A community of 30,000 US Transcriptionist serving Medical Transcription Industry

Editing to a deficit. A consideration - MTthinkingabout it

Posted: May 02, 2012

As I sit here and edit/retype at 4cpl speech recognition for about 99% of my payperiods, I realize that every time I delete words, sentences, phrases, etc. for quality, for my MME's preference (do not be redundant, delete words dictated like significant for etc)... EVERY TIME I delete words, I am taking pay away from myself.

These add up.  So, if I were to sit and delete 99% of a document, I have spent my time reading through and listening with my technical knowledge to gibberish either created by the dictator and or with speech recognition programming.  My knowledge is penalized when I hit the delete button.  I may as well say I am working for less than free, because I am in effect deleting my 4cpl down to 0 cpl.

Does this occur to anyone?  That when we edit out, we edit our pay down?  We are allowed to keep our jobs with a 99% quality score.  But we are robbing ourselves of wages by deleting words...

With that in mind, do you keep in redundant test you are trained not to keep, like Allergies:  Allergies are significant for XXX, (delete most of this sentence and instead be paid nothing for doing it and then making it look good so it says  Allergies: XXX.

You know that delete key is taking away how much pay?   

Any thoughts on the above. This is not meant to be flamed, this is posted for intelligent conversation.  Thank you in advance.


text not test, sorry typed quickly and no spell check - OP

[ In Reply To ..]
should read text not test. Sorry.

I know what you mean... - sadMT

[ In Reply To ..]
I get paid by the page and we are instructed to delete extra spaces at the signature line if there is just 1 or 2 lines of type on the next page. So we lose that page and I always say, "There goes another buck and a half" or whatever amount that page would have been worth.

I had a job doing VR and hated it. I think the pay rate should be the same because it's really just as much work, and besides I thought we were supposed to be paid for our knowledge. Another thing I noticed about VR is that it messes you up for straight typing because your habits must totally change. I hope I never have to go back to VR again. If it comes to that, I will learn to say "Welcome to Wal-Mart. Do you need a cart today?"

I know. I agree. Unfortunately even Walmart won't hire me - MT2understand

[ In Reply To ..]
I have been an MT since college, and even Walmart would not hire me for 2 reasons: 1. I have no retain experience. 2. My credit is no good (they check) because I have gone broke as an MT and late on payments for things in the past. Now I live with my nose to the grindstone. Sigh. And by being a good MT (deleting errors) it is true what OP said, I am having my pay taken away... and you are having your page taken away... once they have our dignity what else will they get?

retail not retain. Blech. - MT2understand

[ In Reply To ..]
typo sorry.

I think the credit-check thing is just another form of - discrimination. (sm)-Meerkat

[ In Reply To ..]
If a potential employee has poor credit, maybe it's because they (a) have no job, or (b) have a CRUMMY job, like we do.

It's merely a back-door way of saying, "Only those who are currently employed need apply." It's nothing but pure B.S.

Walmart is evil, anyway. You'd just end up working for the same kind of greedy corporation you do now. Keep on looking, don't give up. Walmart's loss because they were too stupid to hire you will be some other smaller company's incredibly good fortune!

That's just fricken great..... - mt2

[ In Reply To ..]
I have been trying to find any type of job just to get out of this crap. And Wal-Mart won't hire??? I have bad credit for several reasons (husband ill, out of work for 2 years, finally got disability; I lost my job last year and had to take another MT job which blows) so bills were late and now with this WONDERFUL pay I make, we are losing our house. I will take about anything at this point because I hate MTing. I've been skimming through reports today - I hope they fire me.

Thinking about it all - Redwriter

[ In Reply To ..]
Very well put, very articulate. Thanks. There are so many steps in the transition to editing where the MT has been asked/required to destroy our own income. At one job, a dictator gave a perfect rendition of his report every time. I made it a macro and erased the speech text, popped in the macro, listened to the dictation for any discrepancy, and went on quickly to next report. He would do 20 in a row. But company required me to edit each separately because "the machine has to be taught how to recognize the speech." By my doing it well, efficiently, using my knowledge, I was robbing the machine of a chance to learn it--which the machine, in 6 months of my training it, never did. This kind of thing grinds me to a halt with the contradictions involved. If I were a machine also, I would have no pride, no motivation, no ethics to get contradicted. I also would not need to earn a living wage. Now--what are we going to do about it? I'm really asking.

