Sit 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