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Back to Free Stuff / Reviews, 1995-96 / Perspectives, 1997 / Perspective, 1998-99 / JAAMT, 1997 / The Latest Word, 1996 / MT Monthly, 1996 / Advance for Health Care Professionals, 1996 / JAAMT, 1995

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Other Reviews, 1995-96:

For the Record 12/4/95 Review
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"Do Your Homework," by Valerie Curtiss. Helpful hints about MT companies: "Finding a company where all this necessary equipment can be leased as a payroll deduction of about $10 a week is the least expensive way to get started." ". . .a great guide to some of those companies that may be hiring remote transcriptionists can be obtained from the American Health Information Management Association."

"Home based Transcription Services: Do you have What it Takes?" by Carol Paton. "Last August Marcia Gaffney CMT, recevied a call from a client asking for clarification on a portion of a medical report. After reviewing the year-old document stored in her computer files, Gaffney was surprised by her discovery." At least 5 years experience was recommended prior to starting an at-home transcription business; unqualified people think they can do it just because they have a computer and several medical books and have typed some medical words as a court reporter. Necessary equipment is listed. Warning is given about the discipline and isolation inherent in a home-based business.

Other articles in this magazine:
"RNs and HIMs: Diversity or Adversity?"
"AHIMA's Module 4 Aid to Managing Transcription," $195, to be available in mid-1996 (8 tapes)
"Quality Improvement in Medical Transcription" (hospital setting).

Entrepreneur Magazine, September 1995
"For the Record: Key into the booming health-care industry with a medical transcription service." Review by Mary Morken
This article describes the need doctors have for accurate readable records and the skills needed to tanscribe dictation: computer skills, listening skills, speed typing, spelling, medical vocabulary and knowledge. MT is estimated as a $15 to $17 billion industry, with 250,000 MTs nationwide. The article, like the whole magazine, is mostly aimed at people wanting to start businesses, and so it talks about non-MTs starting a service and hiring MTs.

Two companies are featured: Tele-Trans Medical Transcription Service in San Antonio, owner Elaine Speece, and Ned and Patrice Swift's Swift Transcription in Spokane, worth $375,000 last year. Small MT businesses are described as thriving as well as larger services. The scarcity of MTs, the need for firms to offer competitive salaries and the need to adapt to new technologies are mentioned. AAMT, MTIA and Entrepreneur's business guide with start-up information are listed as resources, with phone numbers.

The magazine is full of ideas for new businesses, mainly home-based ideas. One advertisement offered home training for MT: Medical Management Software of San Mateo, California,

Review of TV Program of Conference of Scholars on Cyberspace, 9/10/95
On CSPAN, from Aspen, Colorado. Sequel on 9/17 1:00 p.m.
By Mary Morken
Very bright minds struggling to describe what is happening with computer communication. I was trying hard to understand them, and could only understand some because of my experience on the net. Here are some of their statements:

We are in a transition comparable to that from wilderness hunting to agriculture, and agriculture to industry, with a new frontier of a knowledge marketplace that is still a "gift economy" with the elimination of middle men.
Knowledge leads, not technology.
Interactive communication stops one-way propaganda manipulation.
Locations of power and leadership are changing.
Monopolies are being broken up, some markets are becoming obsolete (television, telephone).
"Grizzly bears" on the net will become extinct too.
The net is a "possibility space" with new virtues, ethics and values emerging.
The net appears to be chaos because there is such freedom of many individuals, and there are no central controls.
Order can emerge from the chaos or be imposed from the outside.
Diversity in unity brings stability, not rigid uniformity.
Government intervention and control can be stifling to what is emerging; self-government on the net will prevent the need for government intervention.
Cartoons critical of cyberspace focus on mergers trying to control, the small folks getting run over by the big folks, the uselessness of the net to some people, and the new "haves" and "have nots."
Those who can use this new market must have the expertise and the time.
Education for this new marketplace is a great challenge.
This market is growing on trust which is built on predictability.

Moderator was Michael Vlahos; George Gilder and Alvin Toffler were participants, as well as heads of major think tanks and computer companies.

