How Does Technology Change Medical Transcription Tribes?

This week has been an interesting one in the internet world. Technology is impacting every single industry, not just medical transcription.

I have a couple of blogs I follow for publishers. One of my favorites is Michael Hyatt, who is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He often writes about the challenges facing the publishing industry today. Every company now has its own E-Book reader and many titles are now available in that medium. Does this change how we read? For me, it sure has. My Kindle has over 100 titles on it and with just one lightweight tool, I can take them all with me. I still buy a print book now and then, but most of my reading is done on the Kindle. Even with my AHDI publications, I can download them in PDF format, send them to my Kindle e-mail account, and in a few short minutes have them back in Kindle format.

In a recent blog post, Seth Godin, one of my all-time favorite authors, announced that he will no longer be doing his work via traditional publishing. He has a huge following, has direct connections to his readers, and is choosing to remove the layers between him and his readers. He is perhaps one of the most selfless people I’ve run across on the internet. Not only are his books great, but he also gives away a ton of great information. His post doesn’t say you won’t be able to get his books in print form, he may self-publish. It just shows a changing world around us.

What is an additional challenge to this change in the publication industry is that people expect an E-book to cost less money. No printing costs, easier to distribute, etc., and we expect it to cost less. That has an impact on the publishers as well as authors, who most often work on royalties based on revenue produced from their books. So far, it doesn’t appear those changes have impacted our industry. While there may be more people using electronic books, as in our word books, they still cost more than the print copy.

While we often talk about the technology impacts in how we do our work, we don’t talk much about the other ways technology impacts our world.

As more people start blogs in our industry, will that change how people get their information? Or where they get it from? I don’t think the medical transcription industry has been an early adopter of the internet for information, however, I think that’s changing. There are things being developed like a Wiki for medical style and grammar. It’s free, everyone can contribute to it, and it may be one of the next tools for standards of style, at least for some. If it has good information and authority, can things like this replace what we have always relied on? I don’t know but think it’s food for thought.

Think about how we get our education. Where we used to go to face-to-face meetings, sit in lectures, and network, much of that is done online now. We are seeking alternatives for our continuing education. We do a lot now with webinars and the idea of E-courses is taking off as well. We “gather” differently these days. We find a tribe we want to belong to and join it. It IS all very different.

What I am wondering is how this will change our world? One of the biggest benefits people cite even with AHDI membership is the publications, which you receive in print as a member. Will that change? Are we seeing a shift in how we interact? Our world is full of tribes, groups of people who come together with a common interest. How will the tribes in medical transcription change? Does technology have the potential to change the tribes we belong to? I will look forward to your thoughts.