Thursday, September 13, 2007

Technology Drives Change

As digital dictation technology improved, more and more hospital administrators found it easier to outsource medical transcription in order to save on the cost of employee benefits. Thus, when the moment arrived for a hospital administrator to choose between upgrading dictation and/or word processing equipment -- or outsourcing transcription -- it was often more cost effective to cut capital expenditures and accept bids from contractors who would handle the hospital's transcribing chores.

This led to cut-throat competition for large accounts. As the price per unit dropped, transcriptionists had to take advantage of any shortcuts they could use to boost productivity.

At this point you may be wondering why you should give a damn about how computer literate a transcriptionist is, or whether the transcriptionists handling your dictation get paid on a production basis or by an hourly wage.

The answer is extremely important and involves subtle changes which technology has forced on the transcription industry. These changes are invisible to the untrained eye.

Think, for a second, about how patients with special problems gravitate to the doctors and hospitals that specialize in those problems.

  • Does someone needing a kidney transplant rely on the doctor whose offices are two blocks away?

  • Or does that patient seek out a kidney transplant specialist and go to the hospital where kidney transplants are routinely performed?

[Cartoon #10]

Next: The New Hierarchy Of Transcribing Talent

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