World Wide Dictation offers a professional dictation service, tailored for full service medical transcription needs.
Can digitize cassette tapes
Exceeds HIPAA privacy requirements
Restricted hours of support
Lack of mobile apps
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No internet newcomer, World Wide Dictation traces its origins back to 1964, when Herbert Ofner picked up reel-to-reel and cassette tapes from New York City, and its environs to awaiting transcriptionists with typewriters, and carbon paper between their sheets of typing paper. Now, it is a second generation family business, run by the founder’s son. He successfully transitioned this business, based in Ardsley, NY, to a digital environment, and it grew into one of the larger full service transcription businesses in the US. Today, World Wide Dictation counts among their prestigious clients Columbia University Medical Center, Harvard Health, and Johns Hopkins University.
World Wide Dictation offers an entire suite of services that runs the gamut from digital dictation applications, to state of the art dictation services, on to eVoice tools, and web services including web development, design, and marketing solutions. With over four decades of experience in this area, World Wide Dictation certainly offers a more comprehensive suite of services than many others.
A core service is of course, where World Wide Dictation started, namely with their medical transcription service. True to their roots, the option to use telephone dictation is available, with a call-in dictation system to a toll free number. Then each user has their own Personal Identification Number (PIN), that identifies them as they dictate, and the keypad on the telephone can provide the functions of a tape recorder, such as for fast forward, pause and rewind. There is an even a printable guide to give clinicians the shortcuts they need when dictating, and have them readily available.
Then, World Wide Dictation has over 180 experienced, and professional medical transcriptionists along with 20 editors on staff to turn each dictation into a professional medical document. Adding to the consistency of process, each account gets assigned to one of these transcriptionists who can then learn, and follow each clinician’s nuances, and how they turn a phrase when they dictate. Finally, the documents get delivered via their secure website, with a simple username and password to login, and the documents can de downloaded.
The entire process, as any seasoned clinician would come to expect, is totally HIPAA compliant. In fact, it exceeds the 128-bit encryption requirement, with 256-bit encryption, good enough to not only satisfy HIPAA, but also meet the requirements for governmental Top Secret communications.
Telephone is not the only method for creating an audio file for dictation. Just like when the company started back in the 1960’s, World Wide Transcription can actually apply their transcription process to dictations that are captured on a cassette tape. For those seasoned clinicians out there, and we are guessing that they are the same ones seeing their patients while wearing polyester suits with colorful bow ties, they have the option to dictate via analog cassette tape. Then the tape needs to be copied, and a duplicate can be sent via overnight mail to World Wide Dictation for the transcription process. Truth be told, World Wide Dictation upon receipt of the tape converts it to a .WAV file, which is a digital audio file, which then proceeds along with the other digital audio files. Still, for those stray analog practices that still use magnetic tape, there are undoubtedly a few still out there, will surely appreciate this option.
There are also multiple options for the document delivery. The secure login, and digital download is a popular one as the documents can be delivered easily, and efficiently. Another benefit of this choice is that then World Wide Dictation then keeps a copy of the document indefinitely, providing the additional benefit of a cloud backup of the clinical documentation, at no additional charge.
For those clinicians that prefer, there are also options to get documents delivered via fax machine, mail, and overnight delivery. Also, of note, for the mail option, the documents can be printed out on the facility’s stationary for a professional look, and then mailed to addresses of choice.
There is a paucity of reviews for World Wide Dictation overall, especially considering its longstanding presence in the market. From their Facebook page, World Wide Dictation does get a favorable overall rating, with a score of 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on fourteen opinions, but there is little detail on the specifics of the good or the bad.
An important drawback is the lack of mobile apps, such as for the popular smartphones and tablets from Apple and Android. As younger clinicians often prefer to use their smartphones for just about everything they can, rather than being tethered to a landline, or carrying a dedicated digital recording device, the lack of these apps is a significant omission.
World Wide Dictation offers support via both phone and email. Via phone, there is an available toll free number, with hours available from 9 AM to 5 PM EST on weekdays only. There is also the option to call into an emergency extension, although be aware that “If the call is not an emergency, we reserve the right to bill at an hourly rate for after-hours Tech Support.”
Support can also be obtained via email with more generous hours from 7 AM to 10 PM every day of the week.
The pricing for World Wide Dictation is not enumerated on their website, and is opaque. A custom quote can be obtained, but requires company contact, which can be done via telephone or email. Getting past that, there is an offer for a free trial so at least prospective clients can determine if this meets their needs.
World Wide Dictation offers professional medical transcription, with features such as a choice of delivery options with included digital archiving, and live, professional transcriptionists. The omission of mobile apps, lack of user reviews, and the opaque pricing are shortcomings of this offering. Still, their longstanding reputation in this industry makes them certainly worth the free trial, as well as for offices that still use cassette tapes, this is one of the very few options out there.
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Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.