The job of a medical transcriptionist is tied to technology. It doesn’t go against technology, but adapts with it. And with a lot of technological advancements coming in handy, they are probably bringing in some of these technologies to their everyday work. Here are some recommendations that we’ve found on the face of internet:
1. Smartphones. Results of a study done by learning manufacturer Vtech recently revealed that almost a third of children already know how to use a smartphone or tablet before they can even talk. Interesting, huh? This only proves how much the learning curve for technology, particularly for smartphones, has become faster in less than a decade.
Smartphones will someday replace the next gadget on our list, and with the release of phablets (phone tablets), it’s no longer impossible. Their flexibility and ease of use, durability and portability are the reasons why. As doctors have consultations with patients over mobile devices, transcriptionists can also remain connected with superiors via mobile—whether on skype or third-party apps that allows internal chats. When transcriptionists are working remotely, connected smartphones also offer a way for them to collaborate with co-workers and clients.
2. Tablets. Mobile or tablet computers are fast replacing traditional notebooks and laptop computers. Since the launch of the Apple iPad, personal and business computing in the healthcare industry have changed tremendously. Apps on the iOS platform allow for better scheduling of tasks, reminders, and being connected. Citing Knowledge Works data, MedScape said that 27 percent of physicians in the United States use a tablet PC for work—five times more than the general public. MedScape also noted that the 22 percent of US doctors were using a tablet in 2010, according to Chilmark Research’s data in November 2010.
Transcriptionists can benefit from tablets in a wide variety of things. The iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy, Acer, Lenovo and Google tabs, for example, have powerful processors, can fit in a small bag, and have a wide enough screen for seamless typing and enhanced viewing. Working remotely and headed somewhere, but need to meet a deadline? No problem. Whip out your tablet PC and start typing away. Need to talk to a client? If there’s a wifi hotspot around, or if your tablet is 3G or 4G-capable, you can always talk to your client over Skype or other collaborative software. Access online document folders too via SkyDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox seamlessly from your tablet.
3. Medical Recorder. Tech Storm has blogged about this so-called electronic medical recorder although it’s a bit hazy for us as to understand what it is exactly. Based on Tech Storm’s description, the technology is dependent on a speech recognition program. The recorder/program allows transcriptionists to edit texts by voice (since Tech Storm says you don’t need a keyboard for it). We reckon it’s simply an audio recorder that can run on a speech recognition program as well. If that’s the case, then you can access this type of program or install it on your tablet or smartphone.
4. State-of-the-art Headphones. Anna Martinez of Dummies.com recommends using headsets or headphones meant for transcription and not for listening to music. She also compares USB-connected headphones, which are in wide use today, with those with audio-jacks or conventional ones. In her article, she favors headphones with noise-reduction features for high-quality listening.
For honorable mention, we also recommend some electronic tools: like this Google for Medical Transcriptionists Only! search engine worthy of note, and mobile reference apps and dictionaries. MedScape also lauds QxMD for its mobile calculator called Calculate, which allows users to evaluate their renal failure risk and need for dialysis. One of the sources for the article, Dr. Iltifat Husain, who also serves as founder and editor-in-chief of iMedicalApps.com recommends a free medical translator called MediBabble. According to the doctor, the app allows non-English-speaking healthcare professionals improve their patient care service, especially during disaster relief operations.
What gadgets or software do you currently use to facilitate your job? Have these technologies hindered you from becoming productive or have these things only helped you better your job? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!