A transcription service is a business service that converts speech (either live or recorded) into a written or electronic text document. Transcription services are often provided for business, legal, or medical purposes. The most common type of transcription is from a spoken-language source into text such as a computer file suitable for printing as a document such as a report. Common examples are the proceedings of a court hearing such as a criminal trial (by a court reporter) or a physician’s recorded voice notes (medical transcription). Some transcription businesses can send staff to events, speeches, or seminars, who then convert the spoken content into text. Some companies also accept recorded speech, either on cassette, CD, VHS, or as sound files. For a transcription service, various individuals and organizations have different rates and methods of pricing. That can be per line, per word, per minute, or per hour, which differs from individual to individual and industry to industry. Transcription companies primarily serve private law firms, local, state and federal government agencies and courts, trade associations, meeting planners, and nonprofits.
Rob Foley, a Service Disabled Veteran, has co-founded two successful companies that provide outsourced transcription services. He is currently working on the introduction of a new offering specifically for qualitative researchers. This new company is due to launch in February, 2022.
SAME DAY TRANSCRIPTIONS, INC., founded in 2002, is a web-based transcription service that serves research and business communities’ need for fast, reliable transcription delivery. Global clients include Fortune 500 companies, independent consultants, research firms, academia, medical organizations and more.
Rob also founded EHR TRANSCRIPTIONS in February 2015 to serve busy healthcare practitioners who need a more efficient method for medical reporting than Electronic Health Record systems.
EHR Transcriptions’ user-friendly medical dictation and transcription system utilizes successful technology that can enable doctors to work the way they are most comfortable, and run their business without the challenges posed by today’s healthcare technology startups.
Before 1970, transcription was a difficult job, as secretaries had to write down the speech as they heard it using advanced skills, like shorthand. They also had to be at the location where the service was required. But with the introduction of tape cassettes and portable recorders in the late 1970s, the work became much easier and new possibilities emerged. Cassettes can travel through internal mail or external mail which meant for the first time, the transcribers could have the work brought to them in their own office which could be in a different location or business. Transcribers were able to conduct remote work for many different businesses at their own convenience, provided they met the deadlines required by their clients.
With the birth of modern technology like speech recognition, transcription has become much easier. An MP3-based Dictaphone, for example, can be used to record the sound. Recordings for transcription can be in different media file types. The recording can then be opened in a PC, uploaded to a cloud storage, or emailed within minutes to someone who could be anywhere in the world. Recordings can be transcribed manually or automatically.
The transcriptionist can replay the audio several times in a transcription editor and type what he or she hears to manually transcribe files, or with speech recognition technology convert audio files to the text. The manual transcription can be accelerated using different transcription hot keys. The sound can also be filtered, equalized or have the tempo adjusted when the clarity is poor. The completed document can then be emailed back and printed out or incorporated into other documents – all within just a few hours of the original recording being made.
The industry standard for transcribing an audio file takes one hour for every 15 minutes of audio. For live usage, real-time text transcription services are available for captioning purposes, including Remote CART, Captioned Telephone, and live closed captioning for live broadcasts. Live transcripts are less accurate than offline transcripts, as there is no time for corrections and refinements. However, in a multistage subtitling process with a broadcast delay and access to a live audio feed it is possible to have several correction stages and for the text to be displayed at the same time as the “live” transmission.
If you have a good ear and can type quickly, a transcription service would allow you to work from home with a flexible schedule. Medical transcription services are especially needed as voice recognition technology proliferates for healthcare provider dictation. If you’re not looking to start all at once, or if you have a day job you would like to keep for the time being, you can accept as few or as many transcription jobs as you’d like. To boost your business prospects and justify charging more, consider becoming a certified transcriptionist and delving into a few specialties.
Medical transcriptionists typically charge 6 to 14 cents per line of transcription, which adds up quickly. The typical turnaround time for transcription work is 24 hours, so it’s important to stay on top of the jobs you accept. However, the flexibility to accept only a few requests at first means you can scale up as you are ready. Best of all, there is very little startup cost and overhead. You only need a computer, the appropriate software and a secure messaging service.
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