Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Information Innovators: Preparing for a Career in Medical Coding and Transcription

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Med-diet-may-counteract-genetic-stroke-risk-say-researchers_wrbm_small.jpgIn business, knowledge is power, and the medical industry is no exception. As hospitals scramble to respond to benefit cuts, rising healthcare costs, increasing numbers of patients, and other challenges, the demand for medical coding and transcription workers is growing rapidly. Med-Line School's healthcare documentation specialist programs are designed to meet that demand. Armed with the latest healthcare information and technology, Med-Line is well equipped to prepare you for a career as a:

Medical Coder

Usually employed in hospitals or doctor's offices, a medical coder is a healthcare documentation specialist who focuses on coding and classifying medical information. Coders are in charge of reviewing payment data, communicating with patients and insurance companies who have not paid, and resolving disputes over whose responsibility it is to pay. They also track patient illnesses and outcomes, organize hospital and clinical databases, and record, store, and retrieve data. Medical coders must understand advanced medical facts and terminology, stay up to date with changes in medical software, and communicate regularly with physicians, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. Given the growing emphasis on diabetes and other chronic illnesses, many coders focus on tracking patients with preexisting conditions.

The job market for medical coders is expected to grow by 22% over the next ten years, making it one of the fastest-growing professions in the country. Most medical coders work full-time, and many have to work evening, weekend, and overnight shifts. The median pay for a coder in 2012 was $34,160 a year, but well-trained coders with experience in other fields could make as much as $56,250 a year. To become a coder, you must attend post-secondary health registration classes and receive certification as a Registered Health Information Technician.

Medical Transcriptionist

As a medical transcriptionist, your job will be to type out and store transmit reports from doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Typically, you will receive an audio recording of the medical report and will have to transcribe the audio. When the practitioner uses shorthand or abbreviations, your job will be to translate that into its long-form equivalent. You will then enter that information into the records system or send it to the intended recipient. To be a transcriptionist, you must have a detailed knowledge of medical terminology and procedures, pharmacology, and treatment technology.

In many modern hospitals, doctors and nurses now use computer programs to transcribe their speech, but this has not made transcriptionists unnecessary. Here, the transcriptionist's job is to read through the software's transcription, identify errors or omissions, and make the necessary corrections.

The job market for medical transcriptionists will grow by 8% over the next decade. Transcriptionists can work either full- or part-time and have considerable flexibility in their scheduling. Transcriptionists can be paid by hour or by word; the median annual wage for a transcriptionist in 2012 was $34,020. To become a transcriptionist, you must complete a 1-year postsecondary training program. Many employers will also require you to be certified as a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist or as a Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist.

The Med-Line Difference

Besides being promising careers in their own right, medical coding and transcription training provide a valuable stepping stone into other professions. A healthcare documentation specialist trained in both transcription and coding will be in high demand, allowing them to command the highest wages in either field. Training in either field will also prepare prospective nurses for their careers and will help current nurses expand their job opportunities.

Don't pass up the chance to earn a living while making a difference in the world. For more information on a career in healthcare documentation, visit our website today.

9 Steps to a Successful Medical Transcription Career, part 5

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

SuccessSTEP 8:  ATTAINING YOUR CREDENTIALS

It is highly recommended upon completion of the program that the student studies for and takes the RHDS examination (Registered Healthcare Documentationa Specialist) offered through AHDI. It is important for employers to know that you have attained certain skills and developed your talents for this chosen career. The RHDS is a key indicator of this skill level and one that every graduate should be eager to obtain. As a professional medical transcriptionist with at least 2 years of practical experience advanced skills, you will be eligible to sit for the CHDS exam. The CHDS exam ensures employers you have advanced knowledge in your profession. CHDSs are in high demand in quality assurance, management, and as educators. The CHDS opens doors for the medical transcriptionist. In addition, AHDI offers a fellowship designation for medical transcriptionists who are seeking professional fulfillment in the areas of leadership, mentoring, teaching, speaking, writing, and volunteering of one’s talents. The fellowship is an honor for those who have worked hard in the industry and demonstrated their efforts. To learn more about these credentials and designation, go to http://www.ahdionline.org or speak to a Med-Line representative.

STEP 9:  SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE

As you become more knowledgeable and experienced in the industry, the time will come for you to share your talents with those new to the field, as was done for you when you began. This is a wonderful moment to begin to give back and take your education to the next level.  The industry needs more medical transcriptionists, like you, who will be dedicated, reliable, and ethical professionals in the healthcare delivery profession.

