Trading Scrubs for CEO Title, Former Nurse Builds a S.C. Small Business Serving the Nation’s Medical Transcription Need
In 2002, after 13 years in the nursing field, Deborah Milcarek started a medical transcription business from her home in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Like countless other women who start their own businesses, Deborah — then a single mother of two — was seeking the flexibility and quality of life that the demands of the nursing industry could not afford her.
In just a few years, her one-person, home-based business has grown into AccuStat EMR, an electronic medical records consulting company occupying a 2,400-square-foot office and employing more than a dozen staff and about a thousand independent contractors globally. Today, Accustat’s client base spans the nation to include physician’s offices; law offices; hospitals; clinics; federal, state and local government facilities; and even individuals.
AccuStat's approach provides its clients with three-dimensional solutions, setting it apart from its competitors. In addition to the original medical transcription service — which has expanded to include legal and corporate businesses as well — Accustat has two other major service divisions: EMR consulting, and hardware-and-network consulting, both of which include implementation, training and support. The company provides a 24/7 help desk and patient web portals, and guarantees that transcription services will meet turnaround time and quality or will be free.
While maintaining the transcription services, Deborah decided to focus more on consulting in order to educate the medical community about the EMR systems that are available and to help them decide which systems would best fit their practices. The staff comprises nurses and nurse practitioners, physicians, physical therapists and healthcare IT technicians. According to Deborah, “Our consultants all have at least 5 years of medical background, so we are able to approach our clients with the first-hand knowledge of how a medical office operates.” The company also partners with dozens of major hardware manufacturers to provide discounted products to its clients.
Electronic medical records are increasingly considered essential to maintaining the highest quality of medical care. They provide comprehensive, lifetime, digital records and include everything from legible physicians’ notes to lab test results to radiology images. They are secure, yet may be shared by multiple medical practitioners in order to coordinate care and prevent dangerous mistakes. Deborah is dedicated to improving healthcare across the nation by implementing effective EMR systems and is a leader in this cutting-edge and increasingly important field.
Growth, however, takes money. In October 2006, Deborah contacted the South Carolina Women’s Business Center in Columbia for help in procuring a business loan to fuel her company's expansion. SCWBC counselor Sarah Young not only helped Deborah prepare the loan package; she also coached her on expansion planning, including documenting her business plans and making financial predictions. She continues to assist Deborah with sales projections and marketing.
Deborah entered the nursing profession because, she said, “I loved to help people.” Through AccuStat, she continues to fulfill that passion, in more ways than one. AccuStat has partnered with Protect.org to develop Sarina's Friends, a nonprofit fund that helps parents of sexually-abused children in the southeast obtain funds for legal fees; Accustat has assisted more than 200 people through the organization. The company has also partnered with South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation to train disabled and unemployed individuals in transcription and information technology.
Deborah’s hard work and vision have paid off. In 2007 and 2008, AccuStat was named among the top organizations for diversity by DiversityBusiness.com In 2008 the company ranked seventh among the Top 100 Woman-Owned Business in South Carolina, 13th among Top 50 Diversity Owned Business in the state and 64th among South Carolina’s Top 100 Privately Held Businesses. Deborah was the runner up for South Carolina Small Business Person of the Year in 2007, an award she won in 2008, when she was also runner up for the national honor.