Medcasting – Podcasting for the commercial medical industry

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Medical casting or “Medcasting” is the commercial application of podcasting for medical related institutions. Medcasting is the distribution and publishing of audio and video feeds, that offer medical information delivered over the Internet, for on demand listening.

This is a new step in the evolution of on-demand medical information delivery, making it accessible, informative, useful and appealing. This mix presents the medical industry with a very unique opportunity to reach its community through this new medium. Those individuals, who are already seeking medical information actively, will use RSS subscription technology built into each podcast feed, to receive information immediately as it is updated by the medical institution. With one click of a button, a user can subscribe to a feed that may be interesting, and any related information that is ever updated to that feed will be automatically processed to their personal aggregator. An aggregator is able to subscribe to a feed, check for new content at user-determined intervals, and retrieve the content.

To take this process one step further, podcasting publishes each feed with the capability to be transferred to any portable audio or video device. So with the growth of the ipod and all the other portable media devices, you have the ability to grab Medcasts and place them on your portable player for listening or viewing. Most users attach their portable players to their computers daily or weekly, and once the player is attached they automatically receive the new medcast updates.

The flexibility of this medium is what will drive the growth of Medcasting tremendously over the next few years. Currently the most useful application for medical institutions worldwide is to compliment already existing medical information web pages. Most institutions have numerous web pages which deliver medical information in text format, by providing an audio or video link on that page it gives the user a different and potentially more effective format for receiving the information. This is also a great way to teach your existing users how to start utilizing medcasting services.

The popularity of portable on demand information will grow even greater as wireless internet services continue to flourish across the country. These portable devices will no longer have to be connected to the internet; they will receive information wirelessly as it is updated. In addition, as cell phones and portable devices continue to merge together, the market grows larger.

Additional formats that are being used consist of; medical talk shows, where various specialists within each institution will speak or answer questions on a certain topic. Medical lectures and seminars can be recorded and made available for the public or employees to download easily and on-demand. In addition, any information that may need to be delivered to employees can be recorded and made available on an in-house delivery network. For institutions that have thousands of employees, the distribution of company information is very important, and once again this offers each institution a method of on-demand delivery which is convenient to all. Medcasting can also be used as a direct line of communication, by recording video-casts of company messages from executives for company wide distribution.

There are numerous uses for medcasting currently, and over the next few years it will explode in popularity. It is beneficial to institutions as well as the consumer, and it will be seen as a great tool in any medical organizations’ operations.

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Why Medical Transcription Business Owners Should Join a Trade Association

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After purchasing equipment, hiring medical transcriptionists, and obtaining clients, there is still one more important step in completing the process of starting up a brand new medical transcription service-locating and joining the appropriate trade association.

Joining a trade association can be an incredibly valuable resource to a new business owner because it immediately connects him/her with other business professionals within the medical transcription industry in addition to providing a multitude of other benefits.

Wealth of information-One of the greatest benefits medical transcription service owners (MTSOs) can gain from an industry specific trade organization is the opportunity to take advantage of education within the industry at a discounted price or in many cases for free. Most trade organizations have regional meetings and/or national annual conferences. During these meetings, members have the opportunity to rub elbows with industry executives in the exhibit hall, learn about the latest medical transcription industry developments from vendors and earn continuing education credits. Most importantly, conferences give the entrepreneur the unique opportunity to exchange challenges, solutions and opportunities with other business owners in similar situations. Paying membership dues often provides discounted admission, reduced hotel rates and in some cases, deals on flights. Also included with the price of membership is access to newsletters, e-newsletters, trade journals, industry guidebooks and online discussion forums, which offer immediate up-to-date industry information and business advice for free.

Ability to speak up-A membership also comes with a voice. As an active member of a trade organization, MTSOs can help shape industry policies and regulations by voting on key issues. Furthermore, members are encouraged to join discussion groups, policy councils and local chapters to influence industry standards, vendor relations and have a say in annual conference details.

Model behavior-Consumers and other industry professionals view members of trade organizations in a more positive light than their non-member counterparts. Those who belong to an industry-specific association are perceived as businesses that have a strict code of ethics, high standards and stay up-to-date with the latest industry tools. Most members tout their association membership by including the organization’s logo on their marketing materials to show their clients that they are serious about their business practices.

Save money-Most trade organizations offer their members professional discounts on goods and services offered by vendor affiliates or programs presented by the association. Membership benefits can range from discounts on office equipment, shipping and trade show admissions to reduced insurance rates and price cuts on flights and hotels affiliated with the organization.

Mingling capabilities-Membership directories, local chapter meetings, webinars, conference calls and annual trade shows are all great ways to gain new contacts within the medical transcription industry. Exchanging success stories or talking about specific business challenges among other medical transcription businesses keeps well-rounded and prepared when similar challenges arise in their own workplace.

In order to cash in on all of the above mentioned benefits, there are different places an MTSO can go to find out more about medical transcription trade organizations. The Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) www.mtia.com and the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), formerly the American Association of Medical Transcription (AAMT) www.ahdionline.org are two of the more familiar medical transcription trade associations. However, MT entrepreneurs might also check The Encyclopedia of Associations, published by The Gale Group or The American Society of Association Executives for additional organizations.

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