Speakeasy Solutions FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions in regards to Speakeasy Solutions, Dragon speech recognition software, digital voice dictation transcribers and recorders, as well as related accessories and services.
If you don’t have time to read through the list or do not see your question answered, do not hesitate to contact us.
The most efficient way to address your questions is to contact us by telephone.
604-264-9109 or 1-888-964-9109
Who is Speakeasy Solutions?
We are a group of enthusiastic, professional, and knowledgeable speech recognition and digital voice dictation specialists. Each of us have a long-standing history in administrative & information technology and are experts in our respective fields.
We assist you in becoming efficient with an effective speech technology solution.
We started our business, Speakeasy Solutions, in the year 2000, and are still going strong.
What geographical area does Speakeasy Solutions service?
We provide products within Canada only. Training and support services are offered throughout Canada and the United States of America.
Our office is located in Vancouver BC, typically offering on-site services within the Lower Mainland. We usually provide remote services outside of the Lower Mainland, although are available to be flown to sites beyond Vancouver.
Why don't you provide products outside of Canada?
The products we offer are for sale in Canada only. Selling outside of the country negates the customer’s product warranties.
Who uses Speakeasy Solutions' products and services?
The majority of our clients are medical and legal practitioners, although we also have clients with physical limitations, as well as individuals who spend a great deal of their time on the computer or are in need of finding extra time in a day to be more productive (writers and educators, for example).
What are Speakeasy Solutions’ qualifications to provide the services that you do?
We are Dragon Professional and Dragon Medical Certified Partners. We are also authorized Dragon Professional and Dragon Medical trainers.
We create Dragon Training Workbooks (user guides), specifically designed for those who wish to use Dragon most efficiently. This thorough book is used during training sessions and serves as an excellent resource guide once training is complete.
We have also been daily users of Dragon speech recognition since 1997, and continue to rely upon this technology every day.
Digital Voice Dictation
We are a Philips Master Digital Centre and Olympus Pro Audio Dealers.
We entered the digital voice dictation field from a strong technical computer background in programming, database development, as well as support and troubleshooting. A solid history in computers is a requirement for seamless integration of digital voice dictation solutions within an office relying upon rapid document creation.
We are also very passionate about technology and its continually evolving place in improving our lives. As a result, we spend a considerable amount of time researching and staying abreast of speech and dictation technologies.
Why should I buy from you and not somewhere else?
Our prices are fair and services comprise of great value as a result of over 2 decades in the speech technology industry.
For those purchasing product only, we retain valuable license codes and serial numbers in case they are lost. We maintain digital downloads of all software for your easy access. While we do charge for technical support and training in the use of our products, should you encounter an issue that only takes a couple of minutes to resolve, we are happy to assist.
Speech Recognition or Digital Voice Dictation?
What is the difference between speech recognition and digital voice dictation?
Speech recognition is a computer application transforming your spoken words into text and enabling you to issue voice commands to control functions on your computer.
Digital voice dictation is the evolution of tape driven dictation solutions (tape recorders and desktop tape transcribers).
Can you be more specific regarding the difference?
Dragon Speech Recognition
With respect to speech recognition, when dictating into a microphone connected to your computer: “Dear John comma new paragraph Thank you for your email period…”, speech recognition software (such as Dragon) transcribes that text for you. When you say “Send message”, speech recognition sends your finished email.
Digital Voice Dictation
Digital voice recorders record your voice in superior audio quality, and are flexible, allowing you to record your dictation anytime and anywhere. The completed digital recordings are sent to another person via the Internet (email or FTP) or across a local network of computers. The resulting digital dictation is transcribed by a human (with headset and foot pedal, similar to its analog predecessor) or by Dragon (speech recognition software).
How do I know if I need speech recognition or digital dictation or both?
We encourage you to contact us, and we will assist you in making this determination.
Typically, if you are seldom in front of your computer or do not wish to use a computer yourself, then digital voice dictation will become integral to your solution. The transcription itself is performed either by a human being or Dragon speech recognition.
