Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Who is Deciding Your Professional Career?

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

Med-Line Learn to AdaptChange is a good thing as long as its purpose is to improve oneself or life in general.  In this world of continuous breakthroughs in technology and advancements in science, we are often left no choice but to ride along.  Otherwise, be left in the dark while everybody else is moving on and fighting to claim their place in the world of modern day living.

Nearly gone are the days when everything used to be manual.  Since the invention of electronic devices, people never stopped searching for more ways to make life even better in terms of comfort, reliability and efficiency.  Almost every day we see new inventions to help upkeep schools, workplaces, businesses and establishments, transportation and homes.  These inventions are intended to make daily activities and workloads manageable and not to create fear of coping up. 

In the medical field, we have witnessed a tremendous progress on how hospitals and facilities operate.  With the growing number of individuals seeking medical help and assistance, it is not a trend to use advanced support tools but a necessity to improve staff performance while keeping operation cost at a minimum.  It helps accommodate large number of patients on a daily basis where services are delivered in a timely manner while maintaining accuracy in reports. 

Hospitals, clinics, care facilities in both the private and public sectors are upgrading to electronic health record which is hoped to better the quality of patient care because practitioners get fast access to patients’ medical history and are provided with support tools vital to case analysis and decision making.

With the noticeable increase in the use of electronic health record comes the need for more practitioners and experts in this kind of data processing.  Experienced medical transcriptionists need to take advantage of the knowledge they already possess.  Going through a simple training to maximize potential with modern medical technology is the best way to stay in action.  Learn new skills and open your doors to greater heights. 

The medical field needs knowledgeable healthcare documentation experts who know not just one piece of the documentation process, but every piece. Do not be content with letting others decide where you will fit in this changing market. Take action now and decide for yourself. Be prepared to face what the future has to offer.  Constant learning is the only key to a stable future.  Enhance your skills and conquer change.  Continue to grow in your field of expertise and never fear of being left in the dark. Further your knowledge and earn success. 

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Topics: Continuing Education, Medical Coding Training, Career Advancement

Monday Technology Tip- Know Your Machine

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionThere were no articles last week because I was out on a business trip.

At some point, in fact at many points, in your education and career, someone is going to say to you “tell me about your system configuration.” Sadly, many have no clue what kind of computer they are using. Usually you are told Dell, PC, or Mac. This is really sad as the computer is one of the MTs most important tools. Without it, you cannot work remotely. You must know this information without having to check. If you have to go look when asked, it is a matter of professional development.

The reason you are asked about your system is that many MT platforms do not work with certain operating systems, Internet explorer versions, or a 64-bit operating system. It is very common for a job ad to mention system requirements. If your system does not meet these requirements, applying for the job is useless and applying without the requirements will just annoy the recruiter.

So today, you are going to become an expert.

Mac or PC

If you do not know this, then you seriously need intensive computer skills training. Macs can work with training; however, most MT platforms will not be Mac compatible. Keep this in mind if you are considering working as an IC.

Operating System

If you are using windows and the little flag in the lower left is a rectangle, you are using Windows XP. If it is a circle, you are using Vista or Windows 7. Ironically the old Windows XP is still one of the most popular versions for MTSOs as many do not want to upgrade software. So do not be so quick to upgrade.

32- or 64-bit

Without going into too much here, most older PCs are 32-bit. Most newer laptops are 64-bit. Simply put, 64-bit is newer, faster, and the future of PCs. There is a lot of potential here; however, software must be written for it as a 32-bit version and 64-bit version interact differently with the system. You can install a 32-bit version of Windows on a 64-bit machine but not the other way around. I only mention that because you can have a 64-bit computer and be running a 32-bit operating system. Yep. It is confusing. Just accept it. Sometimes putting that 32-bit version on is enough to fix any issues. Sadly, it usually requires a complete hard drive wipe and restart from the beginning. Many platforms are not compatible with a 64-bit system. They will be when/if the vendor updates the software to incorporate the newer technology. You can see why they need to know if your 64-bit. If you are and their system only works on 32-bit, then there is no need to consider you for employment unless you buy a new PC, try a 32-bit version of the Windows software, or they send you a computer. XP is only 32-bit. Vista and Windows 7 can be either.

For more specific information---Windows 7/Vista- Click the flag in the lower left. Click Control Panel. Click System and Security. Click System. You will then see all the info you need.

