Thursday, September 13, 2007

Welcome to the Electronic Sweatshop

Many years ago a doctor doing her residency looked me straight in the eye and said,
"Let me be real clear with you: The reason I'm planning to specialize in dermatology is because nobody calls you at three o'clock in the morning to pop a goddamn zit!"

Different personalities are drawn to different work styles. Just as some medical students have strong personal reasons for choosing certain specialties, medical transcriptionists now choose between working in-house for an hourly wage or transcribing on a production basis.

At first, one might not think that such a choice would make much difference in the way transcribing talent gets distributed. But as more and more people have started working at home, a very clear pattern of behavior has emerged.

  • People who are paid to transcribe on an hourly basis spend more time socializing on the job.

  • People who are working against the clock are motivated to work harder because "the meter is running. "
Although you may never have thought about this, the method by which a transcriptionist is paid can determine who is transcribing your work and thus have a severe impact on the quality of transcription you receive.

Next: Hourly Wages Versus Productivity Incentives

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