Boosting efficiency with mobile voice technology

Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla is a multi-specialty business law firm with 56 attorneys practicing in four offices in New Jersey and New York City. With firm-wide “focus on responsiveness and producing results with outstanding value to their clients’ bottom line,” efficient operations is essential. Practicing in the metropolitan area also requires attorneys to deliver results as quickly as possible, which means maintaining high productivity, even when away from the office.

Many attorneys were already using dictation to strive toward both of these goals. However, in 2016, those attorneys were offered an even greater advantage when the firm transitioned to the virtualized computing environment that connected all the firm’s applications and documents through a secure network that they could access from anywhere.

With that transition, attorneys switched from using old-fashioned analog tape recorders for dictation to digital voice technology from Philips. Those solutions were: Philips Voice Recorder app for the iPhone and Philips SpeechExec Enterprise dictation and transcription management platform.

“Switching to the Philips technology just made sense,” said Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla’s IT Manager Keith Progebin. “Not only did we get rid of our old tapes and recorders, but our attorneys and assistants could work more efficiently no matter where they were.”

Office modernization requires workflow update

A virtualized computing environment hosts all applications and documents on a secured cloud-based server. Individual computers are replaced with networked terminals that have a monitor, keyboard and mouse accessible by any authorized user.

This transition required the firm to analyze every workflow, including its dictation and transcription management process. For years, the firm had used handheld analog microcassette recorders for dictation. When an attorney completed a dictation, the tape needed to be physically handed to an assistant for transcription. If an attorney was dictating away from the office, transcription would need to wait until he or she returned.

Since most audio and video recording was now digital, procuring new equipment and tapes was becoming more difficult and recorders would cost hundreds of dollars to replace. Progebin, who was new to the firm in 2016, and his predecessor recognized that digital dictation files and transcribed documents could more easily be shared across the new virtual environment.

Philips recognized for quality

Progebin chose Philips voice technology based on his experience in a previous position, as well as its strong reputation among his IT colleagues. Working with the firm’s voice technology consultant YB Sales & Distributors in Brooklyn, N.Y., an official Philips certified reseller, Progebin selected SpeechExec Enterprise and chose to offer attorneys the Voice Recorder app for the iPhone instead of a separate digital recorder.

“Everyone wants to use one device anyway,” Progebin said. “That helped us earn buy-in among the attorneys.”

To further increase adoption, Progebin recruited key influential attorneys at the firm to encourage their colleagues that dictate to try the Voice Recorder app. He also held demonstration sessions in one of the firm’s conference rooms.

“Once they saw how easy it was to use the Philips Voice Recorder app, they were pretty much convinced,” Progebin said. “They all realized that no one is using tape anymore and this was the perfect opportunity to make the switch.”

Streamlined workflow

Implementing SpeechExec Enterprise and Voice Recorder app has transformed the documentation workflow at Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla. Instead of handing tapes back and forth, attorneys now dictate in the app and then securely transfer it to the SpeechExec platform. Attorneys have the capability to add notes to dictation recordings to help assistants complete the transcription more efficiently.

Once the document is transcribed, assistants can share documents within SpeechExec or email them to the attorney. Assistants can also easily exchange dictation files with each other if needed for a faster turnaround. Apart from the simple file sharing, the switch to the Philips voice technology delivered other benefits:

  • Mobility: Attorneys and assistants can create and access dictation files and documents anywhere
  • Security: Dictation files are encrypted on transfer and encrypted again when stored on the cloud-based server
  • Improved sound quality: Digital recordings are easier to understand than dictation on analog cassettes, which makes transcriptions less time consuming.
  • Transparency: Authorized SpeechExec users can track transcription progress and view who is accessing files.

Faster turnarounds with less effort

While Progebin has not attempted to measure the productivity or efficiency metrics since switching from analog tape to Philips voice technology, he has heard from his colleagues first hand that it is helping attorneys and assistants accomplish more in less time.

“I feel that attorneys are using dictation more often, just because it’s easier for everyone,” he said. “Above all, clients are seeing the benefits in terms of faster document turnarounds and extraordinary, responsive service.”

 

We would like to thank Keith Progebin, IT Manager at Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, for this interview and sharing his insights.

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