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Webinar: GPS for Educators/Mentors: Mapping Success in Healthcare Documentation
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Webinar: GPS for Educators/Mentors: Mapping Success in Healthcare Documentation

When: April 14, 2016
1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern
Where: United States

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Session Title: GPS for Educators/Mentors: Mapping Success in Healthcare Documentation

Co-Presenters: Audrey Kirchner, CHDS; Rebecca McSwain, PhD, CHDS

Date: April 14, 2016

Time: 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET



For decades now, everyone has predicted the eventual demise of the medical transcription profession as we know it. We all have lived in fear of jobs disappearing and our lucrative livelihoods becoming a thing of the past.


While we definitely have seen changes in the profession (outsourcing, offshoring, business consolidations, and salary restructuring, to name a few) derailing traditional routes to individual success, we are now in a unique position—that being providing unique, previously unknown, roads toward success in many different ways.


Not many years ago, the arrival of EHRs was accompanied by predictions that the skills of MTs would rapidly become obsolete. At about the same time, the rapid growth of transcription companies in India, the Philippines, and elsewhere, suggested a continuing need for MTs but a need that would be completely met by practitioners outside the U.S. Now, more than a decade into the 21st century, we are seeing a profession still in flux but very much alive, in the U.S. as well as globally. Demand for people with the MT skill set is growing, and shortages of experienced MTs are occurring, though the details of the work they do are different from those of 20 years ago. What we see is not extinction but transformation. This could not occur at a better time, since medical error has become the third leading cause of death in the United States.


Beginning with a “big picture” perspective, this webinar will reiterate some important details of today’s healthcare documentation landscape and provide suggestions to instructors and professionals who are striving to find encouraging words for today’s students. The profession is not a dying one but rather, one in the process of evolution and change. Stay tuned is our message because the best is yet to be! 


Learning Objectives:

  1. Where is healthcare documentation going? An overview of the healthcare documentation profession and why an understanding of both the past and the future is the basis for a successful career to present to future students.
  1. Mapping 4 key components of success in today’s healthcare documentation environment: Education, Transcription Skills, Editing Skills, and Credentialing.
  1. Medical transcriptionist, VR editor, healthcare documentation specialist, other—What arenas will most benefit today’s students and where will they fit?   
  1. Getting and keeping students: Evaluating how we promote HDS work and skill sets, steering students toward other branching careers from their acquired knowledge, accentuating the positives and believing that there will be increased need rather than decreasing need over time.



Rebecca McSwain, PhD, CHDS, is a long-time medical transcription practitioner, healthcare documentation specialist, and documentation editor who has worked for acute-care hospitals, multispecialty clinics, physician offices, and transcription service providers as a production MT and editor, lead, supervisor, and manager. She has been an educator and curriculum developer for medical transcription education programs, and has served as Professional Practices Associate on the staff of AHDI. She has also published widely on healthcare documentation topics in AHDI publications, For the Record, The Journal of AHIMA, and elsewhere. She is currently a Member-At-Large on the AHDI National Leadership Board. She has read the obituaries of medical transcription over the last 20 years, and is now enjoying witnessing its rebirth.


Audrey Kirchner, CHDS, is a long-time HDS practitioner, owning a small transcription service since 1989, as well as having worked for several national companies over the years as a production QA, transcriptionist, and speech rec editor. She has been an educator for several online colleges as well as her local community college. She has written curriculum and has been published in Plexus several times. She has also given multiple educational webinars for AHDI-West as well as online colleges. She has seen the many changes in the profession over the years, and while sometimes hard to fathom, she has stuck with the profession and still believes that there is a yet-to-be-discovered dynamic and more prestigious career unfolding. She believes that keeping the faith and continuing to press on will serve future students well and lead them to a highly specialized professional assignation of tremendous value.


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