Will you step up to this challenge?

Topics: Professional Development, Medical Transcription Training

9 Steps to a Successful Medical Transcription Career, part 4

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Mon, Dec 04, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

SuccessSTEP 6:  GET INVOLVED AND NETWORK

Healthcare documentation has a wealth of online resources, both professionally and personally. There is more than enough activities to keep you busy and active. You will be very satisfied with the prestige of your in demand career. There are numerous opportunities for leadership and advancement as you gain experience. Enrollment and involvement in professional organizations, especially AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity) and attending online and in person meetings and networking, is highly recommended and promises to be rewarding as you learn from others.

STEP 7:  EVALUATIONS AND REFLECTION

Being a medical transcriptionist has so many benefits that it is hard to make a list, but most importantly the opportunity for the professional to evaluate their life and make huge advancements ethically, intellectually, professionally, and spiritually, by coming to the realization that belonging to this profession provides employment that really matters. Medical transcriptionists grow to realize the importance of their position, and the delicate balance they have to maintain with respect to integrity, honor, and reliance. A medical transcriptionist does not stop learning, nor do they stop developing greater personal and professional advancements. Medical transcriptionists are reliable and trustworthy. A medical transcriptionist is responsible for healthcare information that we must safeguard, and that responsibility is taken very serious.

Read steps 8 and 9 next week.

See how Med-Line can help you succeed

Topics: Professional Development, Medical Transcription Training

9 Steps to a Successful Medical Transcription Career, Part 3

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

SuccessSTEP 4:  BEGIN YOUR STUDIES

Organize your study activities, plan your time, stave off procrastination and be self-disciplined– make it your routine to continue your studies, keep a positive attitude and focus. Avoid looking too far ahead; take it one step at a time. It is very easy to freak yourself out when you look at an entire program and try to take it all in at once. Rest assured, the program is designed around both your ability to complete it as well as what it takes to make you a successful medical transcriptionist. As you progress through the program, you will begin seeing your studies come together as it hones you into a quality medical transcriptionist.

STEP 5:  OBTAINING YOUR SKILLS

Realize that there is a certain point in your training program where you will have to rely upon your instructor to mentor you through any hurdles. Transcription is more than knowing how to spell medical words, memorizing drug names, and simply typing what you hear. Medical transcription involves ethics, dedication, critical thinking, patience, and the ability to work well with others, who will help guide you to success, as those who have been guided before you.

See how Med-Line can help you succeed

Topics: Professional Development, Medical Transcription Training

9 Steps to a Successful Medical Transcription Career, Part 2

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

SuccessSTEP 2:  RESEARCH THE CAREER

Find out what being a medical transcriptionist is all about. You should all and speak with our experienced instructors. Read materials describing the profession. Visit the professional association’s website. A great first step is to schedule a call with an actual instructor to learn about the program and the profession.

STEP 3:  CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROGRAM FOR YOUR TRAINING

A high quality AHDI-Approved school will set you up for career success. Selecting an AHDI-approved school not only assures you that the curriculum will meet the minimum standards for success. It also assures students they will be mentored by CHDS instructors. An ideal instructor - student relationship would be one that allows you personalization and a more hands-on approach to your mentoring. The mentoring relationship is a back and forth interaction with a live instructor who is vested in your success. You get what you put into this relationship. It is not a passive one. You ask questions, receive feedback, and apply it going forward.

Be cautious of ‘tiered’ or ‘package’ programs. There should be a single program that teaches you everything you need to know as a transcriptionist to work any job. Make sure you understand which ‘tier’ or ‘package’ is the actual full program, as the lower tiers/packages may not provide a complete education. Do not count on the program to volunteer this information. Be sure to ask.

Ask how many students there are per instructor. Often you will learn that your work is graded by a computer versus a live instructor who can give you quality feedback.

Watch for programs that offer to graduate you in mere months, as this is not a realistic time frame for quality training in this career. Medical transcription is a lifelong career. To be successful, you must have quality training and actual experience. This quality and experience will take longer than 6-9 months. A quality program is going to take you about a year to finish

When seeking a program, watch for added “fluff” in the program’s material list. Ensure that there are no hidden charges later in the program that just pop up out of nowhere. Verify what materials are important to your training and what is filler used to make a program seem superior.

