Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ask The Right Questions

In choosing a transcription service, you should always remember that you are paying for service and attempting to get service with a smile. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • Does the agency use tapes or a digital dictation system?

  • Does the agency work with clients who wish to upload sound files from a digital hand-held recorder? If so, do they furnish the device or do you have to purchase it yourself?

  • If so, what model of digital hand-held recorder do they prefer to work with?

  • If you use a digital hand-held recorder, will they provide technical support for the upload process?

  • Is their upload process HIPAA-compliant?

  • In an emergency, can the agency handle dictation from tapes?

  • Is someone available at all times for technical support?

  • Does the agency have a standard contract?

  • What kind of turnaround time is the agency willing to commit to?

  • Does the agency count Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays as working days with regard to turnaround time?

  • How many people will be transcribing your work?

  • Have the transcriptionists who will be assigned to your work had sufficient experience with your area of expertise?

  • What type of word-processing software do the agency's transcriptionists

  • How does the agency deliver the finished product?

  • For what period of time does the agency electronically archive files containing your transcribed reports?

  • Does the agency have a system for tracking reports?

  • Will the agency work with you to improve the quality of your dictation?

  • Can the agency reproduce your letterhead as part of a computer-generated

  • Is there a minimum monthly payment required?

  • Is the agency using live medical transcriptionists or running dictation through a speech recognition engine?

  • Who has ownership of the transcribed reports?

  • Will your transcribed reports be used for data mining purposes? If so, how do they protect patient confidentiality?

  • Will the work be transcribed in the United States?

Next: Negotiating A Rate

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