If you spend considerable time in front of your computer, there is little faster than using speech recognition to create and reply to email, control your computer, and generally for all of your text creation needs.
Speech recognition and digital dictation technologies are implemented separately or in combination, depending on what is most beneficial to your needs.
What are the benefits in using speech recognition and/or digital dictation?
The key benefit is improved efficiency; accomplishing more in less time. Even if you type over 85 words per minute, using speech recognition is much faster in terms of transcribing speech to text but also for controlling your computer through voice commands. Transcription of dictation from a digital voice recorder is also accomplished much faster than its analogue predecessor. As time is money, the return on investment in either of these technologies is pronounced.
Value added in text creation is also demonstrable when using speech recognition, particularly in email and notations. Most individuals find that speaking is far easier than typing and therefore more thorough and detailed information is provided when using speech recognition over manually typing. For our medical and legal clients, this is a very noticeable boon.
Independence and self-reliance is also clearly a benefit, as users of these technologies quickly discover how much documentation they can perform themselves without relying on support staff, which is not always available when needed most.
Dragon Professional & Dragon Medical
Which Dragon products does Speakeasy Solutions provide?
We provide Dragon Professional, and Dragon Medical One. We also provide Dragon Legal in appropriate scenarios.
Languages available: English & French.
How has Dragon evolved since its earlier versions?
We have been experienced Dragon users since version 3, and few software products over the years have grown as much as Dragon has. Every version surpasses its predecessor both in accuracy and effectiveness. As hardware progresses, so does Dragon which depends upon hardware advances for improvements.
Long gone are the days of speaking slowly and waiting an eternity for the computer to respond. In fact, Dragon prefers if you speak quickly and fluidly.
I know someone who tried Dragon and they said it didn’t work. Why would that be?
There are, unfortunately, all too many reasons for Dragon to not live up to a user’s expectations. The following factors influence success or failure with Dragon:
- the variant and version of Dragon,
- hardware including PC and microphone,
- software used with Dragon,
- installation and setup of Dragon’s options,
- instruction in its use,
- dictation techniques,
- effective use of the many features within Dragon, and
- a user having sufficient opportunity to learn Dragon.
Speakeasy Solutions is happy to share their vast knowledge and expertise, ensuring that you are successful and soaring with Dragon as quickly as possible.
What are the realistic speeds I can dictate with Dragon and what accuracy can I achieve?
It is possible to achieve 100% accuracy and dictate between 140 and 160 words per minute. However, much depends on how well a person articulates, accent, PC fitness, and other factors. We provide you with a solution and show you exactly how to achieve the highest level of success possible with Dragon, but you may need to adjust the way you speak in order to reach a perfect level of accuracy at rapid speaking speeds.
Do I really need 6 hours of initial Dragon training? That seems excessive, and I do not have the time.
That depends on the solution and your goals.
With 6 hours of initial training (which is part of our complete speech recognition solution package) you learn:
- integration with your most used applications (EMRs, legal applications, MS Office etc.),
- how to achieve high accuracy,
- enhancing Dragon’s vocabulary,
- how to contend with a misbehaving Dragon,
- custom command creation (to whichever extent you are comfortable),
- how to achieve a high degree of efficiency and time-saving techniques, and
- maintenance techniques to ensure Dragon continues to work well for you.
We do provide an à la carte solution, providing the hours of training that you desire (2 or 4, with the option of more if desired later). We caution that we cannot cover all of the above in 2 or even 4 hours, but we can have you operational and instruct on some of the most important aspects of Dragon use for your intended purpose.
In the long term we feel it is important to know more than the basics of Dragon as you will be empowered with a higher degree of efficiency, accuracy, and the knowledge to contend with an assortment of challenges that often arise in the course of using Dragon. Of course, if you prefer contracting our services (both training and support) on as-needed basis, we are pleased to assist in this capacity as well.
The complete solution package is intended for those who wish to know as much as possible, be independent but also have considerable support as well (free remote support and how-to answers are included in a complete solution package).
On a final note on this subject, if your solution involves an assistant performing proofreading/corrections, training of the Dragon user is minimal with the majority of training time spent with the assistant.
