In both the medical and legal fields, the use of technology is a must to increase efficiency, accuracy, and to save time. By using technology wisely one can do more work in less time with less aggravation. The fields we will discuss in this article are medical transcription, medical coding certification, legal transcription and paralegal. All of these career fields make use of technology and being informed of some of the methodologies can help make your work day easier.
Medical Transcription

Medical transcriptionists use many different technologies to do their jobs such as FTP (file transfer protocol, word expander software, and spellchecking software. In this article we shall focus on word expanders and spellcheckers.

There are several very good word expander software programs available to medical transcriptionists. Here we will review several of them. Word expander software allows the MT to type a few letters that represent a larger word. So a word like “esophagogastro-duodenoscopy” may be shortened by simply typing “esoy” and then hitting the space bar or another marker key to expand to the larger word form.

Instant Text is probably the premiere word expander software available today. It costs about $189 and has many bells and whistles. For example, it has the ability to allow the MT to scan previously typed reports, and to abstract frequently used words and phrases and to add them automatically to the glossary. You can work with multiple glossaries and many other options with Instant Text. Though a learning curve is required to use it easily, once mastered, it will take you to the next level of production rather easily, time and money well spent.

Shorthand is mid-priced expander software. It has some bells and whistles too, and is relatively easy to learn. It costs about $100. You can use multiple glossaries with Shorthand and can import third party word lists into it.

Swift Text by Bytescribe and Abbreviate! By Words Plus are both nice inexpensive expanders. Neither have any bells and whistles. They are straight out expander programs. You can have multiple glossaries but these are simple programs. They are inexpensive at about $50 and are nice little expander programs. Swift text also offers a version for legal workers.

Stedman’s medical spellchecker is second to none in being the top software of choice for most MTs. It costs about $100 and is an invaluable tool for MTs. The spellchecker will integrate into MSWord and runs in the background, alerting you to misspelled words as you type. It also suggests words to replace the misspelled ones.

Medical Coding
I’ve recently had the opportunity to use Alpha II coding software. In fact, Med-Certification is a reseller of this amazing software. Let me say that I usually do not indulge in expensive software programs as I find them complicated to learn. Alpha II took me all of 10 minutes to be up and running. It is a great program for coding students to utilize while learning coding. Forty percent of all medical practices use Alpha II. Basically, the way the software works is that you click on the CPT tab, type in the procedures, click a button and voila, you’ve got the code. Then, you can click a button to see all the related ICD9 codes that match your procedure codes. What would usually take 10 minutes to look up in a book takes one minute w/ Alpha II. I admit it, I LOVE this software. If I was coding professionally and the doctor I worked for didn’t use Alpha II, I’d load it onto my laptop and take it to work with me, it’s really THAT good. At $1295.00 some will feel it’s hard to justify. However, if you are a coding student or medical coder it makes your life so much easier that after demo’ing the software, you’ll be sold on it too.

Medical Transcription/Legal Transcription/ Paralegal
All of the above mentioned professions use production typing. Being at the keyboard so much of your day, it is important to have a good solid and comfortable keyboard. Many have been telling me about the Kinesis Contour Advantage keyboard. I haven’t yet used one but plan to try it out soon. Some of the advantages of this board is that it is very well made. It’s been said you can’t “kill” this board. The keys are lined up straight instead of staggered and your fingers type in a type of “well.” Everyone that I’ve talked to that has used this board has loved it. Naturally, it’s quite a bit more than regular keyboards, ($299.00) but will last forever. Also, if it saves your wrists from injury and you find it comfortable, it’s worth the price.

I’ve also used the Microsoft Natural Elite 4000 which is an inexpensive board- around $30 -$50. It has a split keyboard and is quite comfortable for most people. It is reasonably well made, but keep in mind that as a production typist you may go through a board a year.

Computer Monitors
It is recommended that large screen monitors 17inch and larger are best to use for comfort, to prevent eyestrain, etc. I like the flat screen LCD monitors. They are common now and many offer anti-glare, which is another plus. When updating or upgrading your computer monitor, consider getting a large, flat screen, anti-glare LCD monitor. They range in price from $150-$300.

If you are interested in any of the products mentioned in this article, you can Google the name of the product and find the vendors website. Med-Certification is a reseller of Alpha II coding software because we believe in its performance and usability. You can find more information regarding Alpha II here: Becoming familiar with what technology is available in your field of choice and learning to use it effectively is part of keeping up with current trends and making your life much easier.
Keeping a Healthy Balance between Work and Family
People constantly struggle to maintain a healthy balance between time spent in the office and time at home. Fortunately, there is a way to do it with a simple time management plan.

