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Section Three - What the Medical Transcriptionist Needs

A medical transcriptionist of course needs a personal computer with Internet connectivity and word processing software. The speed and power of the MT’s PC should be based more on what is needed to effectively and efficiently do the actual transcription, rather than internet connectivity. A PC with multiple USB ports (most recent computers include multiple USB ports) will allow the use of a wide variety of add-on hardware such as foot pedals.

Virtually all PCs have audio jacks for connecting headphones using a standard plug. Most desktop computers have the audio jack on the back while notebook computers normally have headphone jack on the side. To be used for transcription purposes the PC must have an audio output, or headphone jack.

The majority of medical transcriptionists use Windows based computers. Relatively few MTs use Macs.

The MT will need software to play back digital audio files. Software for playback is typically bundled with handheld dictation devices, ensuring support for a particular device’s file type. Third party software products that handle all required file types are also available (see Digital Dictation Products Guide, Software, and File Types).

MTs who also work directly with the medical professionals who are using handheld devices can benefit from having a similar device, in order to be able to consult with and support their customers.

A transcription-oriented Internet file storage and delivery service is required to allow files to be securely transmitted and organized as well as to deliver audio files to the transcriptionist and finished documents to the medical professional. When selecting a service be certain that the service is HIPAA compliant.

The preferred internet connection for a medical transcriptionist is broadband (cable modem or DSL). Benefits include speed and convenience (“always on”). Broadband can be expensive compared to dialup, but the productivity improvement it brings usually makes the extra cost worth it. Broadband is not universally available.

If broadband is not available, dialup service can be used if the file transfer methods allow files to be transferred efficiently and in

Move Your Transcription Business from Tape to Digital - A How-To Guide from My Docs Online © 2008 My Docs Online, Inc.

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