In the wake of medical transcription/healthcare documentation moving out of the facilities and into the individual MT/HDS homes, comes the choice of working as an employee or working as an independent contractor with a self-employed business.
As an employee working for a service or large facility, you will need many of the same things that are noted below for an independent contractor, particularly office space, privacy, and equipment to perform the work. Sometimes employers provide the needed equipment for performing transcription such as computers, foot pedals and headsets, along with software packages or access to web sites to perform the transcription. There are still things that a work-at-home MT/HDS may need outside of what the employer provides which may include those things mentioned below.
In order to begin working as a self-employed MT service owner (sole proprietorship) a business plan would be essential to establish the purpose of the business, the expected size of the business, and what will be needed to run the business, which would include equipment, software, space for working separate from the rest of the household, not only for privacy for a quiet work environment, but also for protection of confidential information.
Once the plan has been written, implementation is the next step. Establishing a work space is the first priority. A room with a door, preferably one that can be closed and locked is preferred. In this workspace has to be proper lighting and ventilation. Space for furniture that can accommodate the needs of the business, i.e. a desk with a chair (ergonomically correct), printer stand, bookshelves, file cabinet, copier, fax machine, paper shredder, dictation and transcription equipment, and a wastepaper basket just to name a few “must haves.” Other equipment and furniture may include such things as a flatbed scanner, extra bookshelves or cabinets for supplies and a fireproof lock box or safe.
Once the office has been set up it is time to do some marketing for your business. You can work for an established MT/HDS service and market your skills and what you can offer the MT/HDS business. You can also establish your own accounts, set your own prices for your service, negotiate contracts, which may also include the services of a lawyer on a part-time basis for any legal needs, insurance for your business, and should you determine after a period of time that you have established your company, to add a partner or employees and grow your business. The development of your business requires a new business plan to help you shape your future