I have to admit when I saw the title of the latest blog at the AHDI Lounge blog, I was intrigued – so they get points for an interesting title.
Just reading the title, I thought maybe AHDI was finally going to take off the rosie-colored glasses they wear in public. During the whole decline of the industry, they've insisted that there's a place for medical transcriptionists in whatever new world health information documentation evolves to. (The other blog post there, Doctors weigh in on the use of scribes, is another worthy of its own separate rant.) So I eagerly went to read the entry, thinking maybe maybe AHDI is going to come out of the closet about the future of medical transcription.
Boy, was I disappointed when I read the blog entry. And surprised not only at the apparent cluelessness at what practitioner MTs (their base membership) go through on a daily basis, but the direction AHDI seems to be willing to take with the tone of this blog entry.
First of all, is it really standard practice for MT recruiters to not respond to those who are applying for jobs? Even if the applicant bombed the test, common courtesy would be to at least thank them for the effort, wouldn't you think?
Is it really standard practice for the World's largest professional association representing and advocating for healthcare documentation professionals (MTs, editors, and QA coordinators) (that's what their Twitter profile says) not to know that yes, indeed, this is standard practice in the industry? That every day, recruiters receive hundreds of applications, solicited and not, and can't possibly respond to all of them? That MTs take tests all the time – and never hear back a peep from the testing company? That common courtesy isn't so common? That sometimes recruiters not only don't know what they're talking about, but they lie, don't give direct answers to questions, set up phone calls they blow off, and are even downright rude?
Not that I think that's a huge factor in what is happening to “doom” the medical transcription industry.
But here's the part that blew me away:
It's a tad ironic for someone so concerned about communication skills to criticize someone for not being “atriculate” and having poor “dictation.” And as anyone knows who has participated in online MT forums for any length of time, this scenario is all too common.
Let's put aside for a moment that anyone who has participated in online MT forums for any length of time should know that the common response to this: I'm not at work so spelling, grammar and punctuation aren't a priority. (And since I'm putting it aside for a moment, that's all I'm going to say about it.)
How professional is it for the world's largest professional association to slam a medical transcriptionist for spelling and grammar errors in an online forum? And a forum that isn't even theirs?
AAMT/AHDI has never seemed to understand that nonmembers are still potential members and that's demonstrated again in this blog post. It's probably not a good idea to alienate your prospective membership base if you expect to recruit and grow – unless, of course, AHDI is happy with the number of members it currently has. However, by claiming to be the world's largest professional association representing and advocating for healthcare documentation professionals (MT's, editors and QA coordinators) it's painting the MT world with a very large brush. I guess it wouldn't sound so great to be the world's largest professional association representing and advocating for a very small percentage of healthcare documentation specialists – but it would be a more accurate representation.
It's one thing for a blogger with no affiliations to blow off steam about whatever they want. Heck, I do it all the time! But I don't represent the professional association. Matter of fact, I don't represent anybody but me. Call me old-fashioned, but the official blog of the professional association should be – well, professional! And in my opinion, being professional means you don't slam MTs posting in forums for their spelling and grammar, even if they are anonymous.
AHDI had an opportunity to focus on something that's wrong in the industry and actually advocate for the practioner MT – and they blew it by losing focus and attacking the messenger.
So if we're looking at factors that doom the medical transcription profession, I have to say – AHDI, look at the mote in your own eye.