Lately I was thinking what I would do if I had any power - Mt2understand

[ In Reply To ..]
I'd say what everyone else says in the real world, when they are face to face every day with their employers: I'd say, I don't work for free. And I certainly don't use my knowledge to a deficit. But unfortunately I do not say it because I am at home and I am treated like I do not exist. As such, I have given away my power.
I am not saying that everyone feels the way I do, but truly I do not believe if I were an on-site presence where they would have to deal with me day in and day out, I do not believe that they would get away with half of what they do for we the faceless laborer...
You are not faceless, you have just been - beaten into thinking
[ In Reply To ..]
you are. Take back your power. You actually can if you are willing to put forth some effort. ; )
yup... just skip a day of work, take your power back - whatever
[ In Reply To ..]
some more crazy talk
IGNORE THE VULTURES, MT2understand! They - circle, but are too cowardly to land.
[ In Reply To ..]
My company wants editing brisk, as little change as needed - to make it readable, plus adherence to a
[ In Reply To ..]
few standardized terms. I used to delete redundancies, but now pay has gone down so low that following the company directive allows me to just skim on by many that don't confuse the issue or aren't actively sloppy.

Even then, editing always ends up with a lot of characters deleted. Lots of things I used to change stay as they are if they don't degrade the actual meaning of the text. They want me to be faster, I want me to be faster, so I adapt--but if only it was possible to adapt enough to make the money I did even last year.
You're right. This is why I continue to hold out for an - inhouse job, even after 4 years.
[ In Reply To ..]
Got a few fish on the line, but haven't reeled anything in, yet.


I think they're lying to us - sadMT

[ In Reply To ..]
When I did VR (for a brief few months), I was told that it takes about 3 months for the computer to "learn" to fix the mistakes. I later heard that the computer doesn't actually do it, but that there are actually PEOPLE who look at the reports, see what we are typing and then tell the computer what it's supposed to type.

So I'm wondering, has anyone else heard this? Does anyone out there actually do this job? I'm really curious to know how it actually works. And if it's true, how's the pay? lol
Are they lying? - Redwriter
[ In Reply To ..]
LOL, I'd go for that job, especially since there seems to be no pressure at all to actually get it done in a timely fashion. Do I think they lie to us? You bet! About everything. Who or what is to hold them to account for what they tell us individually? Again, where is our power? We have to find a way to work together in order to take a meaningful stand.
I would say it right in the interview... - OP
[ In Reply To ..]
Ideally in the interview, we would and should say as most professionals are expected to say with good skills and self-esteem:
I will be paid what I am worth, and will live up to the job description to the best of my ability.
I will not take a job which pays less than my degree or work experience requires.
However, if we actually were honest in the job interview, we'd never get close to getting an offer. Let's be honest. These days what 1 person who is interviewed on the phone (almost 100% of it is done on the phone, for those rare who do it in person then are probably in a situation where pay is more fair, and expectations are met in person by both parties) is honest. What do we do? We give our experience. We say we will live up to what our skill set requires. But then, when they offer us 4cpl and 8 or 10 cpl straight typing (knowing there is none) do we refuse it? No we take it gladly. As well we should, because no one needs to go homeless. Even with their taking our wages as we hit the delete key, the rent is still paid this month. Can one say that for the person who never gets past the first interview saying what should be said?
PS: This conversation should take place not only in our business, but in the philosophist's classroom... or a class on ethics...
Negotiating in interviews - Redwriter
[ In Reply To ..]
Oh, OP. I know. I know. I'm preparing for an upcoming phone interview by reading a book on negotiating. For fun, I prepared for the negotiation per the book, and it was a script like nothing I have encountered in all my MT years. Starts out with me asking the recruiter: And are you authorized to grant concessions and make final decisions on what we are about to discuss? Oh, yeah, baby. I'm really going to get this job! The problem is that for me, OP, my jobs are NOT paying the rent anymore. Maybe I'm at the point where I don't have a lot to lose anymore and should actually challenge the pay scale and the "inconsistencies" given during recruitment. And I do appreciate this discussion with everyone. I wish we were having coffee now and could talk more.
Sadly, there are no "people" training VR computers - at the other end. Only us. For peanut pay.
[ In Reply To ..]
The "learning" is all in the software. And as we all know far too well, software is anything but infallible.

In fact, quite the opposite. That's why they need so many VR editors.

Without them, their product (transcribed reports) is worthless.

