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Working for NTS Transcriptions

1. Company Overview

NTS Transcriptions (NTS) was formed with the aim of becoming a premier supplier of professional transcription services and began trading in August 2002 as a specialist medical transcription company.  Since this time NTS has enjoyed phenomenal success recording sales growth of 50%+ every year.

We pride ourselves on providing an exceptional quality service and are very proud of our transcription staff who have been a significant factor in achieving the growth that NTS has experienced.

NTS uses the EMDAT transcription software as its platform.  The EMDAT software is Australia’s premier digital dictation and transcription management system.  It allows clients to drastically reduce their transcription costs, while giving typists significant tools to improve their productivity.  In addition, typists can work from the comfort of their own home.

Essentially, NTS services over 100 clients based in Australia ranging from single doctor practices to large hospitals.  Clients dictate via hand held digital dictaphones, mobile apps or telephone dictation and these audio files are sent to NTS via a secure internet connection.   From here, typists can access the voice files (again via the internet), on their home computer.  Voice files are then transcribed onto the EMDAT system and returned to NTS initially for proof reading and editing and eventually directly to the client.

 

 

2. What You Can Expect

As a typist for NTS transcriptions, you will have the freedom to work from home and choose your own rostered hours within a 24 hour period, 7 days a week.  We require a minimum of 20+ hours per week.  Anything less than this will not enable you to learn the system, become faster and therefore make this line of work a viable source of income for you.  There is no maximum number of hours, you are welcome to work any additional hours above your regular rostered hours as long as the NTS Work Status is not showing as “quiet”.  Work is allocated from a queue, and when you logon you receive the next files in the queue.

NTS will allocate you to a pool of clients and work from these clients will be in your queue.  Several typists will be allocated to each pool, therefore volume of work may vary depending on the number of typists working at any particular time.  The advantage of being allocated in pools is that it removes some of the pressure by spreading the work amongst several people and enabling you to finish whenever you need to knowing that the remaining work will be allocated to the next person to log in.   You will also be transcribing for the same clients regularly so that you can become familiar with them and can increase your production.

Typists work as self-employed contractors therefore you will need to set up a mini “small business”.  (See Setting Up your Business later in this document for assistance).

The EMDAT system is very easy to install and learn.  It offers many shortcuts to make transcribing even faster such as autotext.

 

 

3. What NTS Will Expect From You

Due to the need to manage a continuing turnaround of some 1500+ files per day with a fluctuating contractor base of transcriptionists NTS will require:

  • A set roster of your hours (minimum of 20+ per week, this includes evenings and weekends). Hours on top of those indicated can be undertaken at any time without notice.
  • Advanced notice via e-mail of any rostered days or times that you will not be able to undertake.
  • A high level of continued accuracy within your work.
  • Reliability is essential
  • Pride in your work.
  • That you continue to expand and improve on your level of accuracy using the feedback provided from QA staff.

 

 

 

4. Working From Home

Although working from home sounds like a dream come true, there are several things to consider before making the commitment.  Not everyone is suited to working from home – it can be very lonely and you must be disciplined and self motivated to be successful.

Several important points to consider are:

  • Do I have a suitable workspace away from domestic distractions?
  • Can I cope with being self employed and the potential fluctuating flow of income?
  • Can I cope with running my own business e.g. invoices?
  • Do I need constant feedback and interaction with managers or colleagues to keep me motivated?

Contrary to popular belief, working from home, and medical transcribing is not easy.  It takes time, patience, dedication to returning a high standard of work and a thirst to learn new medical terminology.  As with any job you can often feel out of your depth for a while and this can be compounded by the feeling of isolation, although help is always close at hand.

There are however many benefits to working from home, less travelling time and costs, being close by for your family, a relaxed non-stressful environment and flexibility.

 5. Service Levels

As we stated in our company overview, NTS prides itself on customer service.  Therefore we have adopted service level agreements with our clients, and as such also have service level standards for our typists.  Our service levels are based around two criteria, accuracy and turn-around-times (TAT).  Our TAT being a guaranteed 24 hours with the majority of our clients.

