Types of Equipment Needed for Home-Based Medical Coding

A highly appealing feature of the medical coding profession is that it can be done from the home. This is ideal for single parents seeking a satisfying career without having to give up obligations to their children, as well as any individual who appreciates the comfort and flexibility of their home work are to that of the cubicle. That said, home based work does require purchasing equipment – which most on-site employers provide – in order for it to be practical.

A Well-Equipped Computer

Home-based medical coding is essentially distance employment and is going to require reliable telecommunication and computer equipment. Most office computers are able to handle the type of software needed to get the job done, which may or may not be the case with a home computer. The advent of the ICD-10 codes make it crucial for a home computer to handle the sophisticated software this code package is going to require. Consequently, it is extremely important to ensure the computer is able to handle the coding software. This means checking to see if the computer’s system can handle the RAM requirements, and the computer model is not going to obstruct regular use of the software. A reliable computer is essential, but just a part of the overall need.

Communication Devices or Services

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Assuming a medical coder is working for an employer, the right telecommunications have to be in place, as a home-based employee must be able to receive email and faxes from the home office without any problem. This may entail having Microsoft Outlook and a fax machine hook up to the computer. If an employer requires face-to-face distance meetings, a Skype account (or an equivalent) will need to be set up as well.

Accessories Typically to a Healthcare Setting

There are also a number of accessories related to home-based computer work. These include things such as headphones, microphone, code reference books, and additional software for transcription and invoicing. Much of these things are taken for granted in an office area because the employer sees to it that a worker has all he or she needs. Working out of the house, however, means it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that all the necessary equipment is there and ready to be used.

Reliable Backup Systems

The final part of the checklist has to be backup systems. Is there a way to protect against a computer crashing or malfunction due to a power surge? The wrong time to find out is when a crisis actually happens. Time is money and the fewer delays or breaks in service, the more efficient the home environment will be.

Additional Tips for Setting up a Home Office

  1. Take an inventory of what is already on hand prior to starting. This is true for both those who are working for themselves or those who are employed by a company. The capabilities of the computer must be sufficient for the software and telecommunications equipment has to be ready to both give and receive information. Good Internet access is a must for home-based operations.
  2. Evaluate computer, software, Internet connection, and telecommunication equipment for efficiency. In the medical coding profession, efficiency, accuracy and turnaround times are key to running a successful business. Making sure the necessary systems and equipment are in place – at least as much as possible – before starting the business.

Assuming that everything is in good order, home-based medical coding does have exceptional qualities. There is no longer a concern about employees being tied up in traffic and fewer employees in the office means less office space has to be rented from a landlord. An independent coder with the proper equipment can truly impress a client with efficiency and quick turnaround times; of course, the right equipment used by a highly trained person makes that happen.

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