Eight hours a day is typically spent in an office, plus additional time for the daily commute. This leaves a proportionately smaller amount of time for home and family. If you want to spend more hours at home, all you need to do is make a few modifications to your work schedule, and make an objective assessment of your goals in life.

What Are Your Work Goals?
There are only so many hours in a day and in order to strike a healthy balance between the time you spend at home and at work, you have to ask yourself whether your career benefits are worth the time you are spending away from your family.

If you find yourself always tired and moody when you get home, take a moment to consider your job. Is it something you find important enough to continue or should you find a different career path that won’t interfere with your home life so much?

Is Your Job Worth The Commute?
When evaluating working hours, many people simply think about the 8 hours spent in the office. They neglect to factor in the time spent commuting, as well as sporadic business trips that might take you away for weeks at a time.

Many employers are willing to compromise with you. Some even let you work from home a few hours so you can spend more time at home. Talk to them and see if all this is worth it.

What Work Responsibilities Should Be Yours?
The higher position you hold in a company the more responsibilities you have. However, you don’t need to do them all.  This will only stress you out and consume all of your time. Delegate some tasks to subordinates. They have less to do. Plus, they can prove their skills to you as well as assist you.

Check Your Priorities
To create a working balance among the different aspects of your life, you must first identify your higher priority – earning money or spending time with your family. You can then adjust your schedule accordingly and work towards a more rewarding existence.

In the process, you will have to compute the amount of money you must make in order to meet your family’s needs.  Dealing with that fact will help you gauge whether your current job provides adequate compensation or not. A job that allows for a flexible schedule is the ideal option, as this will allow you to spend as much time with our family as you want.

Oftentimes, people get stuck in their jobs and are unable to get out even when they are not truly happy. For this reason, it is essential to pause from time to time and re-evaluate. This will ensure the maintenance of a healthy balance between career and family.

About the Author: Are you worried that your home life is just passing you by? Do you need more help to put your life in balance? Go to and find more techniques and time management tips. Don’t wait! Your life won’t wait for you to figure things out. Get started before it’s too late!

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Achieve More from Your Day through Time Management Training
Good time management skills are about many things, prioritizing, managing interruptions, avoiding procrastination etc. But time management really starts with having a plan of action which clearly states the tasks you are hoping to complete on any given day, otherwise known as a to do list.

I am not a fan per se of such lists, however,  I do believe you need an action list outlining the actions you are going to take to achieve your tasks on a daily basis. Time management training will always speak of the importance of planning your work and working your plan.

I have set out below some key points for getting into the habit of writing a list and managing the list.

Before writing a list as part of your time management skills, you should always check your diary for that day, as if you use effective diary control to make appointments with yourself for the tasks you need to carry out, there will always be daily entries in the diary.

Remember the 80/20 principle 80% of things on your time management list will produce 20% of the results and 20% of the list will produce 80% of the results. A key element of time management training is to always remember this rule and work on the key areas that produce the important results.

Get yourself in to the habit of writing a time management list every day, try to write the list at the same time daily so as it forms a habit. Some will do the time management list first thing in the morning while others use time management skills to prepare the list the night before, just before you leave work leaving it on your desk for as soon as you arrive the following morning.

Time management training courses will tell you that the important thing is to get into the habit of writing a list each day on one piece of paper (not a thousand yellow stickies all over your pc) The list should take no more than 10 minutes maximum to compile. Time management is not about having loads of things on your list, it is about having the most important things on your list. Time management skill training will teach you it is not the amount of items on the list but the importance of the items.

You must allow time for emergency changes in your daily schedule. No matter how effective you are at training yourself in the skills of time management, there will always be the possibility of unscheduled important tasks popping up or interruptions etc.

Be realistic with your time management lists and try your best to allocate each task a start time and finish time. Group similar tasks together for momentum and remember to carry forward items from one day to the other (only if they are important and must be actioned.)

Even think of rewarding yourself after each task has been done and crossed off the time management list. Remember the key saying in effective time management skills training:
Is what I am doing now helping me to achieve my objective?

About the Author:
Would you like to close more sales? Frank O’toole from Premier Training is helping people to achieve with sales training. Medical billing certification courses from Premier Training, let’s achieve.