Friday, September 26, 2014

What is the best digital dictation device?

We get asked this question a lot - multiple times per day on average.

Our answer is always the same.  It depends.  Seems like a cop out, I am sure, but the truth is that while most professional grade digital dictation equipment is built to high standards, some features that are a must for some users, just get in the way of others.

With that being said, we have learned quite a bit over the years by both selling all of the major brands of dictation and recording equipment, and supporting them as well.  If you ever want to learn the pros and cons of a product, just field the technical support calls for a while.

Some of the truths that we have found in our years of experience:

If you have used a cassette based or analog voice recorder in the past, you want a slide switch device

When digital recorders first came out, the design followed the standard template for all electronics at the time.  Smaller is better, with push button controls.  Users hated them.  The devices were too small to be ergonomically correct, and people would think they pressed "Record" only to find they accidentally pressed "Pause"  or some other button and dictated away, unaware that their time and effort was for naught.  Those tech calls were not fun to be on the receiving end of.

Long story short- the slide switch is the way to go.  It is intuitive and tactile.  You feel when the switch is pushed up and can be sure that you are actually recording and not just talking to yourself on the drive to work.

The best models today are the Olympus DS-7000 and the Philips DPM8000

Lawyers lean towards Philips, Doctors towards Olympus -Corporate users seem to be a dead split

We are proud to be authorized partners for both Olympus and Philips Dictation. We consider both to be equals in quality, reliability and features.  It has been years of experience with actual users that have revealed this dichotomy to us.  Perhaps the features, look, or feel just made a natural connection with one particular brand and profession, or maybe each manufacturer made early inroads into the two fields which trickled down.  We are not sure how it happened, but it did.

To be sure, there are exceptions.  We have whole medical practices happily using Philips, and many attorneys who would not give their Olympus DS series recorders up for anything.  Our recommendation is always to go with what integrates with your current system, or if starting from scratch, call us at 1-866-408-1383 for advice as to what will work best for you.  We have done this a time or two and will point you in the right direction.

You get what you pay for

The difference in price between the lowest cost, yet usable dictation and transcription equipment and the top of the line, "give me all the bells and whistles" is negligible at best.  For a couple of hundred dollars, you are not only getting a better built product, but also better software with more features like scalability, security, and file transfer options.  I have not even mentioned the direct integration with speech recognition, such as Dragon Medical, Dragon Legal or Dragon Professional

To put it quite bluntly, take the pittance you save on the front end, and figure out what your time is worth per hour.  Using consumer equipment in a professional environment will certainly result in an enormous loss in productivity, as well as overall dissatisfaction with the technology. Many times users of inferior equipment will abandon the products entirely, resulting in a total financial loss.

How you transfer your files is as important as the equipment itself.

This is a classic example of the idiom "just because you can, doesn't mean you should".  What am I talking about?  FTP vs. e-mail.  Of all the no-brainers I run into daily, this one is that should result in the quickest decision.  Use FTP. Period. End of story.  A huge amount of our technical support calls are explaining to customers that no matter how important their work is, we are not Google, Yahoo, Comcast, or some other provider, and we cannot fix their email problems.

Now compound that issue with the security and compliance problems associated with e-mail, and I cannot figure out for the life of me why some people insist on using it for voice file transfer.  I suppose it goes back to the last point of being "penny wise and pound foolish" but is $17 per month really the line that causes people to roll the dice with their clients, patients, and peace of mind?  I certainly hope not.

To conclude today's rant, the answer to the question of what is the best digital dictation technology really comes down to personal preference coupled with integration with existing equipment and software.  As far a workflow, quality and usability, both Philips and Olympus have you covered assuming you opt for their professional line of products.

Call us at 1-866-408-1383 or visit us online at for a more in depth, personalized needs assessment.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another tool in the box from Olympus

Did you ever need to record and send a dictation on the go?  Of course you have.  Olympus has developed just what you need. 

The Olympus dictation application for iPhone IOS and Android based smartphones.

Using FTP file transfer and the secure Olympus server, the dictation app can add a powerful efficiency boost to your workday.  With encrypted voice files, and the ability to directly integrate with your existing ODMS or DSS Player Pro software, your voice files will get automatically routed quickly and securely.