You want to see the Windows version, amount of RAM, 32- or 64-bit operating system.

Internet Explorer

Even though many complain that Internet Explorer makes your computer vulnerable, it is the reason you can work from home. Your computer uses Internet Explorer to interact with the MTSO and your computer. It is the portal to the system. Never upgrade without checking wit your school or employer to be sure that their system is compatible with the new version. It is extremely common for there to be a 6-month or more delay until it will work with the new Internet Explorer.

Open Internet Explorer and look for a question mark in the upper right. Click it and look for About. Clicking that will tell you the version.

Microsoft Word

Your Word version is sometimes important. Many platforms use the Word on your computer to handle the data input. Usually there is a question mark in the upper right (there is on 2010). Click it to see your word version.

Hard Drive Size

You need to know this so people can be sure you have enough space for their software. Here is a tutorial to check this depending on your operating system

Okay, there you have it. Now respond and tell me your system configuration. I will go first.

Windows 7 64-bit

6 Mb Ram

Internet Explorer 9

Word 2010

270 GB free


Coding Bridge Program is a Hit!

Posted by Chad Sines on Sat, Oct 29, 2011 @ 11:14 PM

Medical CodingThe success of our Coding Bridge Program has been unbelievable. We have spoken to several hundred MTs who have shared with us their appreciation for introducing the first true MT to Coder training program. Many have shared their long-standing desire to learning coding; however, most programs only teach coding from the level of no healthcare documentation experience. Some allow testing out of core programs, although charging for each. 

Our Coding Bridge Program is designed to take the MT to Coder in 6 months. We focus on teaching new information, coding and health information management. No wasted time or cost re-learning what you as an MT expertly know. The ability to learn at your own pace, never having to be in class at a certain time, allows a personalized learning experience that fits any schedule. Couple that with one of the lowest costs in the industry and you can see why it is a hit with individuals seeking a professional edge.

Our October special allows enrollees who pay in full to receive their textbooks for free, a $350 value. We also offer a low-cost payment plan designed to easily fit in most budgets. 

We have one more orientation left in October, so register now and learn more about our October special.


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Topics: Continuing Education, Medical Coding Training

Webinar- $10 - Microsoft Excel

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 @ 01:50 AM

excelTitle: Microsoft Excel
When: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 3 PM - 4 PM PDT
Presenter:  Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Length: 1 hour
Credits: 1 TW
Cost: $10 

Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that is often underutilized. It can be used for everything from budgeting to financial reports to tracking line counts.  Participants will learn basic and advanced tools in Excel such as how to create a budget and how to track line counts and expected pay. 

Topics: Continuing Education

Don't Poke the Bear- Nurture the Mentor Relationship

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 @ 07:00 AM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionThe relationship with your QA or instructor is either one of great learning or a constant battle. Often you decide which it will be. Having the right attitude and respect makes all the difference in the world. Here is some common sense advice that will make your life easier.

Negative Feedback
Getting negative feedback is no fun. As a student it affects your grade. As a working MT it will affect your job. Few things can damage the instructor-student or QA-MT relationship faster than arguing against a correction. Rarely does this end in the MT/student’s favor. There is one thing to remember. Your instructor or QA is your ally. Their goal is to help you succeed, but their goal is also to ensure quality work. They are your superiors in the workflow chain. Give them that respect.

Usually what happens is the MT or student will put their guard up any time they see negative feedback. The MT/student goes into attack mode. They will quickly shoot off an email that goes on the offensive. Some even argue that their negative grade/score is the fault of the instructor or QA. The end result is confrontation, negativity, and decreased future communication. It just makes no common sense to engage in this type of interaction. Do it on the job too much and hello unemployment line.

You must realize upfront that chances are the mistake is yours. Always start the process with “I must have made a mistake. What should I have done differently?” If after going through the process of reading the feedback, researching it, and reviewing past work you still have questions, then now is the time to ask questions in a respectable manner.

Instructors and QA are humans and do make mistakes. It happens. If you expect them to be kind with their comments when you make a mistake, then you must do the same when you feel they make a mistake. No one would accept a QA or instructor calling them an idiot; however, it is surprising how often the reverse is done.