Read steps 4 and 5 next week

See how Med-Line can help you succeed

Topics: Professional Development, Medical Transcription Training

9 Steps to a Successful Medical Transcription Career, Part 1

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 @ 11:00 AM


successMed-Line has been educating healthcare documentation specialists for over 20 years now. We have the experience and track record to back up our training methodologies. Over the next few weeks, we would like to share what we feel are 9 steps that will take you to success in medical transcription. The steps also apply to medical coding.

STEP 1:  ASSESS YOUR ABILITIES

Medical transcriptionists need to develop excellent grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills. In addition, medical transcriptionists must develop critical thinking skills.  Fortunately there are plenty of sites online to help one assess and develop their grammar skills. The Guide to Grammar and Writing offers a lot of information for those looking to develop their grammatical skills. Learning to think critically is a skill that takes time to develop. For the transcriptionist, the first step is learning to never type anything that you do not clearly hear or understand. This is one of the most difficult things for the medical transcriptionist to learn although it is one of the most important.

MTs must have good auditory acuity. Although the profession can be tailored for many challenges, the medical transcriptionist must be able to hear clearly in order to transcribe a document. 

Read steps 2 and 3 next week.

See how Med-Line can help you succeed

Topics: Professional Development, Medical Transcription Training

Learn Medical Coding with Med-Line and Succeed

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 @ 02:01 PM

Online TrainingWith the transition to ICD-10 in 2014, medical coding has gained even more attention than usual as an allied health career with a promising future. In Canada, the transition to ICD-10 resulted in close to 1.5 to 2 coders needed to perform the same volume of coding, and this was after the system was fully learned. To date, there has been no return to ICD-9 production levels. The result, an increase in the need for medical coders. Quite a few sources have projected that many medical coders close to retirement have chosen to retire instead of transitioning to ICD-10. Top this off with the increased workload for ICD-10, and an industry that is already in dire need of coders will be at an extreme shortage of medical coders.  

Med-Line has been educating healthcare documentation experts for over 20 years. Our program addresses weaknesses seen in many coding programs by focusing on a more in-depth medical knowledge training as well as training students in technologies that most programs overlook. In this EHR era, individuals without a strong technology background will be ill-suited and likely to struggle as the industry evolves. Med-Line recognizes this and works to ensure that graduates exceed technology standards in the industry.

Our Comprehensive Medical Coding Course provides:
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Technology
  • Health Information Management
    • Medicolegal standards
    • EHR preparation
    • HIM statistics
    • Medical records life cycle
  • Medical Coding Training
     Hospital
     Office
  • HCPCS II
  • CPT 
  • Prepare for the CCS exam
Learn more about our Comprehensive Medical Coding Course.  

Topics: Medical Coding Training

Think before sending emails

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Jul 01, 2015 @ 06:00 AM

UnknownEmails have become one of the most prevalent means of communication in today's world, overtaking and outstripping more conventional means for virtually every type of person. Unfortunately emails can often be unclear, causing confusion in things such as the intentions and tone of the sender.

It is very important to ensure your email is conveying the right message before you send it. There are many different ways to do this, including implementation of all of the following helpful tips for writing and proofreading an email:

  • Read the email out loud to yourself: .One very helpful way to critique your own work is after composition is completed. Go back and read the email out loud to yourself. Assess whether it sounds the same as when you read it in your head. This practice serves to bridge the gap between written and spoken language, and can often clear up ambiguities in tone.
  • Try to be as objective as possible: This can prove very difficult because objectivity is not easy by nature, but it can be very critical in email writing. It is important to remember that this person is not right in front of you, and their mind will fill in gaps with their own interpretation of your words. It is therefore important to leave as little to opinion as possible; place yourself in the shoes of the reader, and assess any problem areas. These tend to be where literal meaning is mistaken for sarcasm, and vice versa. 
  • Be as clear and concise as possible: Keep in mind that this is not a verbal conversation, so often your ability to clarify things you may have said is much more limited. This makes it very important to be as clear and concise as you possibly can. Often this can mean explaining yourself fully, rephrasing or paraphrasing yourself a few times, and more importantly writing in an active voice. 
  • Make sure the reader knows you exhausted all other options: This is especially important when asking questions, as it removing many unnecessary follow up emails. For instance, if you were to email a question to someone, a very appropriate answer would be "well, have you tried...". If you have already done this, then your email has just wasted both your time as well as the recipient. Instead, be as direct as you can. When asking questions, it is always best to assure the other person that you tried on your own to solve the issue. Try listing all the options that you have exhausted so they can better direct you with their answer. 