Quality/accuracy levels are to be maintained at 95% or higher for typists.  We base our assessment of accuracy on the following Quality Evaluation Criteria:

Error Category                                                       Error Points

Medical Word Misuse                                                1.00

Drug Error (name/dosage/usage etc)                     1.00

Major Omission/Addition                                         1.00

Medical Word Misspelling                                        0.75

English Word Misuse/Misspelling                           0.75

Grammar                                                                    0.50

Inappropriate blanks                                                0.50

Punctuation                                                                0.25

Format Errors                                                             0.25

Misc./Typo                                                                   0.25

Penalties will be applied in the event that:

  1. The accuracy rate of transcription continues to fall below 95%
  2. The error points specified exceed 15 per 500 lines in a given piece of transcription

 

6. Rates of Pay

As an independent contractor, NTS will pay you an agreed amount of money based upon productivity.

NTS pay typists based on the internationally recognized AAMT 65 character line.  Therefore each 65 characters typed equals 1 line.  As a rough guide, a letter containing 780 words will equal 81 lines.

For example: Assuming you can type at 70 words per minute, being paid at $0.10 per line, you will earn approximately $20 per hour.

We do our transcriptions in two parts to ensure the highest degree of accuracy.  A typist will type the draft to a minimum 95% accuracy and then it is sent to a proof reader (QA – Quality Assurance).  The QA will bring the transcription up to 100% accurate or as close as possible to it.

Your starting rate will depend upon the initial quality of your files and your previous employment history and background.  This is decided on an individual basis.

 

 

7.  Pay Structure

Rates range from 0.09c for training through to 13.5c for senior transcriptionists.

NOTE:

  • Additional line rates can be discussed on an individual basis taking into account consistent quality, work experience, line production and reliability.
  • All payments are processed in Australian Dollars so conversion rates may apply.
  • You can select your own method of payment when you invoice including direct deposit, cheque or OFX.
  • Invoices are submitted on a monthly basis, at the end of each month, or fortnightly if your invoice is over $500.

 

 

8.  Contractor Structure

Set Up Component

All set up requirements are carried out at home using information that will be provided to you by NTS.  Set up is a self-paced process.

The aim of this component is to have your system set up in preparation to beginning work with NTS.

NTS will provide you with:

  • Instructions to download the necessary programmes from the internet.
  • Documentation to enable you to operate the primary programme InScribe.
  • Access to our typists’ web site that will provide information on our general transcription rules.

You will need to:

  • Install all relevant programmes.
  • Read through the documentation on how to operate the primary programme InScribe.
  • Successfully access the typists’ web site.
  • Undertake all training as provided.

To successfully complete this component you will need to:

  • Correctly answer ten questions on a Pre-Training online Assessment. These are based on the general rules provided.  This is to assure us that you have read the information provided and can independently source a specific topic when required.

 

Training Component

This component consists of a minimum of two weeks.

The aim of this component is to learn our basic rules and basic system functions.

The rate of pay while undertaking this component is 0.09c.

NTS will provide you with:

  • Audio files to work on while training.
  • Constructive feedback on areas that require further attention.
  • Redirection to the General Rules that require further attention.

You will need to:

  • Undertake your work hours as previously discussed.
  • Continue to refer to and read through the general rules provided.
  • Read through and take on board information provided to you in feedback.

To successfully complete this component you will need to be able to:

  • Enter information into the patient demographics correctly consistently.
  • Search and add entries using the associate database, and add comments relevant to these entries.
  • Use our general transcription rules correctly and consistently.

 

Working as a Transcriptionist

You will then proceed to being a self-sufficient transcriptionist.  This component has no defined time frame.

The aim of this component is to identify a client or clients where your strengths lay.

The rate of pay while undertaking this component is 0.10.5c (unless discussed otherwise).

NTS will provide you with:

  • Audio files in a range of medical specialities and a variety of dictators.
  • Feedback on components covered during your training period if required.
  • Feedback on incorrect general medical terms that occur on a regular basis.

You will need to:

  • Undertake work in a range of medical specialities and a variety of dictators.
  • Attempt all files to the best of your ability.
  • Undertake your work hours as previously discussed.

