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Medical Transcriptionist Fosters
the Work-From-Home Trend






by Bridget McCrea

PROVO, Utah - There are some people in this world who are born with the desire to run their own businesses, but Andrea Loflin wasn't one of them.
Call her a reluctant entrepreneur if you will, but this owner and founder of Career Step, a developer of medical transcription courses, always thought she'd get a "normal job" after graduating from college. Boy was she wrong.

Photo by Martin Photography

Andrea Loflin's medical transcription training firm has enrolled about 2500 students and is currently developing an online program that will help more people learn, then work, from home.

A medical transcriptionist by trade, it was Loflin's mother who convinced her to learn the business. Before she even had the basics down, her mother handed her an entire radiology contract. "She made me sit down and learn it; otherwise I probably never would have," recalls Loflin, now 29.

In 1991, because many people over the years had asked her to help them work from home, she decided to put her expertise to better use by developing a training course for medical transcriptionists. The "training manual" has taken years to research and complete, and today is a 16 volume, hands-on, comprehensive course.

Founded in 1992, Career Step features a curriculum based on feedback, ideas, and suggestions from other practicing transcriptionists. It teaches the three basic skill requirements: typing, grammar, and medical terminology preparatory to doing transcription. However, the most useful and extensive part of the course is the practical experience, according to Loflin.

"Community colleges and trade schools usually have inadequate transcription programs because educators think they know what is needed to do transcription, but they don't," Loflin says. "For instance, I read five different medical terminology textbooks while I was researching for my course, and 50 percent of what was in those books I had never even seen as a transcriptionist!"

With the help of another family member - her father this time - Loflin is taking her medical transcription courses onto the Internet. Her father, a former dean who developed the University of Colorado's online program, is handling the academic side of the Web site, which utilizes Real Audio and Real Video and instantly grades exercises and tests.

"Students can click on a word to have it pronounced for them," says Loflin, adding that the courses also feature a built in timeline, a chat room and a threaded bulletin board discussion. "It's also spelling-specific, so if they misspell anything, they know immediately that it's wrong, which is very important in medical records."

At Career Step, courses range from $900 to $1500, and the company posted sales of $550,000 in 1998. For 1999, Loflin expects revenues to reach between $750,000 and $1 million. In the future, she plans to diversify into nontranscription-related online courses.

Giving mothers the opportunity to work at home is what continues to drive Loflin. In fact, half of her staff of 12 are mothers who work at least part time from home. In addition, 98 percent of Career Step's graduates in 1998 found work, mostly from home. "I just received a score of 99 percent on my first random quality assurance check (with my only three errors being typographical)
and a perfect medical score," says Heather Ruggiero of Everett, Washington, a recent Career Step graduate. "I was hired almost immediately after finishing the Career Step course (and before taking the final). As I had no previous medical background prior to taking the course, I feel that I owe much of my success to Career Step."

For Additional Information or Interviews Contact:

Contact: Andrea Loflin
Title: Owner/Founder
Company: Career Step
Address: 224 South 500
West Provo, Utah 84601

Fax: (801) 343-0641
Phone: (801) 373-0650
Web site:

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