Philips Voice Technology Helps Law Firm Dismiss Frustration

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When lawyers at Warshafsky, Rotter, Tarnoff & Bloch, a six-attorney personal injury law firm in Milwaukee, transitioned from analog tape recorders and shorthand dictation to digital dictation and transcription in 2015, the equipment and software they originally brought in didn’t operate quite as well as they had hoped. Many just stopped using it.

The voice quality was poor, and operating the software was no easy task, according to Monica Kling, the law firm’s accounting and IT manager.

“Every time I set it up on a new computer [the recorder software] created all these strange folders and subfolders,” she said in a statement. “I was never sure where the dictation was going to end up. It was very frustrating.”

Some of the firm’s employees lost dictations due to the confusing software interface, requiring them to go back and re-create the documents, Kling added.

To make matters worse, users of the equipment couldn’t easily rewind to previous pause points in their dictations if they were interrupted, impacting their productivity and efficiency.

One of the firm’s employees learned about Philips voice technology through a trade association to which he belonged and passed the information on to Kling. She soon contacted the local Philips certified reseller, Quality Assured Office Machines, in Green Bay, Wis. It didn’t take long for her to order Philips Pocket Memo recorders and the Philips SpeechExec Enterprise dictation and transcription management solution, which offers integrated professional speech recognition, workflow management, encryption, and backup.

“Philips is just better-quality and easier to use,” Kling stated. “It’s such a relief to use technology you can rely on. Once we switched, we never looked back.”

After only a couple days of training, it became clear that Philips was the right choice. “Everyone picked it up right away,” Kling said. “The system was quick to learn and become accustomed to, unlike the previous software, which we could never figure out.”

With the Philips voice technology, attorneys, paralegals, and other employees simply dictate letters, memos, or other legal documents into their digital voice recorders, which feature 360-degree audio pickup. When finished, they slide the Pocket Memo devices into the docking stations connected to their computers. The voice files automatically upload to the Philips SpeechExec Enterprise system, which identifies the transcriptionists assigned to the particular task and alerts them to the new dictation through a pop-up window. SpeechExec centrally defines all of the document creation routing and linkages between attorneys and transcriptionists.

SpeechExec also allows users at the firm to set up file-sharing schedules. Transcriptionists can even access files from home, and all files are archived.

The new system “is far more efficient,” Kling said. “It’s also handy to have the files archived. Just in case there’s ever a question, we can go back and listen to the dictation again. With analog tape, it would be erased and gone forever.”

And the firm’s employees like using the Philips Pocket Memo, which has a quick-response and ergonomic slide switch designed for single-handed operation; this convenient design helps when editing, inserting, overwriting, and appending recorded files. And because of its 3-D Mic technology, audio quality is much better than with the previous equipment.

Although it is too soon to quantify the benefits of switching to Philips, eliminating the frustration and wasted time is certainly an early and meaningful ROI for the firm.

“Everyone here loves it,” Kling said. “We only had a couple minor questions right in the beginning, during the learning curve, and since then it’s been working beautifully.”

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