Cassette tapes, oh where have you gone?

The days of cassette dictation and transcription machines are nearly behind us. For years, digital dictation has been slowly and steadily replacing old and worn out tape machines. But many ask the question, why?

Well, the real answer is large manufacturing companies that have been making tape machines for decades just aren’t making them anymore. The cost to build the machine, retool factories for modern product safety standards, plus distribution and support costs makes it economically difficult for these companies to build a quality machine and offer it at a fair price. With big investments by these companies, they could continue to offer the products, but why? Popularity has been decreasing for cassettes and lower cost more efficient options are available now like digital dictation.

So what does this mean? Well, if you have a digital dictation solution already, it means very little. But if you’re actively transcribing cassettes, consider digital equipment before it is too late!

The benefits of digital dictation far outweigh any savings (if there is any at all) you’d see from buying a new cassette machine. Using the Internet for transferring files will certainly save a buck or two if you are currently using a courier or are driving and picking tapes up, especially at $4.00 a gallon or more!

Many have called us and said “But my doc loves his recorder and doesn’t want a digital machine.” We understand and luckily, so do a few choice manufacturers. Companies like Philips and Olympus offer professional grade digital dictation machines and some even have a 4-position slide switch like the Philips LFH9610 or Olympus DS5000. That 4-position slide switch coupled with these easy and intuitive machines often mean doctors will love them too. In my tenure with TranscriptionGear, I’ve seen thousands of doctors reluctantly switch to digital dictation and as it turned out – they absolutely love it.

If you’re concerned about security, consider this – professional digital dictation devices like the LFH9610 or DS5000 mentioned above offer onboard file encryption to keep your files secure while stored on the recorder. If HIPAA/HITECH is a concern, automatic encryption software is available to keep those recordings secure even when in motion like being transferred across the internet.

If your considering the switch to digital dictation but you have some reluctant clients, I encourage you to speak with a dictation expert who can explain the processes and what they will look like for your clients. The move to digital dictation has never been easier and coupled with modern workflow software like GearXport or the Atom Dictation and Typing System, you’ll walk away with less “busy” work and more time to do the things you want to do like grow your business or even take that day off you’ve been thinking about.