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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Medical Transcription/Editing

I was looking for current articles dealing with the changing field of Medical Transcription particularly for persons with vision impairments, and only found one seeming current article through the AFB site. I work in this profession for a national service, and find that as it invests in third party software and has gone virtual, the sight impaired MT is left behind in company development. I participate on a forum with other sight impaired MTs, who feel similar frustration and job insecurity with the passage of time. I would like to hear from others, who have either transitioned to something else or are finding ways to make the electronic medical record work toward your job security. Additionally, May I share your comment with the MT forum or share the URL so they can read potential comments by you and others? Thank you.
David - drussell52

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Re: Medical Transcription/Editing

My job is being outsourced in March of next year. Currently working in Dolby Fusion, mostly but not completely usable with Jaws. They offered me a job doing pathology but Copath is not going to work with Jaws or any other screen reader. Many of the platforms being used today are not Jaws or any screenreader friendly.
I have been doing this job since 1976 but it looks like may have to apply for disability or work for a service at about one-third of my current pay (may as well go on disability). I have never been a speech editor because I figured I had enough to listen to at once. I do have a braille display that I bought for the job but even that won't be helpful if the programs that are being used are graphical as is ChartMaxx at the hospital, once in Jaws stops talking, so I can't use the EMR to look up medications, whether is left or right and so on and so forth.
Trying to look for a new position for the next four years before I can retire but it is looking very grim out there.
Sorry to be so down in this message, I am still a bit in shock from what is happening, we knew it would happen some day, but we hoped to get through 2016 before it did. I have worked at the same hospital for 38 plus years, it won't be easy to move on, if I can find a place to move on to that is. Making 8 cents a line is not really appealing since I am not a speed demon, more interested in being correct.

Re: Medical Transcription/Editing

Hello. I am also a medical transcriptionist and editor and am thinking about changing career because JAWS is difficult to use at times with my current software. I was wondering if there are any blind people who work as a medical coder and/or biller? I am looking at going back to school and would like to know if this is possible before I do anymore research. Thanks.

Re: Medical Transcription/Editing

I am finding it harder and harder to find employment as a vision impaired transcriptionist as more and more companies go to voice recognition as well as the virtual record. Many of the transcription platforms are not working well with Jaws,and I am guessing many other adaptive screen reading programs. I am finding that many of our sighted co-workers are growing frustrated with the field as well because they do not want to work in the voice recognition editing field. I have been looking to change jobs for over a year but am finding there are less and less straight typing positions out there, and I am even more limited because I have found the platforms are not usable on several jobs I have been offered. I am currently looking to change careers by either going back to my education in psychology or making my way into a hospital setting where hopefully I can find a position in insurance, medical records, etc. where their software will be user friendly with Jaws.

Re: Medical Transcription/Editing

Medical transcriptionists need access to reference works such as medical dictionaries. Many of the companies making the more famous medical dictionaries make products which are no longer accessible. Some transcriptionists bought cds of dictionaries back when they were accessible and are relying on these older references. Other transcriptionists have been told to "look up words on google" during our vlasses. This is a poor, time-consuming arrangement at best.
If the software platforms medical transcription companies require are not accessible to our speech software, further barriers to employment and limitations then develop.
There is supposed to be a vision impaired SIG as part of the Medical Transcriptionists Association. AFB may want to work directly with the MTA to find out if these barriers can be negotiated better than they have been so far.

Re: Medical Transcription/Editing

Thank you for posting this very relevant question or probe for information specific to the changing field of medical transcription. I think the virtualization has been an issue for persons using assistive technology in many cases. It involves a lot of work and effort by the organization to allow the access technology user equal access, and in some cases it just doesn't happen.

I look forward to hearing how other medical transcription professionals are working with these new obstacles or adapting.

Thank you for posting! I would also agree that we haven't added much specific to medical transcription, but have some active mentors in the field. I will see if I can encourage some others to participate.

Joe S.
AFB Staff

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