How to Start a Medical Transcription Business

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Medical transcriptionists take recorded medical notes and turn them into documents for addition to a patient’s medical record. If you are a transcriptionist and would like to start your own business or want to become a medical transcriptionist and eventually in your own business as well, you can easily achieve your desire if you follow a few basic steps.

Get licensed as a medical transcriptionist. This will require enrollment in a certified training program for medical transcriptionists, which is available both on some college campuses and online. Though certification is not required, it is highly recommended.

Work in a hospital or doctor's office to gain experience. After working a job or two, you will gain invaluable insight that you will consistently draw upon as you run your business.

Acquire sufficient office space and all necessary equipment and supplies. You will need an extra phone line, filing cabinet, accounting software, line counting software, fax machine, laser printer and more.

Consult with a trusted advisor on which business structure is most advantageous, given your circumstances. Some set up a corporation or limited liability company, LLC, to protect personal assets from any business debts. You will also want to consider getting professional liability insurance. Some hospitals require providers to have "errors and omissions insurance," a form of liability coverage that protects against inadvertent errors. Some clients you solicit will not consider your services unless you have this coverage.

Market your new business. Find out what the going rate is in your area, and have business cards and other marketing materials created so you look and feel like a professional business. You will need to develop a plan of attack to contact different physician offices and medical providers. To be successful, you will need to be a salesperson before you get to be a transcriptionist. Once you land your first client, continue seeking additional clients, but be careful not to take on more work than you can handle. It is important to ease yourself into the flow of business at a comfortable pace.

Weigh the possibility of hiring subcontractors if your workload eventually grows. Do this with care, because everything they do is forever associated with your business and reputation. If you do any such hiring, your role will then partially shift to managing as opposed to strictly transcribing. Assess your readiness for such a transition.


  • If you need medical transcriptionist training, choose your school wisely, ensuring it is an accredited and respected institution. Also talk to past students for their assessments.


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