We have already rolled this solution out to several clients as a test and have found it to be very useful for shorter letters, notes and urgent matters.  Due to battery life and memory limitations of today's smartphones, we recommend the Olympus DS-7000 for longer recordings.  The feedback on the application has been overwhelmingly positive.

As always, our technician, Scott, is her for you during the entire download and setup process as a free service for all of our customers.

Please call us today at 1-866-408-1383 or visit us online at for more information.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Advanced telephone dictation is lightening the load of professionals on the go

Any professional who has ever needed to dictate in a car, from a courthouse or a remote location will benefit by adding a simple telephone dictation system to their arsenal of productivity tools.

Professional telephone dictation solutions from American Dictation make it possible to have digital dictation technology at your fingertips, with no need to pack any extra equipment besides a cell phone. Quickly and easily dictate on your phone without ever needing to search for a wireless internet connection, and trust that your recording will be immediately downloaded to your transcription device.

Many on-the-go professionals are lightening their loads with the Apptec DigiTel Telephone dictation system.

The system is incredibly simple, yet sophisticated at the same time.  With no moving parts, the DigiTel acts as a "modem", plugged into a standard telephone line and a USB port on a PC.  A user simply calls in from any telephone, enters their custom user ID, follows simple prompts, and the recording is automatically routed to the proper typist, whether remote or in house.

Simplicity at its finest!

The best part is the systems scalability.  From a single user to thousands, you can trust that the DigiTel will get your dictations to the correct transcriptionist for immediate attention.

To learn more about digital dictation and its revolutionary capabilities, visit, or call us at 1-866-408-1383

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

American Dictation included in Olympus Dictation "Circle of Excellence"

Once again this year, American Dictation Corp. has been included in the Olympus Circle of Excellence.  The Circle of Excellence program is an award given by Olympus to select few authorized digital dictation dealers to recognize them for their sales and service for the Olympus dictation product line.

The award ceremony will be held June 4th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

We would like to thank Olympus for the recognition, and our employees for the hard work and dedication.

About our partnership with Olympus:

Olympus is a leader in the development of digital dictation and transcription products used widely in the medical, legal and professional arena.  Their equipment is supplied and supported by an exclusive network of certified partners like American Dictation Corp.  Whether installed in a two person office setting, or an enterprise level network of users, Olympus products integrate seamlessly. 

We have long championed the simplicity, quality and durability of the entire Olympus lineup. The Olympus DS-7000 and AS-7000 set the standard for today's dictation technology.

To learn more about the Olympus line, visit us at, or call us at 1-866-408-1383.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Another blow delivered to the microcassette

Major manufacturer ends 60 minute tape production

VEC Electronics Corporation, the countries leading microcassette manufacturer has ended production of the 60 minute cassette. It has replaced it with a 45 minute version, at the same price point as it's predecessor.
Seriously folks, the time to upgrade is here. Due to increasing production costs and slowing demand, the cassette technology will soon go the way of the 8 track and reel to reel.
The good news is that todays digital equipment is far superior in clarity and functionality, is as simple to use as a cassette based system, and in many cases, less expensive than analog equipment. Sound like a no brainer? It really is.
Best of all? We remotely install, configure and train your users on all professional equipment we sell free with purchase.
Take a look at the Olympus TS-7000 all in one system by clicking the image or button below. Every single item needed for one dictation user, and one typist in an inexpensive bundle.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Digital voice recorders an indispensable tool for important meetings

Employees who have been subjected to early morning business meetings are well aware of how difficult it can be to remember all of the information being covered. While typing notes into a laptop may be more efficient than writing them by hand, much crucial information can be missed due to this multi-tasking.  Enter the perfect solution-  digital voice recorders.

When you only need to record a few people and need to be as unobtrusive as possible, you may not need a full blown meeting recording kit. A simple pocket sized recorder may to just the trick.

For high quality speech recording in a small package, an intelligent choice is a product like the new Olympus WS-823 Digital Voice Recorder. This digital recorder offers a wide variety of important features at a price that's not too hard on the wallet. With a high-sensitivity microphone for high-quality stereo recording, 8 GB of memory providing up to 198 hours of record time and a direct USB  battery charging system that runs straight off of your PC, fatigued professionals will never have to worry about missing critical information during the boss's lecture.

