Digital Dictation Costs

January 21, 2008 at 10:24 am 1 comment

As with all considered purchases, there are costs of purchasing and opportunity costs of NOT purchasing. Building a business case will require an understanding of both.

What does the tape system support & maintenance cost?
It is no doubt increasing each year as spare parts become obsolete.

What is the cost of floating typists?
A well designed and implemented digital dictation system can replace the majority of this cost.

What is the cost of temporary typists?
This is a tough one – partners are loathe to relinquish typist support. Do you need to replace a secretary who is on holiday?

What is the cost of the late return of transcripts?
An unhappy client is a poor chance of repeat business.

What is the cost of the lawyers having to redo dictations because of poor quality audio on tapes?
Doubling up on a lost or inaudible dictation is expensive. You have the direct cost of redoing the dictation as well as the indirect costs of time that should be spent on something else, as well as the delay to client service.

What is the cost of interruptions to the lawyer when they are asked to clarify what was said and who said it on multi-attendee conference recordings?
Digital dictation systems were designed for close-to-mouth audio recording. They were not designed to be set in the middle of the table to record a conference of people. They are 2 very different things. It takes 5-8 hours to transcribe 1 hour of conference audio, and it is a difficult task for the typist resulting in fatigue, incomplete transcripts and frequent interruptions of the lawyer to seek clarification as to what was said and by whom. Using a specifically designed conference audio recorder will lower the amount of time required to transcribe conferences, decrease the number of interruptions of lawyers, as well as provide a more acceptable situation for the typist from an occupational health point of view.

Does every lawyer dictate?
This is an important licencing consideration… no sense in buying dictation licences for lawyers who do not dictate!

Does every secretary type?
Again, this is an important licencing consideration.

What is the cost of support & maintenance for the digital dictation system?
Ensure performance is measured as well.

What does the S&M charge include?
Version releases, Point release, bug fixes, email support, telephone help desk, 24×7, follow-the-sun… Get the vendor to document the S&M protocol, including response times.

How does the vendor licence its solution?
Is it by fee earner or by secretary or by both or by PC or by concurrent fee earner or by concurrent typist or an enterprise licence? Is there licence control built into the system to prevent inadvertent surpassing of the licenced number?

That brings us to the end of our 7 part series on Selecting a Digital Dictation Solution. We appreciate all the email communications to date and welcome further questions as they arise.


Entry filed under: dictation, Digital Dictation, law, Transcription. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Digital Dictation Capabilities Ears are better than microphones, so…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dave Ashworth  |  October 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    The other thing to consider, when costs become high to set up a system and hire the appropriate staff, another option would be to outsource transcription to a 3rd party. We use a company in the UK called Accuro – the service and professionalism you get from such companies is 2nd to none and certainly a viable option when a company is in it’s infancy.

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