How to Speed up Medical Transcription Work - dummies

How to Speed up Medical Transcription Work

By Anne Martinez

When it comes to medical transcription, time = money, plain and simple. To make money doing medical transcription, you simply have to transcribe quickly. No matter how fast you can type and reference, you won’t realize your true income potential until you start leveraging the power of technology.

You can easily double or triple your productivity (and income) by employing the techno tools and techniques used by experts. If you don’t care how much you earn, go ahead and skip these; otherwise, get ready to start your journey to Master of Faster.

Keys for faster medical transcription

The art and science of transcribing faster has three underlying key principles:

  • Keep your hands on the keyboard as much as possible. Don’t reach for that mouse or trackball if you can accomplish the same task with a keyboard shortcut.

  • Dig deep into productivity software, and learn everything you can about it.

  • Set up your computer with speed in mind (but don’t sacrifice ergonomics, or you won’t be speedy for very long).

Explore the incredible super powers word expanders bring to your fingertips and why mastering them, not just using them, pays off. You should also look into macros, which allow you to execute an entire string of actions with one or two keystrokes. Last, you should find out how easy it is to attach a second monitor to your computer and why you may want to do so.

When you first try a new productivity tool, your line count may actually drop temporarily, but stick with it and have faith: It’s a trend that will quickly reverse. When you get through the initial learning curve, speed will come your way, and lots of it. You can use it to earn a substantially larger paycheck or to reduce the hours you need to put in to meet a line production goal — it’s up to you.

Word expanders for medical transcription

A word expander (also known as a text expander) is a bit of software wizardry that sits in the background, monitoring what you type. When you enter a letter combination you’ve previous identified as a shortcut, the system replaces it with the full monty — on the fly. For example, you type


and hit the spacebar. Before you can blink, the word expander swoops in and replaces it with

the patient

You put in 2 characters and got 11 out, what a deal! Your output just more than quintupled! Shortcuts can be created for anything from a single word to entire blocks of text. Every keystroke you save is money in your pocket. Here’s a longer example:

Without a word expander:

The patient is a 29-year-old white female who has a history of

With a word expander (a savings of 43 characters):

tpia 29 yo wf whaho

Don’t worry, you won’t have to memorize a bunch of cryptic letter combinations like whaho to harness the power of word expansion. The shortcut whaho is simply the first letter of each word in the phrase who has a history of. It’s a system. If you know the rules of the system, you know the shortcut — and you’re guaranteed to know the rules, because you create them.