Part II, CSPAN Conference on Computer Technology's Impact on Society, 9/17/95, review by Mary Morken.
Statements by the computer experts and scholars included:
--Technology isolates and alienates in industry, but the new communications technologies bring us together, teaches us who we can trust, gives us new group identities, gives us a new perspective on personhood, reputation and property.
--Self-government is the discussion of shared values which become laws. Government protects freedoms (including national defense and commerce), and is occasionally an agent for progress (GI bill, highways, electricity, Department of Defense starting Internet).
--The WWW is a rediscovery of individual freedom of expression.
--People on the Internet are still a minority, now called the "Overclass" in Newsweek Magazine. Education and inclusion of all will be important.
--Computers could be used by our enemies (terrorists) to destroy us.
--The government needs to catch up with the momentum and be "tuned to today's realities of accelerated communication."
--The Director for Law and Policy for American On-Line stated the issues of privacy, copyright and content of information are coming up in Congress, and he and the other network representatives are lobbying.
--On the electronic frontier, as on the Western frontier, first the people have to be tough and independent, even stubborn to conquer the wilderness. Then there is conflict as others arrive, and then the people must talk and study what to do. This is what the conference represented, thinking about the Internet community's needs.
--One suggested a bill of rights for cyberspace liberty, the new public forum.
--Another suggested the model of the law of the sea, since cyberspace is like the ocean, international, and will require international laws and a "navy" to enforce them for border defense, pirates, etc.
--The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written for a revolutionary time, a new order, a new world. They are very relevant now.
--Returning home to work is really going back to a more normal life; people used to work at home before the industrial revolution. It can lead to family strengthening and deurbanizing.
--Concerns were expressed regarding fraud, internet currency, E-cash, national security, sales tax, organized crime and weapons of destruction on the internet. AOL said they get subpoenas every day for people who have threatened the president by e-mail.
--The Library of Congress hopes to be the world's digital library.
--Bureaucracy holds back momentum. Just enough order facilitates it.
--At the end, four principles were stated:
1. The right to have groups (right of assembly).
2. The right to define membership.
3. The right of a group to make their own laws.
4. The need for respect of each group for the others, not invading without cause. This can apply to a forum or to a nation.
Review of For the Record 8/28/95
By Susan McKinnon
This issue states that AHIMAs COC (accreditation entity for determining continuing education credits) is considering giving CE credits to HIMs (Health Information Managers who work with medical records) for their use of the Internet for continuing education. Board members are on HIM-L and realize the advantages of the internet resources. It will be cheaper for their people to earn their CE hours and they will be earning them while learning how to use the WWW, Internet and boards, which will help immensely in their work since the computer age is coming whether we kick or scream about it: "Myjer said the COC task force will consider arguments for and against on-line CE credits and could return its findings to the COC, as early as December 1995. If the COC enacts a decision by then, he continued, HIM professionals could count their on-line time toward fullfilling their CE requirements with the beginning of the 1996-97 CE cycle."

Another article dealt with a "Roadmap Guide" for on-line travelers, for learning Telnet, Usenet, file transfer protocols, computer security, and WWW. This was developed by a Patrick Douglas Crispen, a student at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. You can sign up for the "Roadmap Course." The lessons are self-paced and self-graded and can be taken and printed whenever you want. More than 70,000 people eventually have taken this course; in fact, the final session of this crashed the university's computer system. They are now archieved at the University and can be downloaded FREE to anyone.

10/1/95: From:, Sue McKinnon
Clarification regarding address to obtain the Roadmap series of Internet instructions: When soliciting the information type the address all in capitals: LISTSERV@UAIVM.UA.EDU
The only words in the body of the message should read:
get map package f=mail.
Leave spaces between each word and do not type any other message. The Roadmap series is connected to an automatic computer system that is unable to read other messages. The Roadmap series and instructions for additional information will be returned to you via email"

Perspectives, Summer 1995
Review by Michele Chavez, 8/28/95
1. Tribute to Marilyn Craddock, former AAMT president, who died on July 7. 1995.
2. Article by Kathy Cameron on turning a transcription department into a for-profit transcription center.
3. "MTIA Happenings" tells what is happening with the Medical Transcription Industry Alliance including 1995-1996 calendar. Catherine Baxter says that MTIA has a PPP connection on the Internet which allows for e-mail and web access. She encourages MTIA members to get Internet addresses so they can communicate with her. In addition, she states that CPRI conducts much of its business via the Internet.
4. "Ask Bob" deals with questions on digital systems, buying and selling businesses, confidentiality, dealing with a new medical records director who was to get rid of your service so she can hire friends, etc.
5. Carolyn Grimes has an article on a new software to help teachers correct MT students' work.
6. An article on sick building syndrome by Catherine Baxter.
7. Article by Adrienne Yazijian on how to be a team player.
8. "Planning an MT Curriculum" by Ellen Drake.
9. Judy Hinickle on telecommuting, mostly relating to setting up a telecommuting program for hospital employees.

10. Hard-hitting, well-written article on networking by The Independent Medical Transcriptionist authors Donna Avila-Weil and Mary Glaccum in which they praise on-line services and comment on Pat Forbis's Advance article: "It is unfortunate that Pat Forbis. . .compares the latest technomania to cabbage patch dolls and ham radios. . .why not the television and CD-ROM? I'm not sure in which web site she lurks but. . .her superfluous use of negatives appears to be a desperate attempt to kill the spirit and creativity of professional IMTs. . ." They further comment that Forbis uses "more derogatory terms in her article than either of us has ever seen on-line." They conclude that the Internet allows us to "come together on common ground" and that Forbis chooses to inflate the negative rather than see the "wealth of resources" available on-line.

11. Judith Marshall writes an article on whether MT students are trained well enough to be hired.
12. Instructional handouts by Marcy Diehl.
13. Richard Lederer on "Spoonerisms" which are slips of the tongue.
14. Immune compromise article by Dr. Dirckx.
15. Terminology update.
16. Judith Marshall shares her dental woes.
Perspectives is available through Health Professions Institute.

Money Magazine article, August 1995, v24, n8, p31(2)
Starting a Business at Home with a Personal Computer
Review by Mary Morken
The article tells a few basics about medical transcription, scoping, book indexing and mailing-list servicing. In general, the article states there are 14 million people working from home and the number is increasing rapidly. The jobs they describe all take under $5,000 initially, require limited preparation and have good potential.

The article reports that there is a constant demand for transcription, and there are 100,000 MTs nationally. It recommends 1-2 years of study and warns about the slow start and the advantage of experience. Cynthia Lewis ( was interviewed as a new MT who earned $35,000 in her first year after a home-study course. She lists the equipment needed, including a fast computer and a transcriber. Reference is made to a book by Rick Benzel: Health Service Businesses on Your Home-Based PC (McGraw-Hill, $15) as a resource on MT, and MT Monthly is also cited. (800-951-5559). After a description of the other jobs (but much less work available than for MTs), the online services and other resources are listed.

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