If you honestly feel the QA/instructor made a mistake with their feedback or you do not understand something, then go ahead and ask a question. The goal is to learn. You should never ignore feedback you do not understand. That is not learning. Acknowledge what they said and that you heard it and then explain why you think you could have been correct. Ask for clarification.

“I noticed that you told me to capitalize aspirin (acknowledgement of their feedback), but the BOS says on page XXX to keep generic names lowercase (showing that you have researched the issues). I left aspirin lower case due to it being a generic, so I am not sure how I was wrong (you explain your rationale). Could you clarify this for me (non-confrontational request for help)?” 

If you approach the situation correctly, you will be amazed at the results. You will show the QA/instructor that you listened to them, researched it, and honestly want to learn. They will respond in kind.

QA/Instructors are Not a Research Resource
QA is not a research resource. They are not there to research for you. They do not have the time and it is your job anyway. Before you send work to QA, you are expected to have researched the issue thoroughly. Just sending blanks to QA in order to ensure you have good line counts is an excellent way to become unemployed.

The issue of instructors is a bit touchier as their goal is to teach you. Everyone reading this is mature enough to understand what I am saying here. With that in mind, it is important to accept that you should be researching your questions thoroughly before asking your instructor. It is a great practice to prove this when asking for help. “I am having issues with when to make a list versus when to use paragraph form. In BOS, page XXX it says… but I just do not get it. When I did this on the practice transcription, the feedback said I did it wrong.”

Way too often people immediately go to their QA or instructors for every little question. Reading the questions, it is clear that they did little or nothing to find the answer themselves. This ends up wasting the other person’s time and fails to improve your research skills. It also really, really annoys the other person and shows them that you are not able to think critically or research effectively. They want to help you but want to know that you are doing your fair share in the process.

So yes, they are there when you need help but use them responsibly.

The QA/Instructor has the Final Say
This one was hard for me at times. Sometimes you will get a response of “Technically you are right, but this is just the way it is done here.” Usually the MT/student escalates this without realizing that the other person is adhering to industry standards or client specifics. Both have the final say, especially the client. It is not uncommon at all to have a client demand something that is technically wrong. Accept that it happens. Your employer does not like it, the QA does not like it, but it is what it is. From the business side we all want every account to have the exact same client specifics because it would greatly increase productivity and make training easier, but it does not happen. You can either argue and not have the job or accept that you are filling contractual obligations set by a client who has the final say. From a student standpoint it is sometimes hard to accept that your gut instinct is not what the industry demands. Accept it, make the change, and move on.

So there you have it in a nutshell. If you can master these areas, you will be just fine.

Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Director of Admissions

Topics: Professional Development, Transcription Tip

From Transcription to Coding-- A Natural Journey

Posted by Chad Sines on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 @ 06:49 PM

Med-Line Medical CodingAre you medical transcriptionists seeking to expand your career options? Are you thinking about becoming a medical coder, but are concerned with the transitioning process? Well, you do not have to be concerned any longer. The transition from medical transcriptionist to medical coder will be simpler for you because you already possess the basic skills needed to succeed in this field. Developing both skill sets can open new and exciting career opportunities in this ever-changing industry.

Current Skills

As a medical transcriptionist, here are some of the skills you currently possess that will make transitioning to a medical coder almost effortless:

  • Accurate typing skills
  • Effective reading and listening skills
  • Ability to work alone with no supervision
  • Efficient computer skills, including basic computer programs
  • An understanding of medical language and terminology
  • Skills needed to understand medical reports

What is Medical Coding?

Medical coders translate patients’ medical records into the proper medical billing language. Their job is to apply this language, or medical coding, to procedures and services provided by doctors, hospitals and clinics so that the universal billing systems can understand it. These coded files are then electronically transmitted to healthcare insurance companies for billing purposes. Without medical coders, no one in the chain of healthcare providers would ever get paid.

Two Advantages of Transitioning from Transcriptionist to Coder

1)      Salary Advantages

According to a report by The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, which can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition:

Starting Pay

Medical Coders start out at about $14 per hour.

