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Essential Online Resources for Medical Transcription

SyberScribe AUTHOR: SyberScribe, August 13th, 2019

Medical transcription is an important part of the medical industry. Audio reports of medical professionals need to be recorded legibly, and medical transcription ensures these reports are saved by playing back the audio and typing the words into a computer.

Because it deals with critical information, medical transcription must not only be fast, but accurate as well, and many healthcare providers outsource their transcription work to ensure a high level of quality control. Outsourcing also frees up their own medical staff, giving them more time to focus on patient care.

What is Medical Transcription?

Medical transcription is a specialised skill that requires speed, accuracy and attention to detail. Transcribers must also be familiar with the wide range of jargon and abbreviations employed in the medical industry. In return for this expertise, transcribers enjoy a range of benefits including the ability to work from home, to choose their own hours and to perform an interesting job for a respectable wage – and because there is always a need for their services, they enjoy security of tenure as well.

Online guides

Whether you’re familiar with medical transcription, would like to get to know your craft a little better, are looking to meet other professionals in the field or are interested in transcription as a possible career, these informative online guides could be of help:


If you’re stuck for a medical word, phrase, acronym or abbreviation, look no further than OneLook, an efficient, comprehensive database covering every term a medical transcriber is likely to come across. OneLook is quick, reliable and can definitely pull up the right term when you’re under the pump.


In much the same way, if you’re struggling for the name of a specific drug or the size of the dosage, you can’t do much better than Drugs.com, which contains up to the minute info on the names, size and dosage of more than 24,000 prescription drugs.

Transcription Gear

As you start to learn the trade and become a master medical transcriber, you may find you need a new set of gear. It could be anything from a better set of earphones to a pair of comfortable typing gloves. Transcription Gear is your first port of call and offers a range of useful stock.

Healthy Computing

Sometimes in the world of medical transcription, we get so caught up in the job that we forget to assume healthy typing postures, leading to a range of ailments from minor pain to permanent damage. Healthy Computing provides comprehensive advice on how to make sure your working posture is healthy.

Software available

Anyone who’s recently entered, about to join or is already part of the medical transcription field would be pleased to know there is a wide variety of software available that can make your life easier and dramatically enhance the quality of your results. They include the following:

Free voice file players

While this would have been impossible in the old days of voice transcribing, there is actually a wide range of free voice file players on the market, which make it easy to play back the files you need to transcribe. There are quite a large range of options available depending on your needs and tastes, but a few good ones that are worth checking out include;

  • Express Scribe – A popular tool that supports both audio and video playback, with a free version that supports common audio formats such as .wav, mp3, wma and dct, as well as a Pro version that plays most formats, including encrypted dictation files. Express Scribe also works with speech recognition software to convert speech to text, as well as using FastFox text expander for entering medical phrases.
  • Olympus DSS Player light – A free audio player program for Windows operating systems enabling playback of DS2, DSS and WAV files created by an Olympus digital audio recorder or DSS Player software.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking – Versatile and highly popular speech recognition software. The Pro version can also help you transcribe audio recordings much faster, greatly improving your productivity.

Free Auto Text Word Expander Software

If you’ve ever tried your hand at medical transcription, you will know it’s not something you can pick up right away. And while breaking it down to a minute level in terms of understanding how many keystrokes you’re making and your typing patterns may seem pedantic, it actually lends greatly to your productivity.

There are some valuable resources online that can help ensure you’re completing your work as effectively as possible and not wasting time on little mistakes and errors that are commonly caused by a bad medical transcription technique. These sites include;

  • Autotext – This feature is included with Word for Office 365, Word Online, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010 and Word 2007. It inserts text automatically into documents, either from blocks of preformatted text in your AutoText gallery or by intuitively completing words and sentences after just a few characters are typed.
  • Phrase Express – Text expander software that allows you to insert frequently used and customisable text templates into any program via a menu, hotkey or autotext shortcut. Available to purchase or as freeware.
  • Auto Hot Key – A free, open-source scripting language for Windows that lets you automate repetitive tasks in any Windows application by creating scripts for a variety of tasks such as form fillers, auto-clicking and macros.

Free typing programs to improve productivity

Non-productive work is your worst enemy. The good news is that there are a range of free typing programs available online that can help improve your typing accuracy, reduce your incorrect keystrokes and help you produce more professional work and save quite a bit of time.