For a high-quality digital voice recorder that won't break the bank, the Olympus DM-823 is the educated choice. Professionals everywhere will be surprised at the difference it can make in their career.

Voice recorders, speech recognition, and conference recording kits are available at American Dictation Corp.  an industry leader in both sales and support.

Monday, March 10, 2014

New York Times Bestselling Author Turns to DS-3500

The writing tool New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson can’t live without? The Olympus DS-3500 Professional Dictation System.

Anderson, who has written more than 120 books over the span of his career to date, appreciates the system’s push-button design, takes full advantage of its workflow efficiencies and credits his dictation style of writing with his productivity. The DS-3500s Olympus Dictation Management Systems Software
(ODMS) also allows Anderson to work seamlessly with transcriptionists, who often serve as his first line of editors – they can point out of something he’s written is unclear. And, of course, being a bestselling author, security is of the essence.

The DS-3500 has him covered.

When envisioning a writer’s life, one often draws up visions of the creative working industriously, often exasperatedly, at his or her keyboard, either typing furiously or staring at a blank screen or piece of paper.

Perhaps it’s a time before the advent of the computer, where an author types a few lines before ripping the page from his typewriter, crumpling the sheet and throwing it to a mountain of bad ideas that fell before it next to his desk. Even today, most professional writers are chained to the desk and the keyboard.

But for Kevin J. Anderson, the number-one international bestselling author of more than 120 books, the technique is completely different.

Anderson talks it out. And he’s nowhere near his desk when he does it.

Instead, Anderson, best known for his Dune novels (coauthored with Brian Herbert), his Star Wars and X-Files novels and comics, began dictating his stories nearly 25 years ago and does his best work while hiking the mountains of Colorado where he and his wife, Rebecca Moesta, (also a New York Times bestselling writer) live.

“I consider myself a story-teller,” said Anderson. “I immerse myself in the narrative as if I’m telling the story around a campfire, and the way I write adds color. By being surrounded by great input – waterfalls, bears, rattlesnakes, streams and having all the smells, sounds, sights adds richness that an office doesn’t allow.”

Anderson, like many writers, would have epiphanies about characters, plot twists and narrative details when he least expected them.

“I have my best ideas when walking and mulling about a character or plot and I’d have a brilliant idea,” said Anderson, “but by the time I’d get home, I’d have forgotten it.”

So, in 1990, he began carrying a recorder with him to first take notes for himself. Eventually, dictation became a habit.

“You have to learn how to do it [dictate] and how to use it [the dictation device]. You have to learn how to write with a recorder,” said Anderson, who gives lectures about his technique to aspiring writers across the U.S. “Dictating is actually a lot more straightforward than typing. Consider the steps involved in typing prose at a keyboard: First, you think of the sentence you want to write, think of the words, the letters, and then you have to move your fingers across a randomly arranged keyboard to create the sentence. That takes a lot of time. But when I dictate, I just think of the sentence and it comes out of my mouth.”

Dictating, says Anderson, who uses an Olympus DS-3500 as the main tool in his writer’s toolbox, allows him to write more quickly than some of his peers. He once wrote 830 pages in 47 days and is one of the most productive working writers today.

In fact, Anderson has four books due by the end of January 2014. One is due next month. But he isn’t concerned.

“I’m not at all worried,” said Anderson. “The weather is getting nice outside and I can hike and write all day.”

Friday, January 17, 2014

Leading law firms streamline workflow with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Many law firms are joining the ranks of professionals who are maximizing their efficiency with professional speech recognition software.  We have found that using Dragon Legal in conjunction with a specialized voice recorder such as the Philips DPM800 can reduce the typing burden on legal secretaries by 70-80%

Legal speech recognition software is flexible, efficient and accurate, making it extremely helpful to law firms in which administrative assistants must tackle high volumes of typing. Because average users speak approximately 140 words per minute, but can type only 50, digital dictation software truly maximizes efficiency. When speech recognition software is involved, professionals can direct more of their attention to other functions, such as customer service and organizational duties.

Law professionals looking to usher in a new era of technological speed at their firms should consider implementing the Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Legal. The new version performs at a rate of 15 percent fewer errors than before, allowing legal professionals to easily draw up contracts, briefs and court documents with speed and accuracy.