Experienced Pay

The US Department of Labor May 2008 Report on labor statistics breaks down the expected earnings of experienced medical coders into categories based on the types of facilities they choose to work for:

  • Federal executive offices – $42,760
  • General hospitals – $32,600
  • Nursing care facilities – $30,660
  • Outpatient care providers – $29,160
  • Doctors’ offices – $26,210

2)      Cross Training Advantages

Being certified as a medical transcriptionist, as well as a medical coder gives you more career options. By cross training to be skilled in both professions, you will be qualified to accept job offers and contracts in both fields. Here are some of the advantages of cross training:

  • Find a good paying job in either or both fields.
  • Obtain independent contracts in either or both fields.
  • Obtain independent contracts that allow you to provide both services, thus doubling your pay per project.

How to Become a Medical Coder

Medical coders must complete required training courses to become certified. Medical coding certification gives your employers and clients the guarantee that you are skilled and highly qualified in this field. A premium medical coding program will educate you on the skills you need to flourish in your new career as a medical coder.

Attend our Orientation

We have an orientation on Saturday. Learn more about medical coding and the special savings for October enrollees who pay in full. As a thank you for attending, all attendees will receive links to 3 CEC webinars (Facebook for the Professional, LinkedIn for the Professional, and Microsoft PowerPoint) Don't pass up this opportunity to enrich your career path.

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Topics: Professional Development, Medical Coding Training

Medical Coding as Continuing Education

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

Med-Line Medical CodingOne of the proven ways to make more money in the health care field is to be able to do more than one specialized job. Maybe you feel stuck in your current job path and need a way to branch out? Perhaps you feel all the changes in healthcare documentation are leaving you confused about the future and the stress is driving you crazy? The feeling of your career being stalled, or of watching everything change around you while nothing seems to change for you are a part of struggle many face. The answer is pretty simple--when you discover the value of continuing education. Medical Coding can be a feather in your professional cap.

The health care field is an ever-changing one and the more you can do to enhance your marketable skills to keep pace, the better off you are in the long run. The best way to ensure that you remain in high demand is to learn new areas that compliment and leverage what you already know. Picking up continuing education in related areas can make you invaluable to either your current employer or a prospective new one. The value of continuing education to the progress of your personal and career goals cannot be overestimated.

One area of explosive and complex growth in the health care sector in recent years is in the field of medical coding. In this era of increased revenue pressures on government and private insurers, all looking to reimburse providers as little as they can, every medical business offices need someone who can get the coding done right the first time.

From the largest hospital chains on down to the smallest family practice, they all need someone who can get the services performed by the medical providers rapidly and accurately coded to forward documentation to the billing department in order to maintain the office's lifeblood--its cash flow.  

With our new medical coding program, tailored especially for individuals like you, ones with prior medical documentation experience, that most valuable employee could be you. Attend our free program orientation on October 22nd.

The ICD-9 manuals are in three large volumes that when first examined are both confusing and daunting. Our program will teach you all of the current best practices in order for you to reduce your office's rejection rate and to maximize the reimbursements rightfully owed to the medical practice.

Taking what you already know about the names of diagnoses, procedures, anatomy, and medical office business practices, we will help you to build an even better career upon that foundation. The value of continuing education will become self-evident when you can add knowledge of medical billing codes to your resume. 


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Topics: Continuing Education, Medical Coding Training

Monday Technology Tip- Computer Connections

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 @ 04:00 AM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionThere are quite a few computer connection types out there. USB, firewire, e-SATA. Even the USB types are numerous: Micro, mini, Type-A, Type-B. 

Take a few minutes to view this link to see some of the most popular types and learn how they are used. 


Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Director of Admissions 

Medical Coding as a Career Path

Posted by Chad Sines on Sun, Oct 16, 2011 @ 03:18 PM

Med-Line Medical CodingWhat is medical coding?

Medical coders translate patients' medical records into medical billing language. They are responsible for applying the needed technical billing coding to medical procedures and healthcare services provided by healthcare providers. Once the coding is complete, the files are transmitted to insurance companies for billing purposes. These transmissions are necessary for payments to be made to doctors, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, healthcare providers, etc...

Who can be a medical coder?

Detail-oriented. Are you a person who pays close attention to details? If this is you, you may want to think about medical coding as a career. This is a growing field within the healthcare documentation industry. Medical coders must be accurate, careful and efficient. This is the perfect career for someone who is looking to be an important part of the medical industry, but does not necessarily want to deal directly with patients hands-on.