Some of the best free programs on the market at the moment include

  • Typing.com – A refresher typing program for those who already know how to type. It offers gamified learning with an engaging curriculum and is available in a choice of Spanish or English. No logins or accounts to create either. Just start typing.
  • Typing Bolt – An online typing tutor that uses an algorithm to study your typing patterns and work out your level of ability. It then offers you a customised typing course based on what it has learnt. It will also provide a graph of your performance and motivate you to improve.
  • AlfaTyping – A multi-faceted typing program for typists of all levels offering keyboarding tutors, more than 100 typing games and WPM typing tests with a certificate when you pass.

Free Medical Spell Checker for Microsoft Word

Spelling is one of the hardest things to get right 100 percent of the time in the medical industry. The thing is, it’s also one of the most important. By downloading the Free Medical Spell Checker for Microsoft Word, you’ve got another tool that can help greatly improve the quality of your work.

What gear will I need?

If you’ve decided you’re going to enter the rewarding world of medical transcribing, you’ll need to get your office space ready to achieve results. By fitting yourself out with the right gear, you’ll ensure you’re ready to face the challenges of the industry and reap the rewards of a job well done.

Dictation software

Perhaps the most important part of the job, dictation software allows you to access the dictated reports and materials. Once you’ve got the software installed, you’re ready to start listening to a wide range of medical reports, which you will then put into a legible form.

Foot pedals

Anyone not in the industry wouldn’t understand them, but they’re absolutely indispensable. A foot pedal allows you to manipulate the dictated report without the use of your hands, freeing up your fingers for typing, as well as giving you the ability to vary and adjust the speed of the dictated report.


The quality of sound has a huge bearing on the quality of your results. Employing the use of headsets increases your privacy and confidentiality, which can be useful in a busy office environment. Headsets also offer amplification controls and noise reduction, which are crucial for every medical transcriber.

Line counters

When you’re in the middle of a transcribing job, it’s crucial you keep track of how many lines you’ve already transcribed. Line counters make it much easier to see where you’re at in the document, as well as providing a tool that can be of great assistance in terms of setting yourself output goals and correctly invoicing clients.

Flash drives and memory sticks

Anyone in the industry who’s already faced the pain of losing a document they’ve worked diligently on would agree that this can be very heartbreaking. To avoid the pain, it’s recommended you also stock a flash drive and memory stick to help back up your valuable data, just in case something goes wrong.

Comfortable chair

If you’re going to be serious about entering the medical transcription field, you’re going to have to have a comfortable place to park yourself. Medical transcribers spend hours at the desk, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re going to be comfortable while doing so.

Key factors for success

While they may not get as much glitz and glamour as surgeons, doctors and researchers, the role of medical transcribers is arguably just as critical to the healthcare industry. Here are the key ingredients you need to be a success in this competitive world.

Understanding of medical terminology

One of the most important things for a medical transcriber to get their head around is the key terminology they’re going to be using on a day to day basis. If you don’t understand this complex medical jargon, your level of success in the industry is going to be clearly limited. The good news is there are TAFE courses (as well as a range of educational facilities) to get you up to speed.

Excellent communication skills

While many people might view it as sitting at a desk and typing, a skilled medical transcriber deals with so much more, and has to showcase excellent communication skills when translating shorthand and abbreviated notes. All the medical transcriber’s notes must also be legible and presented in a manner that is useful to the medical professionals using it.

Computer skills

In addition to this, if you’re going to succeed in the medical transcription industry, you really need to know your way around a computer and also be proficient at typing. If you can’t get documents out at around 65 to 75 words per minute you might struggle, but as with many things in this sort of industry, accuracy is the most important thing. So it’s recommended you begin with at least 45 words per minute at 100 percent accuracy and work your way up from there.

Time management skills

As so much of a medical transcriber’s role is producing reports to a strict set of deadlines, the ability to do so independently is of vital importance. Not only do you need to be motivated enough to get the job done, you need to display a high degree of efficiency as well.

Attention to detail

Your role as a medical transcriber involves taking vague or highly specialised ideas and concepts and communicating them in terms that are easier to understand, which is why a high level of attention to detail is key.

Considering a career as a medical transcriber?

Think you’re ready or have the experience required to become a fantastic medical transcriptionist? SyberScribe is always looking to hire the best of the best! Check out our careers page and apply today.