Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Friday, October 21, 2005

RP eyes leadership in medical transcription services

By Marianne V. Go  The Philippine Star

The Philippines is aiming to become the leader in medical transcription services in Asia as it strengthens its participation in the American Health and Information Management Association (AHIMA) Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, California.

Trade Assistant Secretary Felicitas Agoncillo-Reyes said the Philippines’ participation in AHIMA "reflects the industry’s move to further expand its services in the American market."

The possibilities for the Philippine medical transcription industry are tremendous, Reyes said, citing that the Philippines has a large, steady pool of highly trainable, English-speaking workforce.

The medical transcription industry currently accounts for 10 percent of the total medical transcription work outsourced to Asia.

At present, there are more than 40 medical transcription companies in the Philippines, employing more than 3,000 individuals and delivering the following transcription work: data conversion, digital transcription, and business transcription.

Based on data from the Philippine IT Offshore Network (PITON), the Philippines was awarded the largest, single medical contract ever (250,000 lines per day) in 2003.

"The Philippine product and services have a solid reputation for quality. We will leverage this in AHIMA including our close affiliation with the American people and their culture," said Gil Pinga, director of Philippine operations of SPI Healthcare Documentation Inc. and SPI Technologies Inc.

Juanloz Botor, president and CEO of Text Switch Unlimited Inc., said "AHIMA participants hope to "gain exposure to available new technology (gadgets, software) in medical transcription out in the market."

The Philippine delegation to AHIMA consists of medical transcription companies that are also members of the Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines Inc. (MTIAPI).

These companies are: Advanced MT Data Services Inc., DataMed Transcription Solutions Inc., eData Services Philippines Inc., Global Data Processing Inc., Ibiz Outsource Technology Inc., International Center for Medical Transcription, Medscribe Asia Inc., MT Link Asia, Northern Transcriptionworks Inc., Multi-Scribe Global Outsourcing Inc., MTC Academy, Text Switch Unlimited Inc., Total Transcription Solutions Inc., Touch Asia Contact Solutions Inc., Transkripsyo Inc. and SPI Healthcare Documentation.

The Private Enterprise Accelerated Resource Linkages (PEARL 2) sponsored the participation of Philippine medical transcription companies to AHIMA.

MTIAPI is an association of medical transcription firms, established to provide services and assistance for the development of the medical transcription industry.

The Philippine medical transcription industry operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Filipino transcribers are young, mostly in the 20 to 25 age bracket.

They include physical therapy graduates who account for 50 percent of the total number of medical transcribers. The other 40 percent are nursing graduates and the remaining 10 percent are graduates of allied courses.
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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Malacañang orders gov't to use cheaper Internet solutions

By Erwin Lemuel Oliva INQ7.net

IN line with an order to cut down on government’s telecommunications costs, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has also asked government, particularly the Department of Budget of Management (DBM), to consider pushing less costly Internet solutions for government communication needs.

"We expect all government agencies to strictly implement our standing austerity measures. Modern information and communication technologies should be rationalized for speedy and smooth government transactions that maintain the quality of service we deliver to the people," said Presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye in a statement.

Bunye stressed that the President has ordered government to use "networked solutions that are less costly," and to take advantage of the Internet.

Government data showed that state officials and employees had spent about 3.7 billion pesos in unauthorized telephone bills and communications services in 2004 alone. Government's bills were about 447 million pesos higher than the expenses incurred the previous year.

DBM Secretary Romulo Neri said in a statement that the agency was eyeing several measures, including the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to lower government's annual phone bill.

VoIP allows telephone calls using a computer network over a data network like the Internet by converting the voice signal from a telephone into a digital signal, then reconverting it back at the other end.

He also suggested that to cut down government spending, officials must be given a fixed budget for cell phone calls.

"Like what we do here at the DBM, we budget calls at P1,500 per director," Neri was quoted as saying in a Malacañang statement.

A Commission on Audit report showed that out of the 3.73 billion pesos communication bill, national government agencies accounted for 1.897 billion pesos; government owned and controlled corporations, 1.116 billion pesos; and local governments, 710 million pesos.