For a quick overview and explanation of how Dragon can improve your day, give Paul or Scott a call at American Dictation Corp. 1-866-408-1383.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Remote transcription solutions help workers keep up in a digital world

With much of the workforce increasingly going mobile, it follows that technology would adapt to meet the needs that this situation creates. Now, more than ever, professional transcriptionists can succeed as remote workers thanks to advanced remote transcription solutions.

Transcriptionists working from home can enjoy the ease and efficiency offered to them by remote transcription products from American Dictation. These systems can receive encrypted voice files from another computer, so workers will always be connected to their colleagues and won't be pressed by the need to drive to pick up tapes or documents.

The newest addition to the line is the Olympus AS-7000 Transcription Kit.

The AS-7000 which replaces the popular Olympus AS-5000 can automatically receive voice files via secure FTP or e-mail.  When voice files arrive to the transcriptionist's inbox, they are automatically downloaded to the software, and a notification pops up alerting the typist of their arrival.

These new transcription kits fit the needs of firms and clinics seeking increased productivity and profitability and those of workers seeking flexibility and 24 hour access to work perfectly.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Health Network Tries Out DS-3500 for Residency Program Focus Groups

Susan Hansen knows data.

The research associate at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Department of Family Medicine is a part of the Allentown, Pa.-based health system’s efforts to continuously improve its educational experience for Family Medicine physicians in training.

As one of 14 family medicine residency programs chosen to participate in a national pilot program from 2007 – 2012, LVHN’s Department of Family Medicine research team collected data for five years to track its efforts to improve graduate medical education. The initiative, called Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (p4), was jointly sponsored by the American Board of Family Medicine and the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors.

LVHN’s family medicine residency program had been conducting focus groups with each resident cohort for years prior to entering the p4 pilot project. The goal of these sessions is twofold: to gather feedback for continuous improvement and to gauge residents’ educational progress at various stages of the program. By modifying a few questions to align with the p4 hypotheses, LVHN was able to use the focus groups as data points for that project as well.

“We ask residents about the main educational concepts, their on-site experiences at the family medicine practice sites, and their relationships with faculty, staff and each other,” Hansen said. “And then we pull that information together to evaluate our program’s methods for preparing residents for a career in family medicine.”

It’s a big job that requires quality data.

“Before p4,” said Hansen, “we used cassette recorders to capture the focus group discussions, but those recordings were good only for transcription purposes because they couldn’t be uploaded into our data analysis software.”

So in 2009, the department upgraded to digital recorders.

After four years of experience using various digital recorders, the residency program researchers had the opportunity to take the Olympus DS-3500 professional dictation device for a spin during two focus group sessions this past spring. Having gathered six to eight residents and two research team members for each session, Hansen conducted the focus groups in a small conference room around one long table. Hansen placed one DS-3500 on either end of the table to ensure no voice or comment would be missed.

It wasn’t. Thanks to the DS-3500’s speech-optimized, independently housed microphone, voices were captured flawlessly.

“One resident spoke very low and soft,” said Hansen, “so that was something I was concerned about – were we going to be able to pick up what she said? It turned out not to be an issue; I was able to decipher everything. [The DS-3500] picked up everything really well, even with a room air conditioner running.”

While Hansen’s team didn’t use the security features of the DS-3500, she said she could appreciate the option of device password protection and DSS Pro real-time 128- and 256-bit file encryption. In addition, Olympus Professional Dictation equipment is compliant with HIPAA and other privacy regulations.

“As a researcher, protecting data is very important to me,” said Hansen. “Because we conducted the groups on-campus and imported information to our system right away, we didn’t need to use the security features.”

Something else that Hansen considered a benefit? The light indicating that the device was operating in recording mode.

“It seems silly, but it was nice to be able to glance at the device during a focus group to make sure it was still recording. Not every recording device has that,” she said.

In addition, Hansen said it was helpful that the DS-3500 was easy to operate. “All I had to do was flip a switch to turn it on, push a button, and check to see that the light was glowing,” she said. With a limited amount of time to get through the list of focus group questions, Hansen appreciated the device’s reliability and quick start up.

The result? Hours of usable data that Hansen and her colleagues will analyze for clues about how to improve the education of LVHN family medicine residents and the care they provide to residents in the Lehigh Valley.
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