Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes
Medical transcription is a field that’s in major demand–and becomingmore so all the time. Since health insurance companies often requiretranscripts of medical procedures before they’ll pay for them, doctorsneed somebody to translate their dictated reports intoprofessional-looking documents. And that could be you.
If you like thefascination of the medical field and the feeling of accomplishment thatcomes with turning out a professional product that’s badly needed, thenthis might be the business for you.
As a medical transcriptionist,you’ll sit at your computer, earphones on your head, jamming to thesounds of surgeons detailing operations (or other medical professionalsgiving a play-by-play of other procedures), then send the completedreports by modem back to the doctor or hospital.
The great thing aboutthis is that you don’t have to leave home–you can receive dictationover the phone and send it back via e-mail. (Of course, there are alsolots of jobs using the traditional dictaphone, too.)
Time is of theessence in this field. If you can offer a 24-hour–orless-than-24-hour–turnaround, work second- and third-shift hours andoccasionally put in weekends or all-nighters, then you’ll be anall-star.
You must have a strong knowledge of medical terminology andexcellent spelling, grammar and punctuation skills. The ability tointerpret sometimes garbled dictation from doctors with a variety ofaccents, dialects and speech patterns is also important.
You’ll alsoneed the self-discipline to sit at your keyboard uninterrupted for longhours and remain focused.
Your clients can be doctors, hospitals (including medical recordsdepartments, information offices, radiology and pathology departmentsand emergency rooms), other health-care providers like clinics andpsychologists, and attorneys working disability or malpractice cases.
Send sales letters to these prospects, then follow up with a phonecall. You can also place ads in local medical professional publicationsand call transcriptionists to ask for overload work or referrals.
You’ll need a computer system with a laser printer (you’ll sometimesprint your reports), a fax machine, a dedicated phone line, adictaphone, word-processing software and special medical transcriptionsoftware.
You’ll want a library of reference books, including a medicaltranscription style guide, a medical dictionary, drug reference booksand various medical-terminology guides.