Email is perhaps the most convenient means of modern communication for individuals, businesses, as well as students and educators. Unfortunately too often aspects of traditional verbal communication are lost, making it vital to be as clear as possible in speech. This preserves intent of the email, the tone in which you are speaking, and results in a concise email that is efficient for both parties.  

Move Forward, Procrastinate No More

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 @ 06:00 AM

imagesMany of us procrastinate doing something every day. It could a little thing like getting up a few minutes later in the morning by hitting snooze, folding that basket of laundry, or opening the bills. While at times your procrastinating can seem fairly harmless, it can interfere with your life when you start putting off those more important things. Put off those bills too long and you’ll be sitting in the dark. The same goes for procrastinating about furthering your education, you’ll be left behind as you watch others progress in their careers.

Many of us find that putting something off can start off as easily as saying you’ll start working on it in a few minutes. A few minutes becomes a day, a day becomes a week, and before you know it time has flown by. Making the decision that gaining more education is an easy step, it just takes a few minutes to think about it and then decide it’s something you would like to do. This is where many of us stop. You know you need additional education to progress in your desired career path, but you find numerous reasons as to why you need to put it off. Those reasons to put it off are just excuses to procrastinate instead of making the effort to get started on the path to a better you.

You know you want to further your education and have decided on the path you would like to take, so what is stopping you from finalizing this decision, why it’s just you. Maybe you decided that your goal is to become a pharmacy technician, just one job with a growing demand for qualified employees. You could be undecided about a program in medical transcription or medical coding, don’t fret you’ll find that we offer a Healthcare Documentation Specialist program that combines the two. Now that you know it’s what you want to do, don’t procrastinate any longer. Stop watching as co-workers, friends, and others you know move on to bigger and better things while you seem to stand still. Although it can be a little frightening to take that first step forward, once  you’re moving you’ll wonder why you ever put it on hold in the first place.

Med-Line School has been offering career college healthcare programs to help our students move forward in life, both personally and professionally. Let us help you to excel in your chosen career path. At times it is easier to put other things ahead of education, but make the time for it now. Stop watching the people around you move up in life while you sit and procrastinate. No one enjoys being put on hold during a call even for a few minutes, why put your entire life on hold. Contact Med-Line School today and get your admission process started. You’ll find that soon you're on your path to success and will wonder why it took you so long to get started.

Coding: Preparing for Change…or Delay

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 08:11 PM

Medical CodingHealthcare documentation professionals received a serious wakeup call when the implementation of ICD-10 was delayed by another year. The once touted impossibility became a quick reality with very little obvious pushback in congress. And after that chaos ensued. 

Testing bodies had already begun to move away from ICD-9 testing in favor of the ICD-10. Most schools had dropped ICD-9 education even though students might graduate before the implementation date. Even vendors went all out for the change. What was most interesting is that few actually seemed to be prepared for the inevitable delay. When word of the congressional vote came up, there was a panicked effort to change the unavoidable outcome. 

It almost seemed as if many moved burned the bridge for ICD-9. I heard a few mention that if they make it so that they cannot easily go back or they are totally committed to ICD-10, there would be no way anyone would dare to change the implementation date. This line of thinking and planning should have been a major red flag. 

There are very legitimate reasons on both sides of the delay argument. There are even some wanting to wait and move to ICD-11. Physicians, vendors, and healthcare documentation specialists all sit on different sides for various reasons. We could endlessly write on either side of the argument. The intent here is not to take a side, but to be prepared regardless of the outcome. 

The biggest take away from this experience is simple….. Make plans both for a change and also make plans should that change not happen. The stakes are too high for businesses, schools, and professionals to not prepare for multiple outcomes. Hopefully other schools will take note of Med-Line’s strategic planning. Giving students a strong education that focuses on now and the future is the key to success. 

Med-Line's Medical Coding Bridge Course was one of the few courses that continued teaching ICD-9 alongside ICD-10 so graduates would be ready if the ICD-10 implementation was delayed. As expected, ICD-10 was delayed leaving graduates of many programs unprepared to work since their education did not include ICD-9. Our students were ready for this delay. When we let them know about the delay, their response from one was telling “Well, everyone knew that was coming. Good thing we know both.”

Would you like to be ready for whatever changes come in the future? If so, choose Med-Line.

Prepare for Your Future