Is this possible? I bet you're wondering how professionals from these fields can possibly be prosperous as a medical coding specialist. The reason is simple. Your skills are what qualify you to provide quality work medical coding work to your employer or medical coding clients. Here are some of the skills you already possess that you will need to succeed in your new career:

  • Accurate typing skills
  • Sufficient reading skills
  • Great listening skills
  • Able to work without supervision
  • Able to use a computer efficiently
  • Knowledge of basic computer programs

Where can I work doing medical coding?

As a medical coder, you have the option of working for a healthcare provider, a small business, a large corporation or a medical coding company.

Many medical coders choose prefer a work-at-home job in the medical coding industry. Here are just some of the types of companies that hire medical coders and medical coding companies:

  • Law firms
  • Doctor's offices
  • Medical clinics
  • Private, county and state hospitals
  • Work-at-home contracts
  • Own your own medical coding small business

How much can I earn as a medical coder?

The following are statistics from a May, 2008 report by The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to this report, which can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, the industries average annual earnings for health information technicians were broken down into facility types. The earnings were as follows :

  • Federal Executive Offices – $42,760
  • General hospitals – $32,600
  • Nursing care centers – $30,660
  • Outpatient care providers – $29,160
  • Doctors' offices – $26,210

How do I become a medical coder?

Medical coders are required to complete short training programs to become certified in their fields. Being a credentialed medical billing coder means ensuring your employer client that you have been properly trained in your field of expertise.

A medical coding school can provide you with the required courses you need to begin your new, exciting career. Here are some of the field-specific skills you will learn:

  • Basic medical terminology
  • Medical coding technology
  • Medical coding procedures
  • Medical coding as related to medical billing

Why Should I Become a Medical Coder?

According to research done by the US Department of Labor on the future growth of the healthcare industry, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians occupations have an expected growth of 20% by 2018. That's an estimated 35,100 new jobs within this field of expertise. These jobs are in high-demand.

Medical Coding Training

Thinking about a career in medical coding? You need to find a medical coding school with instructors who will ensure that you are provided with the skills you need to succeed in your field. A good medical coding training program will prepare you to test for the credentials you need to find a job in your field that is both financially rewarding, and spiritually fulfilling.

Med-Line is offering a free program orientation on October 22nd for anyone interested in our program. The button below will take you to more information about our program as well as our informational orientation.


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Topics: Continuing Education, Medical Coding Training

CEC Webinar- $10 - Microsoft Powerpoint

Posted by Chad Sines on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

PowerpointTitle: Microsoft Powerpoint
When: Mon, Oct 17, 2011 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PDT
Presenter:  Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Length: 1 hour
Credits: 1 TW
Cost: $10 


In a virtual workforce, Powerpoint is heavily used in online presentations and meetings. Despite this most have only a rudimentary knowledge at best of how to use Powerpoint effectively. Participants will learn what Powerpoint is, how to use it, and learn how to make a basic presentation with title page, images, graphs, and other basic information that is used for a presentation.

Powerpoint is so routinely used in this industry, that it is a must know. Take advantage of this webinar and learn just how simple it is to use.


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Topics: Webinar

Enjoy a Free CEC Webinar Today

Posted by Chad Sines on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 @ 09:00 AM




We are making one of our most popular CEC webinars- Facebook for the Professional available for free. Simply go to our Facebook page and click Get Free CEC Webinar.



More information about the webinar:

Facebook for the Professional
Presenter: Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F

Facebook is a tool that is a near necessity for a virtual workforce determined to network with other professionals, for businesses looking to market products and services to individuals, and for components to reach potential members. Learn how to use Facebook for personal, professional, and businesses purposes. CEC: 1 PD


Feel free to share this information with anyone you think would be interested.

Topics: Continuing Education

Take Control of Your Transcription Career

Posted by Chad Sines on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Acute Care TrainingEven in the in-demand field of Medical Transcription, it's crucial that you stay in step with the times; this means doing everything within your power in order to take control of your future in these rough economic times! In today’s transcription environment, you need to be at the acute care level if you want to be relevant in the industry. Making your move with career advancement in Medical Transcription is more important now than ever. One of the best ways to achieve this is to gain training which will advance you from the clinic-work level to the acute care level.

Med-Line School of Medical Transcription's Acute Care Transition Program is the smartest choice you can make when it comes to career advancement in medical transcription. Our distance education program offers a cutting edge 6-month course that's been specifically designed for undertrained graduates of other medical transcription programs and practicing MTs who require advanced training in order to best qualify for becoming an acute care health documentation specialist.

