4 Ways to Increase Productivity (and Make More Money)

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Enhance your Productivity and Income

Every medical transcription/healthcare documentation specialist from time to time wonders how to increase their work production and pay check. Your MTSO (employer) may give you a minimum line count to meet, and fulfilling that requirement sooner may free up your schedule for the rest of the day. Here are a few tips that our MT instructors have found helpful over the years to increase their productivity and accuracy – whether you worked as an independent contractor or employee for a hospital or clinic.

1. Save your keystrokes

Invest in a good word expander. Word expanders are programs that allow you to type a few characters (determined by you) to call up longer words, sentences, and even whole paragraphs, saving you the time it takes to type the entire thing out. Expanders are essential to increase productivity and to aid in accuracy. Once you have programmed your own short cuts, which take a bit of time initially, the word expander will allow you to save thousands of keystrokes and a LOT of time. Paragraphs that have repetitive information, such as in investigative reports, can be created and saved with an expander or even macros. These tools will significantly increase your productivity. Creating templates is another great way to save time, but templates will change depending on your employer’s preferences, and employers usually provide you with templates anyhow. If you are planning on running your own business, you would need to create templates for your work according to your client’s preferences.

2. Look it up

Install a medical dictionary, medical spellchecker, and medical word books onto your computer. Some MT/HDSs prefer to have books rather than E-books for word searches. Whichever you prefer, this is a necessary investment and well worth the money. Keep in mind that some employers provide some, if not all, medical word books, spellcheckers, and dictionaries, so don’t run out and purchase everything all at once until you know for certain they are needed. Ask during your job interview if you need to purchase such materials.

Keep in mind that flipping through books and looking for terms is not nearly as fast as typing them into an eBook or search engine – let the computer do the searching for you! Remember, you make money when your hands are ON the keyboard!

3. Speed it up

Don’t let yourself be dragged down by a slow dictator. If you find that you are typing faster than the doctor can dictate, speed the audio up! Manipulate the settings on your audio player to speed up the audio when needed. Don’t go too fast – you don’t want to make silly errors in your haste. Purchase a good quality headset that cuts out the background noise. Try to be as accurate as possible the first time around when transcribing as this will also make things flow easier and faster. Proofreading after each paragraph is a great way to get your editing done in a timely manner as well.

4. Research smart

Finally, use Google or other search engines whenever possible. You don’t have to go into any of the hits you see on the internet; however, they may give you a better idea of how accurate your spelling is for a difficult word or to help sort out a certain type of phrase.

There are many great ways of utilizing the power of search engines. Use an asterisk (*) in place of a missing word when doing a search. For example, try “chronic * pulmonary disease” if this is all you can hear from the dictator. You then will see a multitude of hits for “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”. This method will help you sort out any confusing phrases.

Always, always, ALWAYS confirm your findings with another resource – you MUST be 100% certain that is what you are hearing. You can’t always believe everything you see on the internet but it certainly will give you a great place to start looking!