “So, what do you do now about your dictations?”
Chiropractor: “I trained one of my girls here how to do it. She does a perfect job and can do FOUR per hour with hardly any mistakes. With the outsourced Medical Transcription services I had to pay them to do it wrong, and then spend three hours a week fixing their mistakes manually. It probably would have been easier to just type it myself”
Me: “I wish there was a way to analyze quality control for these types of services. The good Medical Transcription services are typically owned by larger corporations and cater exclusively to in-house jobs”
Chiropractor: “Turn on your side — you are probably right!”

I’m learning that the way to do business is to find in-house solutions to your business needs. You are more in control of quality and timeliness of output if you hire your own people. But, if you hire smaller companies, learn to master the art of screening them. There are good outsourcing companies out there. You just need to know how to weed out the bad Medical Transcription Outsourcing companies, and handle the good ones.

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Medical Transcriptions: a trip through a city

Medical transcriptions and errors

Medical Transcriptions – a trip through a city

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Medical Transcriptions – a trip through a city
Americans always hear about outsourcing, and it makes people upset.  Why are “our” jobs going overseas.  It is because companies can’t find qualified people “here” that will be reliable about doing the work for a reasonable price, or even for an unreasonable price.  There is a labor shortage here in America.
But, it is hard for people to imagine in real life what outsourcing operations really look like.  I remember a comedy video on one of our late night television shows.  An American needed tech support for his computer and wanted to go to the source. The American got on a plane with his computer and  flew to Hyderabad. He got in a rick shaw, saw people going down the street in bicycles, ox driven carts, cars, buses, etc.  There was pollution everywhere.. Finally, after a long drive down a filthy and congested road, there was a beautiful modern looking office building.  Our American friend walked in the building, went up the stairs, and met a nice Indian girl who helped him fix his problem.  The technical support session took only ten minutes, and the problem was solved.  I believe he likes the girl and asks her to lunch, and she politely declines.  It was a fun video. If the man had been more educated on Indian culture, he would have asked the girl’s mother for permission to marry the girl and THEN asked the girl to have lunch with him. There is an order to these things in India.
I remember taking a long rick shaw ride down small roads on my way to a medical transcription and software programming house. One road had pot holes riddling the road for two blocks.  The rick shaw went all the way around each one and had to grind to a stop several times. The last several minutes of the trip included a trip past a block that was vacant and completely covered with garbage.  I can’t believe that people live next to this filth, but they do.  After that, we got into an affluent residential neighborhood.  There was a young man around 18 years old washing the bosses car.  He washed the car every day and got chai for everyone.  250 rupees later, I had reached my destination.  I went up the stairs that were spattered with drops of paint.  I guess that it is against the law in Tamil Nadu to use a drop cloth, and painting the leaves of the trees is customary there too. The room was filled with nicely dressed ladies wearing selwar kurtas, and a few young men. They worked in crampt conditions in a nice room with 10 foot high ceilings — all glued to their computers typing away.
All I can say is that I am glad I don’t do Medical Transcriptions in India, or anything else there.  I like clean air, and I like having my space.  I have my own room to work in and peace and quiet. On the other hand, I am happy that India is moving up in the world and getting lots of Medical Transcription outsourcing jobs from various sources.

Medical Transcriptions and Errors

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Medical Transcriptions and Errors

Outsourcing medical transcriptions
The medical transcription business is a tough one. Jobs get outsourced from the United States to the Philippines. Americans lose their jobs and get mad. Then the client company suddenly realizes that the rate of mistakes is much higher overseas and brings the job back to America even though it costs five times as much for labor. At my company we are also terrified to hire anyone at any price, because errors are disasterous to us. Our clients get mad when you make an error with their listings, and fixing the problem and dealing with irate customers is not worth the savings in our personal time to do the work ourselves. Sometimes its less work to do something yourself.

Indian medical transcription
Many Indian medical transcription companies sprung up over night a few years ago and then lost the majority of their business. The level of experience was just not the same as what it is in America, and the level of mistakes was higher.

What do accuracy figures mean?
So, what does 99.9% accuracy mean in any case? One blog I read describes it in these terms: 99.9% accuracy means that on a form with 5000 entries, you will have an average of five errors, and the chance of having no errors is only four percnt. So, 99.9% accuracy means 4% accuracy.

In my words, 99.9% accuracy means that only one field in one-thousand will have erroneous information, assuming the company boasting this level of accuracy is telling the truth. So, you need to figure out what the cost is in having an error.

The cost of errors
If each error costs you $100, and you save $200 on labor, to fill out one-thousand fields, and get one error that costs you $100, you are ahead of the game. On the other hand, what if you can find a company overseas which has a comparable rate of accuracy that U.S. companies have? Then, outsourcing medical transcriptions is the correct thing to do.

Test medical transcription companies out.
The main point to remember is that new companies have to be tested. You can’t really believe their references, although some references are better than none. You can test out a well reputed company and see how they really are to work with in real life. If your experience is good, then you can offer them a little more work, and gradually over a year or two, give them the majority of the work.