Med-Line's online program for career advancement in medical transcription is comprised of in-depth work on advanced topics other programs gloss over. This way you're sure to be kept up to speed as you pursue career advancement in medical transcription. Subjects such as physiology, anatomy, English grammar, and of course, medical terminology are all included. You'll also receive review training in lab and pharmacology, and the Book of Style Third Edition rules. You will also work on challenging acute-care level transcriptions that will take you to the next level.  

You'll take comprehensive exams and work with specially-designed studies to make sure all your learned concepts are polished and reinforced. You'll be put through your paces with dictation practice that's representative of some of the most challenging you'll be exposed to as an acute care health documentation specialist.  Naturally, all your work and exams will receive thorough detailed review and feedback by your instructors, and this will encompass all areas/medical specialties.

Once you have completed this valuable course, you'll be at your maximum qualification level to accurately, efficiently prepare acute care medical reports, and will become a shining star who stands out to potential employers as a truly qualified medical transcriptionist for acute care.

Med-Line School of Medical Transcription offers Zero-Interest payment plans as well as some government funding options. For more information on Med-Line's Acute Care Transition program for career advancement in medical transcription, please Contact Us  You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and get updates about the school from our RSS feed. We look forward to helping you obtain your goal of career advancement in medical transcription. We take pride in providing outstanding training and support to our students, each step of the way.

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Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Director of Admissions

Topics: Career Advancement

Webinar- $10 - Instant Messaging/Forums/Blogging

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 @ 04:54 PM

Med-Line Blogging

Title: Instant Messaging/Forums/Blogging
When: Fri, Oct 14, 2011 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PDT
Presenter:  Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Length: 1 hour
         Credits: 1 PD
         Cost: $10 

Communication is critical in a virtual workforce. Despite he many tools at their fingertips, many transcriptionists are uncomfortable using them. This webinar will introduce instant messaging, forum use, and blogging as tools for professionals to use to keep connected and network with each other. CEC: 1 PD

Have you been wondering how to use MSN, Yahoo, or AIM? Have multiple accounts on each and need to integrate them into one system? Do you want to know how to use forums or maybe set up your own? Like the idea of blogging but not sure how to get started? 

Well, now is your time to learn.


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Topics: Continuing Education

Wednesday Transcription Tip- Commonly Misused Words

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 @ 08:00 AM

describe the imageToday’s tip come from Diane Gilmore, CMT.

Below are three commonly confused and misused words/spellings that hang up MTs. Once you read the information below, you should no longer have any problems with them.

  • Use "disk" for all spellings of the word except in ophthalmology (as in the "optic disc" of the eye). 
  • "envelope" and "envelop" are two different words.  An envelope is something you put a letter in.  Envelop means to wrap around something and is pronounced differently:  "en VEL up"  
  • A regimen is a treatment plan.  A regime is a government authority.  A regiment is an army unit.  In medicine, you would almost always use REGIMEN. 

How many of these were “ahhh” moments for you?

Diane Gilmore, CMT
Director of Education

There is No Such Thing as "The Right Time"

Posted by Chad Sines on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 @ 08:00 AM

Med-Line Right TimeEvents in life happen that seem to make it the wrong time to follow dreams. It seems it's never the right time for doing anything you really want to do. The washer and dryer go out, and you have to buy new ones. The death of a friend or family member requires a trip to another state. Your spouse gets a good job in another city, and you put off pursuing your education so that you can move. The truth is simple. There is never a “right time” for anything. There will always be obstacles, bills, family matters to contend with. When you wait for that “right time” you never accomplish your goals.

Thinking about reaching a goal is not the same as actually taking the first step to get there. The first step is by far the most difficult, but it is the most important one to take. As you consider your future, you must seize the opportunity to advance yourself when it presents itself.

You must always adjust your priorities to ensure that the needs of your family and yourself are met. Your personal and professional goals will likely become a top priority at some point. For example, a solid education can lay the foundation for you to provide financially for your family and to feel a sense of professional fulfillment that you hadn't previously experienced.

When you adjust your priorities, opportunities that help you achieve your goals will come. Adjusting your attitude from, “It’ll never happen,” or “It would be nice, but. . .” to “I really want this to happen” is the first task in accomplishing your goal.