Do I really need Dragon Medical?
If you intend on dictating any medical reports, then yes, Dragon Medical will make a world of difference. Read the Q&A below for more detail.
I have a colleague who is using a non-medical version and said to not spend the extra money on Dragon Medical.
I would ask if that individual is achieving 100% accuracy and whether or not they feel productive. If they do, then this is a rarity. However, consider the following:
Dragon Medical contains medical specialty and sub-specialty vocabularies, and they DO make a difference with respect to accuracy.
Dragon Medical’s vocabularies are not just a list of words, but a statistical database of word usage specific to each field and practice’s dictation style. For example, a neurologist would not see the same high accuracy if using a dermatology vocabulary instead of a neurology vocabulary.
While yes, words can easily be added to a non-medical Dragon product, what can not be replicated is how those words are used in your practice, resulting in poor accuracy with a non-medical product.
Medical practitioners often need to view lab results, past consults, and other information while they are currently reporting. It is time-consuming to move from one window or application to another.
Dragon Medical’s Dictation Box enables the practitioner to actively manipulate one application (such as viewing lab results) while simultaneously dictating. The results of this dictation are transcribed in Dragon Medical’s Dictation Box, for transference when appropriate.
While non-medical Dragon products contain a Dictation Box, it lacks the above functionality.
Dragon Medical has numerous options with respect to formatting medication dosages, abbreviations, units of measure, vertebrae, capitalization, numeric handling, and much more. We have seen physicians struggle time and time again with a non-medical product and their attempts to wrangle Dragon’s transcription to their desired formatting.
Efficacy in EMR
Nuance has disabled the non-medical versions of Dragon from functioning on a system that contains most EMRs (which EMRs we do not know). This result is Dragon either functioning poorly or not at all.
In over 19 years providing Dragon to medical practitioners across Canada, not one who has previously used non-medical Dragon has regretted their decision to purchase Dragon Medical. Spending more time then you need and documenting patient care is not worth saving a few hundred dollars.
Why is Dragon Medical not working with my EMR?
There are numerous electronic medical record systems across Canada, some favoured more in one province than another. There is no one perfect EMR in terms of compatibility with Dragon Medical. That said, Dragon does provide a variety of features and settings to integrate almost as seamlessly as possible with most EMRs. What does work in one EMR does not necessarily work in another.
EMRs are also in a constant state of development. Where Dragon Medical may function extraordinarily well with a specific EMR at one time, it may fail to do so at any time in the future. The converse is also true – where Dragon Medical once functioned poorly with an EMR, it may suddenly function well at any time in the future.
Speakeasy Solutions remains abreast of Dragon Medical’s functionality with the numerous EMRs across Canada, providing clients with the current most efficient means of using Dragon within the physician’s chosen EMR.
Microphones & Digital Voice Recorders for Dragon
What microphone products does Speakeasy Solutions provide?
We provide Philips handheld microphones (wired and wireless), and Sennheiser headset microphones (wired and wireless). We also offer Olympus handheld wired microphones.
What is the best microphone to use with Dragon?
We make every effort to find and provide the best microphone of every category. If we do not use it ourselves, we do not sell it; therefore you can be assured that each Philips and Sennheiser microphone we sell meets with our stringent demands, providing you with a quality device. More importantly is matching a microphone type to your particular needs. When we find a superior microphone in the future, we adjust our offerings accordingly.
Why shouldn’t I use a microphone from a big box store?
You can, although most individuals have poor experiences with microphones from a big box store. Quality is essential, and consumer brands and models often lack the superior design and engineering that makes professional grade microphones stand apart, lending to higher recognition accuracy, and a less frustrating experience.
Does a digital voice recorder work as well as a microphone with Dragon?
They can work equally well provided:
- the recorder and microphone are of high quality,
- the Dragon profile is set up appropriately, and
- are being used correctly.
Digital Voice Dictation & Transcription
Which digital dictation and transcription products does Speakeasy Solutions provide?
