Workflow: Let Technology Be Your Time Machine

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 01:00

Time is your most valuable asset.Every other thing of value can be directly correlated as the product of time utilization.Whether monetary, material or emotional, time is the raw material that produces all other valuable commodities.For this reason, it is imperative that your time is utilized in the most efficient manner.Gold is valuable, and finding ways to obtain more would be a profitable endeavor.Time is no different, and although you cannot produce more time, you can get back time that would have been previously wasted.The end result, you have more of your most precious asset. Digital Dictation with workflow achieves this end result; you get your time back to invest as you see fit.

Whether you realize it or not, every dictation and transcription process has workflow. Break down the compound word workflow, and you have the two individual words: work and flow. So, we're merely talking about how work flows from a starting point to an end point.

Let's take, for example, analog-tape-based dictation. The starting point is the point where an author captures dictation. The end point is the time when the voice file is made available to a transcriptionist. The workflow is what happens in between.

For analog tapes:

1. An author must physically remove the tape from the device.

2. The tape is physically delivered (whether by getting out of one's chair and walking it somewhere; having someone else walk to his desk and pick it up; or having a delivery or courier service make a visit to get the dictation to a remote location).

3. A transcription supervisor collects the tapes.

4. The supervisor makes distribution decisions on each individual tape.

5. The tapes are physically delivered to the particular transcriptionist.

6. The transcriptionist physically loads the tape in a playback device.

7. The transcriptionist listens and transcribes.

The magnetic tape workflow example above provides a very manually intensive workflow. The participants in the workflow must expend a great deal of time and effort on physical and manual processes that actually have nothing to do with their primary responsibility in the workflow (the author dictating or the typist typing).

What Makes WinScribe's Workflow Different? Automation And Intelligence.

WinScribe takes advantage of technology to remove these manual processes. As a result, the author only dictates and the typist only types freeing them to invest time in doing what they do best.

WinScribe's workflow engine has the ability to acquire organization-specific intelligence and use this intelligence to make the most efficient decisions regarding how to conduct the automated steps that take place between the workflow starting point (again, the time when the author dictates) and the workflow ending point (the point where the typist types). WinScribe's robust workflow engine can collect all dictation from multiple sources, determine the most efficient and desirable routing for each job based on a combination of information, automatically route the dictations anywhere in near real-time, and automatically adapt to any deviations from the standard workflow, such as typist availability and compliance with established turn-around time standards. Further, WinScribe's workflow provides the ability to monitor the overall status of the entire dictation/transcription process in real-time, maintain archives, and capture information to allow valuable reporting to assess productivity and efficiency metrics.

What Is The Benefit Of Intelligent, Automated Workflow?

TIME! Sure, WinScribe is a provider of software, but what you really get from WinScribe is time. You get time back that would have previously been wasted due to inefficiency. We deliver your time back to use as you choose, whether to spend more time with family, spend more time providing service, or a combination of both. Many law firms are not interested in using digital dictation with workflow to get more documents produced, rather they are concerned with reducing the amount of time that valuable legal secretaries spend transcribing. There are many important tasks performed by legal secretaries that attorneys consider more valuable than transcribing. Digital dictation with workflow allows time back to legal assistants that can be spent on these priority tasks.

WinScribe, with mature workflow, is easier to maintain and manage than traditional stand-alone systems. Rather than managing a combination of software packages such as email systems, file shares, virtual private network clients and hardware, file transfer protocol software, etc., the IT group manages a single system. Because the system provides a centralized point of management, user management is easier and a standardized organizational policy can be enforced (rather than supporting a mix of in-house hybrid processes). The WinScribe solution is built on Microsoft platform technologies enabling deployments to be automated. Finally, removing manual user steps from the process reduces the instances of user error frequently reported to the technical support team as a system error, and initially troubleshot as such. Results: IT staff in addition to lawyers and secretaries get time back.

WinScribe also integrates seamlessly with optional modules to further enhance lawyer and secretary productivity.

WinScribe's integrated speech recognition technologies with our automated and intelligent workflow component can completely remove typing and formatting from the document production process. This delivers a significant additional amount of time back to legal assistants. As a result, legal assistants have even more time to perform other valuable tasks, or the ratio of attorneys to legal assistants can be increased to maximize the efficiency of administrative resources.

WinScribe can seamlessly integrate mobile dictation into an automated intelligent workflow component to deliver even more time back to attorneys. Attorneys have the ability to capture and deliver dictation immediately when out of the office at a client site, in court, or in transit. The workflow engine uses its intelligence to route the dictation in the most effective manner and makes it instantly available. The document can be completed immediately. The attorney does not have to locate a recording device or locate and utilize a computer to send the job. The attorney merely dictates immediately and sends instantly. As a result, the attorney gets back the time otherwise spent attempting to deliver work while he is mobile.

The fascination with time machines is reflected in many books and movies. Most people consider the possibility of a time machine to be mere fantasy. If a scientist were to create an actual time machine, how much would it be worth? What would be the value? It already exists! WinScribe with intelligent, automated workflow is today's time machine. Your time is given back to you, and that makes WinScribe invaluable!

Randy Mitchell is a U.S. National Sales Account Manager for WinScribe, Inc., an award-winning provider of digital dictation workflow management solutions for a variety of vertical markets, including the legal industry.In his role at WinScribe, Randy provides presales support and consultation services for prospective customers and ongoing consultation and customer advocacy services for existing customers in the firm's U.S. market.Randy previously served as the U.S. Support Manager for WinScribe. Randy's extensive technical background, coupled with broad operational knowledge, combine to provide a unique comprehensive perspective on legal dictation and transcription.

Please email the author at rmitchell@winscribe.comwith questions about this article.