The next task is to look for ways to make it happen. You will probably have to make some significant life adjustments to accommodate your education or any other goal you want to reach. You may have to stay up later, send your kids to a babysitter or rise earlier. If you want something badly enough and are willing to fight for it, most of the time, it can happen.

You must take action if you want to accomplish any goal that you have. The more you think about it as a remote possibility instead of a real one, the longer it will be before you realize your dreams. Now is the time to do take the first step. If what you want to do is start a new career that will open up future opportunities for you and your family, then Med-Line is the only answer. There is no need to settle when it comes to your education. You want to build a firm foundation to develop a strong career.

Thinking about your goals involves planning. Planning is an action that can lead to effectively using the resources you have to get where you want to be. Planning involves considering your options and weighing which ones are the most feasible, realistic and desirable given your current circumstances in life. Each option you have will most likely have some drawbacks. It’s these drawbacks that often make people decide that they would rather not take that first step. They think their goals are too hard to accomplish or are too far out of reach.

Thinking, “Maybe someday” isn’t good enough. You must have the confidence in yourself to act now. You can do what you set out to do. The biggest obstacle in your way is you.

Gather the support you need to accomplish your goals, including friends and family. Research all of the outlets you can think of for resources to help you. You will discover ideas and resources that you didn’t know are available to you.

Have faith that what you want to do for yourself, your friends, family, community or the world is a worthy goal. When you have that faith and hold tight to it, you know that you can surmount obstacles that come your way. You won’t have a completely smooth path to achieving your dreams. Problems and challenges are bound to arise. That’s life. If you have to put off your dreams for a short while to deal with other, more important priorities, that is fine. However, keep your end goal in mind. Return to it with strength and renewed resolve when you are able.

Perseverance is vital to accomplishing your goal. You may make hundreds of mistakes along the way. You must be willing to learn from your mistakes and to continue to try, no matter what or who gets in your way.

Seize the opportunities that come your way in life to reach your dreams. If opportunities don’t readily present themselves, make your own opportunities. You may have to adjust your game plan from time to time, but you can stand wherever you want to be if you first say, “I can do this,” and then take action to accomplish your goals. Never give up. Make now the right time!

Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Director of Admissions 

Topics: Medical Transcription Training

Monday Technology Tip- Secure Your Wireless Router

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Med-Line School of Medical Transcription

Wireless routers are phenomenal. You can work from your laptop or PC without a connection. You can connect your Kindle, iPad, smart phone, and other Internet-capable devices to it easily. One thing that many fail to realize is that you need to secure that connection. Most routers come without having any encryption enabled and with the default administrative passwords. In an industry that demands privacy and security-conscious professionals, this is a very poor way of handling your technology. What you may not realize is that anyone can connect to your router and use your bandwidth. This can cause slowly browsing for you. It can also lead you to answering some questions to authorities…why?... Some criminals actually drive around in cities and look for open connections to send material they do not want tracked back to them.  Read the story of a guy who was accused of child porn after a criminal used his Internet connection and it was tracked back to that router. It is a wakeup call for sure. 

You can consult your product manual to enable the security and to set a real administrative password. If you do not have the manual, you can get it from the manufacturer’s web site once you know the model. Use the highest bit encryption that your router offers, i.e. 128-bit over 64-bit.  When you reconnect with your wireless devices you will have to use the password you set up. 

The process of setting this up is maybe 10-15 minutes to find the how to information online and maybe 5-10 minutes to set it up on the router and just a couple minutes to redo the connections on your devices. Not too bad to secure your technology.

Topics: Technology Tip

Go Against the Crowd, Embrace Technology

Posted by Chad Sines on Fri, Oct 07, 2011 @ 08:00 PM

Med-Line Technology LeaderSit around and talk with MTs for a while and you will eventually hear the topic of technology being brought up. Often it centers on everyone’s dislike of the new MT technology of the day, be it speech recognition, EMR, or something else. Virtually all will complain about it, talk about how they are avoiding it, and some even bragging that their place has none of it. While the rest may congratulate the one whose job has none of the new-fangled technology, the truth is companies without these technologies are most likely going to be hurting in the near future if not now. It is necessary to survive in this competitive market.

I am going to tell everyone a simple, unavoidable, truth. Technology is here to stay. It is going to change rapidly. How you do your work today will not always be how you do your work. You are going to have to adapt to using it or you will find your options very limited. As a case in point, how many MTs do you know who are still using typewriters? A few, but just imagine trying to find those jobs.

