Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Enough with the Name Changes- We are Medical Transcriptionists

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionRecently AHDI released a decision the national Board of Directors made regarding changing the name of who we are. While this has been chatter in the past, it appears that the board made a decision to change the name without consulting with the membership.

According to AHDI, we are now Healthcare Documentation Specialists. This name change was based on a recommendation by the Model Curriculum Task Force. Interestingly, the Board voted to change the name to one recommended by the task force and then re-visited the issue to change it again. Why the rush to change it twice and why not involve the members in such a critical decision? Has the Association forgotten that the members are in charge of the Association? Is there such a thing as transparency? And most importantly, don't we have more pressing issues that we can all agree need immediate attention?

EMR Omniscribe and Med-Line support continuing the use of the term Medical Transcriptionist. We do not support changing the name especially when there are more critical issues to focus on and definitely not without approval by the membership.

Below is an email I shared with our AHDI West Board of Governors as well as national AHDI.

The feedback I have heard has many mixed but mostly negative. Many have shared a few common issues with the name change:

The timing. AHDI is in a very vulnerable position with weakened membership, weakened leadership, basement-level finances and what appears from the outside to be in a fight for survival from one ACE to the next. CEOs leaving, staff leaving, directors resigning, components failing…As we know with name changes, feelings are hurt and members leave. I personally know quite a few who left because of the AAMT to AHDI. Did that change help us? Some say yes, some no. Now we are changing their profession which is even more personal. Rebranding is useful only if it moves an organization forward. At the end of this we might have a new title, but what will be the tangible change for the members. MTSOs might leverage the cool title with clients although they could really care less about a title, but from an MT perspective there appears to be no substantive gains that outweigh the potential losses.

The way it happened. This is too big for a committee to handle and then a board vote. It has the strong appearance of a committee overstepping or at the very least something being done to avoid membership input or possibly a membership block. I was a bit surprised that it went from model curriculum to a BOD vote instead of to a group to move the idea forward in a member-centric fashion. This is a divisive issue that many are ready to rebel against. Change for the sake of change is pointless especially if you harm those you represent in the end or lose face with them. While there is no perfect way to handle this, most of us who are involved in the Association had no idea it was happening until it was done. Since the announcement I found out that there were some nonmember chats on some outside blogs. There was no discussion with members regarding their desire to do this now or ever and no discussion with them as to what the name should be. This way of doing things has bitten the Association in the backside enough times for us to know that anything other than absolute transparency is almost doomed to failure. 

If CDIA does not move this forward it is dead, just like they killed mandatory credentialing. Assuming we wanted to move forward with the name change, I think CDIA should have changed their job descriptions when it was announced or at least shared the date on which it would do so.  It really is time for us to honestly be a partner with CDIA or sever that relationship so we can move our agenda forward. If they choose to ignore this like they did mandatory credentialing, AHDI is going to suffer another black eye in terms of relevance to the industry like we saw with the failure to move mandatory credentialing past the delegate floor. It will resonate that CDIA controls the Association and AHDI is impotent to drive change.  (At the time I wrote this, it was not known that CDIA was gone.)

They wish to remain MTs. Plain and simple. This one needs little explanation because I would suspect everyone has heard this from at least a few dozen or more since the announcement. This is their Association and they want to decide their title. This would have been a great ACE topic. Speaking with members about the title, should it change, should it stay, etc. long before anything was done.

When I heard about this I had a flashback of the surprise CDIA partnership that popped out of nowhere leaving many disillusioned and the failed mandatory credentialing that we whooped and hollered about until it was immediately silenced by our “partners.” Personally, I think we have or should have bigger priorities and we need our members to rally behind us instead of potentially dividing them at this critical point in our survival. It is frustrating that this is the topic that comes up now when speaking with members when we should be talking about leveraging MGMA to get our message out, retooling for EHR opportunities, and… well.. to be frank fight for our survival in an industry that is trying so hard to discard us. If you think that is not what is really happening, come to MGMA this year and pretend to be a physician. Your jaw will hit the floor and the “EHR vendors as partners with transcription” will cease to be a part of your message.

Are you a medical transcriptionist who wishes to remain a medical transcriptionist? Sign our petition and be heard.  

Topics: Industry Issues