If you do not have a Dart dealer, call Dick Cummins at (800) 563-5418 (he is wonderful). Since there were thee of us MTs who purchased at the same time from him, he gave us a 10% discount. As far as I know, the other MTs who purchased with me would not consider selling or giving theirs up.
Her transcriptionists have DART tanscribe kits ($995.00) and must have $350.00 BitSurfer Pro "Digital Modems" (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) and an ISDN connection into their homes, ($24.00 a month here).
I have been installing stand-alone units and networked versions for nearly an year now and am quite impressed with the value and performance of the equipment. The DART boards fit into any computer so everything is "open architecture" and anyone can work on the equipment. Thus no big maintenance contracts. The voice storage is only limited by the size of the hard drive too. There are many other neat features of DART systems that I won't go into. The software has been on the market for years so it is stable.
I was one of the previous posters on this subject and all of the machines I talked about at that time have now joined our other extinct species. This is progress? After WEEKS of searching I found one that works well, and the sound is GREAT!!! If she already has a touch-tone phone she can access you and re-record tapes OR digital dictation for an investment of $30. She can also record direct dictation. Straight Talk is available on a lease for $130/month; I don't know the purchase price. PC-Dart on a purchase plan starts around $2000 and goes up depending on the number of ports you need. PC-Dart dealers usually also have lease plans as well.
At least on a trial basis, I would certainly recommend the PhoneMate. For $30 it is almost disposable, and makes a nice answering machine if a user decides to go with a digital system later. Mine worked so well and produced such nice sound that I went back and bought another one for my other phone line. I am thinking now of going back and buying a couple of spares to put in storage in case I have a failure, as I have an idea that this cassette technology may be enjoying its last days; more and more of the recorders have gone to digital technology. For use as an answering machine, the unit also has a time-date stamp, automatic extension disconnect, and it's brain tells you if you need to record a new message or if the unit has slipped it's time programming, which can happen with a power failure.
There is also a handy little gadget available from Hello Direct that allows a transcriptionist to call another transcriptionist and play dictation over the phone to "another set of ears". Very handy for filling in blanks or identification of doctors when they have punched in their ID codes wrong. If YOU want to call HER, this would be the way to go on your end. It is called a Record/Playback Interface (Item 3697G) and sells for $69.95. For dictation recording, it works in conjunction with a transcriber that has built in telephone record features. For dictation playing, you can use it with any transcriber or tape recorder, by just plugging the interface cord into the earphone jack and it plays into your phone line. I do not use mine to record telephone dictation, as the incoming sound quality leaves a lot to be desired, but the outgoing sound quality for playing recorded dictation to someone seems fairly adequate. Toll free order line to request a Hello Direct catalog is 1-800-444-3556.
>From my end, I have heard good things about all three of these products. So to evaluate which is best for you, you might want to develop a criteria rating grid, itemizing what features are most important to you and assigning the weight of that importance to each criteria (10% = not real important, 50% = very important, as an example). The weights assigned to each criteria, when added together, cannot add up to more than 100%. Then evaluate each vendor and give them a score (perhaps 1 to 10) on how well their product fulfills your criteria requirements. Multiply the score by the weight to arrive at a final score for each criteria. Last, add up the final scores for each criteria and see which vendor has the highest overall score. This may be the best one for you. It is a very objective way to make a wise decision for your organization.
Their in-house people use straight SoftMed, and there have been very few complaints as far as productivity, etc. The main impact seems to be problems with the interface -- after the work is transcribed it is "merged" via the interface, and at that point decisions such as printer location, automatic faxing of copies, etc., are made from the information entered on the demo screen. The only consistent problems are those caused by having insufficient information to fill in this demo screen -- those reports are rejected and have to be dealt with by hand.
Well, I've been using the same ole' chair and desk situation for years and thought I couldn't do better. I've been having lots of trouble with my feet the last few years; tendinitis, plantar fascitis, etc. The doctors and physical therapists keep asking what kind of athletics I'm doing to injure myself - I do try to walk every day, but that's about it. So they were all stumped. And my feet still hurt, especially when I was working. I had a stand for the foot pedal to raise my feet so the chair wouldn't cut off the circulation in my legs, and a pull-out keyboard drawer to lower the keyboard so my wrists were neutral. I thought I was really being clever. But I was still hurting.
I was complaining about my feet to my transcriptionist friend a while ago and she suggested it may be stress from my position while keyboarding and that she and her husband were selling a new support system that might help. I was skeptical to say the least and promptly forgot about it. Then I was at her home the other day and sat at HER work station - WOW! What a difference. I decided to give her equipment a try, and I am amazed. I have worked with this for one day and my foot pain of two years is gone. I suppose this sounds like snake oil or something, but I can't believe it myself.
This involves a new chair which is a high-end executive chair with multiple adjustments and SUPPORT of most of my back, rear and upper legs (my old chair was a typical stenographer's chair with a low back). My upper body is supported by what she calls an upper body support system (I think...) It's a keyboard table with padded steel supports for my wrists and upper arms. I can put all my upper body weight on it if I want, it's that sturdy. It also has multiple height and width adjustments. I feel sort of like I'm strapped in a cockpit or something, but all I know is for the first time in many years I can comfortably rest my feet on the floor, my back doesn't hurt, and my upper body is relaxed. And my feet don't hurt, either. I would be happy to send business to my friend if anyone wants to contact me.