This industry is very reactionary when it comes to technology.  Thirty years ago, I can imagine everyone griping about the new office computer thingy. The webinar system that we use so much now had to be forced on many MTs who felt the only way to meet was face to face. Now we fully accept that a lot of networking and education can be done as efficiently, if not more, online.

Some technology like speech recognition is used to allow MTs to become more productive. It keeps payroll costs down and it can significantly increase an MTs pay. That is a win-win. I have used systems that worked so well that you might only have to change a few words each report and could easily double your line count. Sure they often have a speech rate that is lower than traditional typing, but if the system is good you can often produce a lot more.

It is not doom and gloom by any means. Quite the contrary, technology is opening doors for this industry that did not exist 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. The EHR has opened new avenues for many MTs. The ability to use the Internet to work has allowed this industry to move outside the hospital basement to their home. Digital recordings means no more trips to pick up tapes. Webinars mean you can attend Med-Line, the premiere leader in healthcare documentation education. You would not be able to take advantage of the strong technology integration and training available here.

So next time you hear someone complaining about some new tech, stay out of the diatribe, learn the new tech and think about how you can capitalize on it. The ones who master the new tech are the ones who are leading the industry in one way or the other.

And above all else remember this wise statement, RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.


Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F

Director of Admissions

Topics: Professional Development

Wednesday Transcription Tip- protime or pro time?

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Oct 05, 2011 @ 04:05 PM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionToday’s tip is brought to you by Diane Gilmore, CMT.

How to type this next term perplexes many students and even seasoned MT. So here it is, once and for all settled.

protime or pro time?

Although some spell checkers want to replace the spelling error protime with ProTime, this is incorrect, according to BOS.  The expanded form of the word, prothrombin time, is preferred, but if the short form is used, it should be written as two words:  pro time, NOT protime.

Example:  The patient's pro time was found to be elevated.

Get into the right habit of spelling it pro time or prothrombin time today and you will have one less thing to worry about.

Diane Gilmore, CMT
Director of Education

Topics: Professional Development, Transcription Tip

Monday Technology Tip- Sharing Files With Others or Self

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Oct 03, 2011 @ 03:42 PM

Med-Line Technology TipSome of these tips will involve new software, websites, etc that you may find useful. The goal is to increase your knowledge regarding available technology. You never know when you might need it.

Dropbox is a free, secure file-sharing system. Many of us share files with multiple computers or individuals. Many of us work on the same document and need a way to do so seamlessly. Enter Dropbox. You create a free account (2 GB maximum space) and download the software. It is very simple and straightforward. It is encrypted and the files are available on your PC as well as anytime you have Internet access. You can create folders in it to keep organized.

If you are just sharing with yourself, you simply add it to your other computers and even your smartphone. Anything you put in Dropbox is shared with all your logins. I use a personal one for shopping lists. I keep a shopping list in my folder and update it from my laptop as things change. Whenever I am at the store, I look on my phone to see what I need.

If you want to share a folder with others you simply go onto the site, choose the folder and enter the email address of anyone you want to share it with. They accept the invitation, install Dropbox and voila…a shared document.

You can have some folders you share with only you, some with others, and some with even more others. Every folder has its own share settings (they default to only share with you). If they are not on the share list for that folder, they see nothing.

There is a 2 GB maximum size which is plenty of space. You can make working copies of all your info that you cannot afford to lose and give only yourself access. This makes a great cloud backup.

There is a copy on YOUR PC in case you have no Internet access. When you get back online, it updates it all. Really cool.

Positives- Shared (if you choose to share), secure folders that contain files your invited people can edit. Makes a nice emergency backup system. Very easy to use.

Negatives- If one person deletes a file, it is gone from all; however, the site keeps track of deleted files and can restore it. Also any person sharing a folder can invite someone else, not just the original user. Large files take a little while to sync with the network and then with the other user. Nothing major but I just wanted you to be aware that you are not going to get 200 MB to someone instantly.

Bottom Line- It is worth taking a look at. I use it a lot. It significantly increases my productivity and allows me to share certain files with coworkers or others instead of emailing things back and forth. I really like having that emergency backup even though I have another backup system in place.

Topics: Professional Development, Technology Tip