Everything You Need To Know Is Right Here!
Whether you're fresh out of school or a long-time veteran in the industry, there are certain things you simply must know about a medical transcription company before you jump in and sign on the dotted line. I have found that, by and large, the transcription services are run by dedicated, hard-working folks who try their utmost to be fair and above board.
But. You still need to watch out for Number One, no matter how nice people seem. Here are some questions you should ask every potential transcription employer.
If I Were Interviewing a Medical Transcription Company This Is What I Would Ask
Of course, there are so many questions that should come to mind when you are interviewing a new medical transcription company. And make no mistake, you are interviewing them every bit as much as they are interviewing you. Sort of like courting; is this worth a long-term relationship?
These "10" questions (really a lot more than ten in there) are the absolute minimum you should ask a company when you are talking about a job. My advice: if you don't get the answers you like or need, then move on!
What do they base compensation on? Hourly Rate? Character lines? If so, how many characters per line? What counts as a character? Do headers and footers count? What about signature lines and salutations? If gross lines, do they pay for headers footers, signature lines or other boilerplate text? If it is minutes, then what extra work beyond straight typing, such as formatting, extra correspondence and copying from one system to another would be required?.
Especially with regard to minutes, you can spend a LOT of time doing things that are not really earning you money, like cleaning up the format of the report, or typing letters that are not specifically dictated. Just be sure you know going in what you will be paid for, and what you will not.
Do they have a mandatory probation or QA period? If so, how long is it?
For Newbies, QA is a stressful period, and it's good to have a light at the end of the tunnel. Experienced pros probably don't need to worry about this too much.
What are the standards that must be met in order to advance out of QA?
You need to know what the standards are, absolutely.
Again, the experienced folks aren't too worried about this.
When can you expect to see a raise in your per line or per minute rate? Is it production-based, or time-based (as in longevity with the company)?
Is the employee or contractor expected to provide his or her own transcription equipment? What kind of technical support is available if there is a problem?
If you don't work at home, this isn't an issue, but if you do, you need to be assured that the company has a good IT staff to help you out when (not if) you have a problem. Some companies still ship computers and everything to the employee or contractor, and they expect you to use that for your work.
If this is a work-from-home position, does the company expect the employee or contractor to have broadband Internet service? If so, will the company reimburse for the expense?
What are the expected working hours? Does the company have a "third" shift (i.e., midnight to eight AM)? Do they pay an incentive bonus for working that shift if so?
Some companies just have an expected turnaround time, and others expect you to work set hours. What works for you? Working at midnight might be great if there is incentive pay involved and you can stand to be typing at 3AM...
Does the company provide health benefits for employees? Will they provide specifics on the plans they offer?
Does the company provide a 401(k) for employees? If so, do they match contributions, and how much?
How does time off work? Is there paid vacation for employees? How much and how does it accrue? How does time off work for contractors?
If you are working from home and you need to take a day off for some reason, how much notice do you need to give?