So why are WE, the editors, considered so worthless as to not pay us a decent wage?

Join in activities - during MT week and beyond

[ In Reply To ..]
: )

You're right about VR editing. And have you ever - (SM)-Meerkat

[ In Reply To ..]
noticed how, as time goes by, it takes more and more keystrokes to move from page to page, or to send a report, or to move within the editing field? I could knit a sweater in the time it takes our VR reports to even LOAD.

My VR has proven to be untrainable, as well. No matter how correctly or consistently I make certain corrections. Mine has certain regular English words it always capitalizes, even if they're mid-sentence. Why is this? I guess the answer is, because it can, and we can't do anything about it.

Make a mental note someday of some of the mistakes it makes that are dangerous to the patient, risky to the doctors legally, or just plain funny. Now imagine if you merely hit 'send', and that report went on through to the client as-is. Imagine how much you-know-what would hit the fan, especially with certain FUNNIER VR bloopers we come across every day.

Imagine if every VR editor in the US just said "no", quit, and got other jobs doing something else. All in the same week.

WHO WOULD EDIT THIS VR TRANSCRIPTION? Maybe 1 or 2 Indians might have what it takes, but the whole offshore workforce? Nope. I suppose they could try to put all the VR work on QA, but let's face it: QA moans and groans about just the tiny, 2-5% fraction of our work we send their way, or is pulled for them to audit. Imagine them getting hit with the entire volume of VR work! They'd do more than complain, they'd probably run out the door screaming.

What I'm getting at is, in just this one little aspect of medical transcription, we still have them somewhat over a barrel. Their VR and their Indians can't do work of high enough quality for it to go straight to the client. The only reason that work becomes client-ready, is because WE edit it.

And yet we are paid next to nothing to do so, and are treated like dirt, even though without our editing skills, little to none of that work would be even marginally acceptable.

That's the only upside to editing VR - it has once more given MTs a bargaining chip: somethey they NEED, we HAVE the skill to do, and their other transcription resources DON'T.

I truly believe we could get somewhere if we used editing as something to be withheld if we don't start getting fair pay for it.

that is not the job of MME - do you mean QC?

[ In Reply To ..]
You don't have to do anything to please your MME. She's a drone just like you.

MME was the one who mentored and taught - OP

[ In Reply To ..]
The MME set the bar/standards for when I was training at least at M Modal. It was the feedback the MME gave me which set the tone for the quality I was expected to uphold. Since I had nothing in the way of corrections for content, my MME taught me to avoid duplicating words, beginning sentences with Significant for, etc. So, I have been in the habit of keeping up that kind of quality. I am erasing at alarming rates to avoid redundancies of the dictator. While it gives a pretty product, I am reducing my own pay. Which bides the question, what does stop me from leaving in the redundant text...

I see what you're saying - yeah

[ In Reply To ..]
I know one person who does exactly what you say, leaves in that redundant stuff. She figures if it gets audited the worst it will be is a minor error, and in the meantime, she tries to keep as much text in as possible.

absolutely ... and you better believe they will call you on it! - mm

[ In Reply To ..]
When I first started in the business, I was taught to always expand mcg to micrograms to avoid confusion. Did that for years. Then, a year or so ago, we were told to stop doing that, so I've tried to retrain my brain.

A few months ago, I got marked off in a review on a report where VR had typed out micrograms and I didn't change it to mcg! In the same review, I had a non-VR report where I had typed "The patient" instead of the dictator's incorrect usage of simply "Patient." Because of those two "mistakes," I was accused of padding my line count!

Really? Ten letters in 8 reports is padding my lines? I type about 30 reports a day, so if I added 10 letters to every 8 reports, that would be less than 40 characters a day, 200 characters a week, or 10,400 characters a year.

With the 65-character line at 4/cpl, that's a grand total of $6.40 per year that I am "stealing" from the company! They probably spent more than that in the time it took for someone to write out an email to reprimand me!

OMG that irritates me so much! - Seriously

[ In Reply To ..]
VR expanding stuff when we are told not to, great so I spend time deleting. Common sense should say "well to get these people to produce more, if VR expands it let them leave it" but no it's us, not their program, doing it :rolling my eyes:

This happens to me more and more. I try to add - when I can, delete as little as possible.

[ In Reply To ..]
If they want a full-on edit and/or rewrite, they'll have to restructure that pay scale a little bit. In OUR favor for a change.

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