You will be considered for the direct return when:

  • You have proven yourself to be reliable and willing to undertake all work provided to the best of your ability.
  • NTS has identified a client or clients where your strengths lay and…
  • Where we have a current requirement of another typist in that specialty and where you are agreeable.

 

Direct Return Transcriptionist

This component has no defined time frames.

The aim of this component is to direct return files to your specified client/clients.  You will always have the options to send questionable files for QA.

Note: While undertaking direct return with your specific client/clients, you will continue to carry out the requirements of a standard transcriptionist with all other clients, aiming for event direct return with those also.

The rate of pay for direct return is 0.11c per line for your direct return client/clients.  For all other clients the rate remains at 0.10.5c.

NTS will provide you with:

  • Audio files from your direct return client/clients as a first priority.
  • Irregular feedback on specifically identified blanks and guesses in files that are returned for QA.
  • Feedback where/if required on any decline in your accuracy levels.

You will need to:

  • Undertake files dictated by your direct return client.
  • Read through and take on board feedback provided.
  • Attempt all files to the best of your ability.
  • Undertake your work hours as previously discussed.

This component will be successfully completed when:

  • You continue to prove yourself to be reliable and willing to undertake all work provided to the best of your ability.
  • NTS identifies the need for a mentor or QA within the company in your area/areas of expertise.

 

Quality Assurance

This component has no defined time frames.

The aim of this component is to QA clients where you have direct return as a Transcriptionist.

NOTE: While undertaking this component you can continue to undertake all previous Transcriptionist components.

The rate of pay while undertaking this component is 0.05c per line.

 

NTS will provide you with:

  • Completed transcripts in a range of medical specialities and a variety of dictators.
  • Irregular feedback on files returned to the next level of QA.

You will need to:

  • Undertake QA in a range of medical specialities and a variety of dictators.
  • Attempt all files to the best of your ability.
  • Undertake your work hours as previously discussed.

 

9. Privacy

NTS is committed to the protection of private and confidential information.  Please make yourself aware of the National Privacy Principles and the health Privacy Act as NTS require you to work by these Acts.  Information can be found at www.privacy.gov.au

You will also be required to sign a confidentiality agreement before you are allocated work.

Two main points to consider are; the privacy of information on your computer screen
(do not have the screen visible to anyone in the house) and dictations (use headphones to listen to all voice files).  NTS and EMDAT have ensured that the software and internet transfer protocols are compliant with all government privacy regulations

 

10. Computer Requirements

For Emdat InScribe software to work properly within your windows environment (Macintosh computers are NOT supported by Emdat), you are required to meet the following software and hardware requirements:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows 7 SP1 or later (Note: Support is not provided for any version of Windows before Windows 7 SP1)
  • RAM: Minimum 2GB
  • CPU: 1 GHz or faster.
  • Good quality headphones
  • Windows Internet Explorer 11 or later.
  • Internet Connection: Broadband

The EMDAT software is totally keyboard based, but will work with a .wav pedal attached to your computer if you prefer.  This is a personal option and not a requirement.  A foot pedal must have a USB plug and be able to be configured such as Start/Stop, Infinity, Bytescribe and some Phillips.

 

11. Setting Up Your Business

It is not as difficult or expensive as you may think to start you own business.  Please use the following information as a guide and use professionals such as your accountant or solicitor should you need assistance.  NTS will offer as much assistance as you require.  We are always available should you have questions.

  • You will require an ABN (Australian Business Number) if you are working from Australia. If you are working outside of Australia you will need to speak with your own tax office or accountant regarding the taxation requirements to operate as an independent contractor.   An ABN can be obtained free of charge over the internet –  abr.gov.au
  • You will need to create an invoice format, however this can be done on any word processor. NTS can provide you with an invoice format.  The EMDAT system will give you full reporting functionality.  You can use this reporting to obtain all invoicing data needed.
  • There should not be a need to purchase expensive accounting software, however you will most likely need the assistance of an accountant for BAS (Business Activity Statements) and tax returns.
  • You will require a computer and internet access – (details are outlined in the Computer section of this document).
  • Training is done over the internet with the assistance of a training officer. The length of training will depend on your personal requirements but on average takes approximately two weeks of full time hours.  Feedback on your work is ongoing during and after training.