As one of the largest law firms in Indiana, Locke Reynolds attributes its success to its unique blend of experience, responsiveness and creativity in the practice of law. The firm is also committed to playing an active role in the community through its involvement in professional and community organizations and by contributing many hours of pro bono legal services.
The pilot users were the first to be moved onto the live system, but word-of-mouth soon meant that other attorneys were asking to use Winscribe. At the beginning of 2005, the firm migrated the remaining users over to the new system. “Only 15 to 20 minutes of training was required for our attorneys and secretaries”, recalls Debra. “Our two Word Processors received more advanced training so that they could assist users with tasks that did not require the involvement of the IT department, such as retrieving an incomplete job.”
Locke Reynolds currently has 85 authors, averaging 70 dictations per day, and 40 transcriptionists. Authors use Philips SpeechMikes or Philips Digital Portables for dictation and four telephone ports are available for telephone dictation. Locke Reynolds also uses the Winscribe Importer to transfer recorded voice messages and phone calls captured by the firm’s telephone system over to the Winscribe system for transcription.
At Locke Reynolds, jobs go into a general pool or queue. The transcriptionist then ‘drags-and-drops’ her author’s documents over into her own queue. “We also use a feature whereby attorneys can elect to send a job to their assistant’s queue in cases that require confidentiality, however, the general pool is very efficient and ensures that jobs get done quickly as it doesn’t rely
The Challenge - Smoothing the Transition to New Technology
Every attorney at Locke Reynolds used an analog dictation system to take dictation, however, by 2004 this equipment was very old and was prone to failure. At that time, the Facilities Management department was responsible for the dictation equipment however when the firm began looking at digital solutions the IT department became involved. Debra Himsel, Director of Technology at Locke Reynolds, was not satisfied with the digital dictation system being proposed and wanted to look at other options. “I wanted a solution that would move us forward into the 21st century without becoming an IT management or support issue.”
The Solution – Winscribe
The Winscribe Digital Dictation solution met all of Debra’s requirements so she proceeded with a 60-day trial. Five secretaries and their attorneys, a total of approximately 20 people, were involved. A range of users were recruited which included some who were technically savvy and others who were less so. She also involved some of the firm’s strongest transcriptionists in the trial in order to test the system. After 45 days the feedback was so positive that she drafted a proposal to the Management Committee recommending Winscribe as a replacement for their existing dictation equipment. By the end of the trial period, every member of the Management Committee had tried Winscribe and the firm’s most senior attorney who participated in the trial liked it so much that he told Debra he wouldn’t give it up!
Better Productivity, Control and Reliability
Implementing the Winscribe Digital Dictation solution achieved the firm’s goal of replacing its aging dictation equipment but feedback from staff is that it has achieved much more. “They feel more productive”, says Debra.
“Not just because they aren’t chasing down tapes but because now they can archive jobs, assign jobs to a secretary without leaving their desk and generally manage their workflow better.” Debra says there is also a sense of comfort that tapes won’t be over-written or lost and that they can always go back into the system and check their dictation. Having access to jobs from their desktop and not having to handle tapes has made it very popular with the secretaries. “Our two Word Processors have probably noticed the improvement the most”, notes Debra, “because they touch so many people’s documents and they get all the overflow. Managing their workflow has been much easier.”
As part of her evaluation of the pilot program, Debra asked the users to rate Winscribe from 1 to 10, with 1 being very easy to use. Most users rated it as a 1 or 2. Enthusiastic comments about the system came back to her as well. “I think the new digital dictation system is great and very easy to use”, says one attorney. “I really love the Internet Transcriptionist!!!! It is wonderful”, exclaims a secretary. Debra confirms that management of Winscribe has been also very straightforward. Her four staff members all get involved in administering the Winscribe system on occasion. “Not much training has been required”, she admits. “Winscribe really is easy to use.”