Digital files can be quickly and safely downloaded to a PC where they can be transcribed or distributed electronically. 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.
Digital uses optic technology that produces consistently clear sound quality –every time—with no degradation after heavy usage. Tapes come in contact with the recording head in both the recorder and the transcription unit. Thus, over time, they wear out and affect the sound quality.
Digital files can be safely and easily stored on a hard dive, making archiving and retrieval simple. 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 dictation job access is as instantaneous as it is to skip from one voice mail message to the next. For the author or transcriptionist to rapidly locate dictations on tapes, they must rewind or fast-forward the tape, a slow and imprecise process.
Digital voice files are compatible and speech-recognition ready. With tape, there is no possibility of incorporating speech recognition.
If requirements demand it, digital recording time can exceed 100 hours or more. Recording capacity is limited with tapes. The longer the tape recording time, the thinner the tape becomes, increasing the possibility of it weakening or breaking during a critical dictation.
With digital, 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. No job demographics can be captured with tape-based units.
Digital dictation allows the author to mark certain jobs “open” and, after transfer of completed jobs, keep and continue to work on “open” jobs. When a tape is given to the transcriptionist, the author cannot make any additions or changes to the dictation.
Digital dictation allows patient/client demographics or other job information to be captured through an optional barcode reader and automatically associated with the dictation. No Bar code information can be captured when using tapes.
Digital units display the time, date, author name, job length, total recorded time length, total time available and multiple work or job types. The information offered on tape-based recorder displays is limited.
Digital units have the capability of using a docking station that automatically downloads dictation and recharges the unit. With tapes, batteries must be recharged or replaced often and tapes must be manually removed and delivered to the transcriptionist.
Distributing digital work to a transcriptionist is as easy as forwarding an email file, dramatically reducing turnaround time. Distributing dictation tapes among transcriptionists is a manual process and dependent on the physical transport of the tape.