Analog Digital
Tapes must be rewound and manually transported or couriered from the author to the transcriptionist, contributing to delays in document turnaround time, adding unnecessary expenses and increasing the possibility of lost or damaged tapes. Files can be quickly and securely downloaded to a PC where they can be transcribed or distributed automatically. Authors can simply e-mail their dictations when out of the office.
Tapes come in contact with the recording head in both the recorder and the transcription units. Thus, over time, they wear out and affect the sound quality making transcription more difficult. Uses digital technology to produce crystal clear sound quality, every time, with no degradation after heavy usage.
For instances where the original dictation must be archived, the tape itself must be stored, creating storage space issues and increasing the possibility of tapes becoming lost, damaged or mislabeled. Digital files can be securely and easily stored on a hard drive, making archiving and retrieval simple and cost-effective.
For the author or transcriptionist to rapidly locate dictations on tapes, they must rewind or fast-forward the tape, a slow and imprecise process. Job access is as instantaneous as it is to skip from one voice mail message to the next. Authors can use bookmarks to identify segments within their dictations or to facilitate navigation to the important recording sections.
With tapes, there is no possibility of incorporating speech recognition. Digital voice files can be recognized by a speech recognition engine.
The longer the available recording time on a cassette, the thinner the tape is, increasing the possibility of it weakening or breaking during a critical dictation. Recording capacity is limited with tapes. If requirements demand it, digital recording time can exceed 100 hours per memory card. Multiple dictations can be created and edited on the same memory card.
Job demographics cannot be captured with tape-based units. Demographics (author name, dictation subject matter, work type, etc.) can be captured automatically or entered “on the fly” on the unit itself, where they are permanently attached to the dictation.
When a tape is given to the transcriptionist, the author cannot make any additions or changes to the dictation. Allows the author to mark certain jobs “open” and, after transfer of completed jobs, keep and continue to work on “open” jobs.
Bar code information cannot be captured when using tapes. Digital dictation allows patient/client demographics or other job information to be captured through an optional barcode reader add-on, which automatically assigns the information to the dictation.
Information offered on tape-based recorder displays is limited. Digital units can display the date, time, author name, dictation length,, dictation identifier, work type and more…
With tapes, batteries must be recharged or replaced often and tapes must be manually removed and delivered to the transcriptionist. Digital units have the capability of using a docking station that automatically downloads dictations and recharges the unit.
No possibility of incorporating software to manage or improve the workflow. Additional functionality with software such as centralized administration, web accessed modules, blackberry dictation and easy deployment in a thin client environment.
Inability to efficiently distribute work among transcriptionists. Digital files can be assigned priority levels, can be easily distributed automatically and even individual dictations can be split amongst transcriptionists to speed up turn-around times.
No encryption technology. Tapes can be played back on any recorder. The Recording device can be protected from unauthorized use with a password. Downloaded dictation files can also be digitally encrypted to safeguard confidential information.