Ten Great Online Resources for Medical Transcriptionists - dummies

Ten Great Online Resources for Medical Transcriptionists

By Anne Martinez

The ten websites here are incredibly useful for medical transcriptionists. Whether you want to hob-knob with other medical transcriptionists (MTs), spell the name of a doctor who has more vowels in his name than patients in his office, or figure out what you can deduct on your Schedule C, there’s a site for that.

Meet at the corner on Facebook

The Medical Transcription Networking Corner Group on Facebook is a fast-growing online community of medical transcriptionists, both knowledgeable and new. The attitude here is particularly positive, and if you post a question, you’ll start receiving answers almost instantly. It’s a great place to seek advice, swap strange but true dictation tales, and socialize with fellow medical transcriptionists.

Check Multiple Sources with OneLook

Use OneLook to quickly look up medical words and phrases, acronyms, and abbreviations. OneLook’s true beauty lies in the amazing advanced search that goes far beyond what other lookup sites offer. Take a few minutes to review the wildcard examples, and you’ll be power searching in no time. You also can customize the result contents and appearance, and OneLook will remember them the next time you visit.

Find physician or hospital names

HealthGrades is a tool for connecting consumers with healthcare providers; it also happens to be a great way for a medical transcriptionist to connect with the correct spelling of an unfamiliar physician name or hospital. You can search by location, provider name, and specialty. The best matches will start popping up before you finish entering in your query.

Solve drug problems

When you need to figure out an unclear drug name or dosage, there’s a good chance Drugs.com can help. It includes information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and supplements. You can search by drug name or dosage details, or even get a list of drugs used to treat a particular condition.

The phonetic and wildcard searches are ideal for medical transcriptionist needs. If you can take a half-decent guess at a drug name, you can use either one to help pin it down. Even the standard search will inquire “Did you mean Motrin?” if you enter “mitrin,” but if you switch to the phonetic search, an extended list of possibilities will pop up, including Motrin, Midrin, and Materna.

When using search tools to pin down medical terms or drug names, be extremely alert for sound-alike matches. For example, Motrin and Midrin are distinct drugs, and either one might be used to treat headaches. Nor would you want to mix up peroneum and perineum, which are wildly different body parts. If your research doesn’t leave you absolutely certain what the dictator actually said, don’t guess!

Samples of medical transcripts

Stedmans@Work is the doorway to a repository that includes more than 400 transcribed medical reports. Whether you need help deciphering an acupuncture office note or a detailed surgical procedure (rhinoplasty, anyone?), this is a good place to look. The collection is searchable by keyword, specialty, and report type.

You can even download the samples to your own computer, if you want. Stedman’s print and electronic medical references are among the most widely used by medical transcriptionists, and this page also serves as a jumping-off point to Stedman’s product catalog.

Learn about productivity

The Productivity Talk forum is an ideal place to get and give tips and share resources for making the most of software-productivity boosters. Everyone who wants to master computing shortcuts is welcome, and many efficiency-minded medical transcriptionists participate.

If you have a question about a particular word-expander program, such as Instant Text or Shortcut, someone here will know the answer. You’ll also find a pile of keyboard shortcuts and Microsoft Word macros, along with advice on integrating all these goodies with specific medical transcription platforms.

This is also the perfect place to explore and discuss the merits of different shortcut systems. It also presents an opportunity to swap word expander dictionaries with other medical transcriptionists instead of creating your own from scratch, one of the biggest time-savers of all.

Get industry updates

Regardless of whether you choose to become a member of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), the AHDI website is worth checking out regularly. You’ll find information on the Annual Conference and Expo (ACE), which is a great opportunity to meet other medical transcriptionists and potential employers, hone your current skills, and develop new ones.

This is also the place to sign up for Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) professional exams. AHDI also posts articles about industry trends and “best practices” guidelines.

Go shopping for transcription gear

Sooner or later you’re going to want some new stuff. It may be better headphones, a pair of comfort typing gloves, or a foot pedal to replace the one your dog mistook for a chew toy. There’s more than one place you can get such wondrous treasures, but TranscriptionGear.com is among the best. It has been around a long time, provides excellent customer service, and even has a clearance rack.

Healthy computing for transcriptionists

Healthy Computing has everything you could possibly want to know about office ergonomics and then some. It offers detailed tips and photos for setting up every aspect of your workspace and buyer’s guides for choosing ergonomically friendly everything, from keyboards to telephones.

If you already have aches and pains, go to the “Your Health” section, select “Causes of Discomfort,” and then select the body part that hurts — you can identify ergonomic issues that could be triggering your pain.

Tax advice straight from the IRS

The IRS Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center is a must-visit if you’re working as an independent contractor or considering doing so. You’ll find explanations (in plain English, believe it or not!) about federal tax facts that apply to you.

There’s also a very helpful interactive Small Business/Self-Employed Small Business Tax Workshop. Tax topics are broken out into individual lessons, so you can skip the boring stuff that doesn’t apply to you. You also can skip out in the middle of a lesson and pick up where you left off later.