We primarily provide the professional dictation and transcription lines from Olympus (DS-9000 and AS-9000) and Philips (Digital Pocket Memo 8000 and Transcription Set 7277), as well as appropriate accessories.
We also provide other digital dictation and transcription products manufactured by Philips and Olympus.
Why is digital better than analogue?
The reasons are many; some are as follows and specific to a professional digital voice dictation solution:
- There are no tapes to damage, lose or replace, thereby minimizing consumable costs.
- There are no courier costs (digital files are transmitted instantly via Internet or local computer network).
- With very few moving parts, the robust design of a digital voice recorder requires considerably less maintenance.
- Audio quality is much improved, increasing transcription accuracy and turnaround time.
- Digital transcriptionists organize dictations more rapidly, also increasing efficiency.
- Workflow of dictations are easily managed in the instance of multiple typing pools or transcriptionists.
- Analogue repair, replacements and accessories have become more costly than digital.
Why shouldn’t I use a digital recorder from a big box store?
Whether you have previously used the classic analogue recorder with its slide switch or not, there is truly nothing more comfortable than a recording device with an ergonomic slide switch. Such an interface is not found in big box or office supply stores.
Workflow & Routing
That said, the true value of a professional digital voice dictation solution is in the very necessary and powerful software. Again, seamless workflow from dictation to a finished document is not possible with a big box store recorder. Moreover, professional software includes options for various levels of security and encryption that are not available in accompanying software from products purchased at big box stores.
Do I need you to install the digital dictation software?
You may certainly perform installation of the software yourself, however there are numerous configuration options to consider, and challenges may occur in their setup in some scenarios.
We have over 19 years of invaluable digital dictation experience, not to mention we provide 30 days of free telephone support after installation and setup. Our clients have found the cost of installation & configuration well worth their investment.
Receiving a Solution from Speakeasy Solutions
What is involved in setting up a solution?
A demonstration from Speakeasy Solutions is not necessary, but if desired, is arranged. More important is a telephone consultation session to ensure that you are provided with the best solution for your needs.
With your needs understood and a clear solution outlined, we provide you with an estimate/proposal for review. Once the solution is approved, appointments are arranged and the solution is implemented on a mutually convenient timetable.
Do I have to buy a complete package solution or can I buy products only or products with less service?
While most individuals prefer the peace of mind in having a complete solution package provided for them coupled with a technical support life-line, we do understand that some clients are under budgetary restraints or have the time, IT knowledge and interest in setting up their own solution.
Therefore, no, you needn’t buy a complete package solution; we are also happy to provide products with no additional services or only the services you desire (the latter is our à la carte solution). Specific services are arranged at the time of order and/or on an as-needed basis afterwards if desired. However, a complete package solution does include considerable value added and benefits if ordered at the onset.
How do I obtain an estimate or place an order?
Please contact us by telephone, request an estimate via our contact form, or shop online.
Orders received by noon are usually shipped out the same day, with delivery expected between one and three days.
Why should I buy from Speakeasy Solutions?
Our pricing is very fair, our customer service and support are exemplary, our advice is honest and sincere, and we routinely go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you are delighted with your solution.
With over 19 years in business, we plan on continuing to provide efficient speech technology solutions for the foreseeable future. Also, we genuinely love what we do.
What dates and times is Speakeasy Solutions available for appointments?
Generally, our hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time.
Support and installation appointments are usually not arranged until after 10:00 AM Pacific Time, reserving the first hour of the day for client emergency support calls. In some scenarios and for some customers, urgent support is also available outside of regular business hours.
Speech recognition demonstrations and training appointments are available as early as 7:00 AM and conducted as late as 7:00 PM Pacific Time.
I live outside of Vancouver. How does that affect delivery of my solution?
Speakeasy Solutions has provided remote solutions for over 19 years.
We ship your products promptly and with insurance. We provide remote installation, configuration, and training services via the Internet (a desktop screen viewing program) and telephone (or Skype, should the Internet connection be cooperative).
If you prefer, we are flown to your location. This option works well for clinics or groups of individuals based in one location.