As a business, we at Independent Medical Transcription, Inc, found ourselves well prepared to handle the challenges associated with the COVID‑19 pandemic. Working remotely has been at the core of our business model since the beginning. As a result, there has been minimal impact on our ability to keep our workers safe and absolutely no disruption in our services.
Our hearts go out to those whose lives have been more directly and personally impacted by this virus, and especially to those who have lost friends or family members, and our aim is to approach the situation with the utmost empathy and care. Our primary concern as a business is the health and safety of our employees and subcontractors, our clients, and other business associates.
How Have Our Clients & Associates Been Impacted?
As primarily an IME transcription service, our business thrives on the medico-legal system, which means that we need physicians and experts, as well as lawyers, judges, and courtrooms, to be thriving as well. Shortly after this pandemic began, however, courts in Washington State and soon across the nation closed down for an indefinite period. This resulted in an immediate and drastic reduction in cases for our associated IME panel companies, physicians, and expert witnesses, as well as the law firms, insurance carriers, personal injury attorneys, and claims representatives who support them.
This sudden drop in the nation’s ability to process personal injury, workers’ comp, and other insurance-based claims has certainly made it challenging for all of us. The doctors and experts who supplement their income by performing IMEs, medical record reviews, billing reviews, etc., who then share their findings, either in a courtroom or at a deposition, have been negatively impacted. The panel companies and expert witness referral services who coordinate and facilitate such exams, who gather and organize the medical records, etc., have been negatively impacted. So, of course, with fewer reports to transcribe, we have found it a definite challenge, like so many others, to get by on the decreased revenues coming in during this crisis.
On the bright side, however, some of our associate physicians and experts have found that videoconferencing is an effective (and sometimes superior) means of performing medical examinations. Even some of the IME reports we have transcribed of late have been performed via telemedicine. As well, with fewer drivers on the road, serious personal injury accidents are seemingly on the decline. As a result, while it is clear that this virus has changed the way we do many things, some of those changes could prove to be beneficial in the long run.
How Are We Protecting Our Workers?
Again, by the very nature of our business model, all of our employees and subcontractors were well established in a remote working environment long before the coronavirus pandemic began, including electronic communications as well as systems for receiving and performing transcription, proofreading, and editing and then submitting completed work back to our QA team for review. As a result, concerns about social distancing, isolation, and the ability to earn income from home have been virtually immaterial. Of course, for their own personal safety and well-being, we urge all of our workers to maintain safe practices even when outside of their work environment. In large part, again, the greatest challenge for our employees and subcontractors has been dealing with the reduced workload and thus the reduced income that have come out of necessity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What About Customer Service?
Once again, because our business was based on providing services remotely and communicating electronically far in advance of the pandemic, our ability to provide the very same top-notch customer service our clients have come to know and expect has not been impacted in the least. We are always available to care for all of your transcription needs, whether lengthy IME reports, brief daily visit notes, or letters and other communications. If you find that your personal transcriptionist or transcription company has been negatively impacted or has been unable to perform the services you require during this time, please reach out to us and find out how we can help.
How Long Will This Last?
The circumstances of every business and every individual are different, and we know that the full impact of this virus is still being measured and felt, so while a timeframe cannot be placed on it yet, please be assured that we will be here for the long haul, ready to meet your needs and exceed your expectations in the forensic and medico-legal reporting field. Our ability to serve our clients, both current and future, and our ability to foster a safe work environment have not been affected in any way. We will continue to support our associates and our communities for as long as it takes medical science and the healthcare field to get this virus under control.
What Can I Do?
Most importantly, stay safe! Do everything you can to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and virus free. While the impact of COVID‑19 on the healthcare and legal systems, and the inevitable financial crisis that accompanies it, can be measured in dollars and cents, the lives and well-being of us and our families and friends cannot. Communication is vital, so if there is any way that we can support you during this time of need, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s all work together to continue building a bright professional future for everyone!
COVID-19 Resources We Have Found Helpful:
Independent Medical Transcription, Inc., is based in Marathon, FL, and provides top-quality and 100% remote medico-legal transcription services, primarily for independent medical exams, medical record reviews, and other forensic reports, for clients throughout the United States.