Document Preparation Policies
So that there is predictability and uniformity in the word processing documents created for SpeakWrite account holders, and so that those account holders and SpeakWrite typists are working from the same standards and expectations for such, the following are the rules and guidelines that will be followed in the preparation of documents for all customers.
Scope of Service
All work done for SpeakWrite customers will be transcribed as dictated. We will not try to guess or anticipate what the client might have meant. If a client dictates "the grass is blue and the sky is green", that is what will be transcribed.
Out of Scope
Despite any oral instruction, written instruction or template instruction provided by the clients, SpeakWrite typists do not do the following:
Replace or correct formatting
If a client indicates that all dates should be typed in a certain format, regardless of how they are dictated, or that certain words or phrases should be replaced with acronyms or initials, regardless of how they are dictated, or if any other global formatting changes are requested or instructed, this action is outside our scope of service. All dictation will be typed as it is dictated.
Music lyric transcription
We do not transcribe music lyrics. If a typist receives a job containing music lyrics for transcription, they will reject the job. This applies only to actual 'songs', with music included.
In the event that there may be conflicting instructions or directions from a client in regard to how a certain job is to be handled, or confusion as to how a certain word processing issue is to be resolved, the SpeakWrite typists use the following priorities when completing a document:
A. First, they will only do work that is within the SpeakWrite Scope of Service. (See above)
B. Next, in the event of conflicting or unclear instructions, the Typist will:
(1) Follow any verbal instructions from the client provided in that particular dictation.
(2) If there are no verbal instructions on the issue, they will follow the client's standing written instructions or preferences for their jobs.
(3) If there is neither of the above on the issue, the typist will follow any client template format that has been referenced.
(4) If none of (1), (2) or (3) is applicable, the typist will follow the standard SpeakWrite formatting and policies set forth here.
If none of the above cover the issue, the typists will use their individual discretion and experience in making the determination.
Client Instructions to Staff
When a client dictates instructions to his or her internal staff, or engages in discussions with another person that clearly are not part of the dictation, these will be transcribed and placed in brackets and in bold.
If the client gives instructions to the SpeakWrite typist, clearly identifiable as such, the typist will follow the instructions given, but not type any part of them.
SpeakWrite typists are instructed to refer to a client's Word List for obscure spellings or unknown words. However, they are processing many jobs in a single day, so to ensure that the typists check the spelling of any peculiar word against your Word List, you should verbally indicate that a particular word is "in my Word List" or something similar, so that they will know to check there for the proper spelling.
In order to ensure that your desired Custom Filename is used on any job you must use the phrase 'Custom Filename' when designating it. This helps prevent the typist from misinterpreting the name as just part of the material to be transcribed.
If multiple Custom Filenames are given by a client in a single job, all will be included as the Custom Filename.
To avoid problems with job submission and to ensure that a Custom Filename is not omitted when the job is submitted:
- Do not dictate any file type descriptor such as .doc or .wpd
- Do not use any of the following punctuation: / \ , : ; & (forward or backward slashes, comma, colon, semi-colon, ampersand)
Jobs with No Fax/No Audio
When a typist receives a job with no fax or no audio they automatically submit the job back to the client with an automated note indicating that there was no work to be transcribed. If you feel that you have received this message in error, contact Customer Support at (800) 828-3889.
Dictation Ends Abruptly
If a typist has a job in which the dictation ends abruptly, the typist may type 'Dictation Ends Here' to indicate that they have transcribed everything they received.
'End of Dictation'
When a client dictates "end of dictation" the typist will submit the job as complete at that point, even if the audio continues. (Often we have customers who leave their recording devices on after they have completed their dictation, so our typists use this verbal instruction as an indication that the job is complete.)
When Dictation Continues
When a typist has a job where the initial audio for the job appears to be complete, but the audio then continues, the typist will continue to type the duration of the audio unless the words 'end of dictation' are dictated. Occasionally, we have customers who leave their recording devices on after they have completed their dictation or a customer will use previously recorded tapes for new jobs, but we do not want to leave your job incomplete, so this is the way in which these occurrences are handled. The transcription of unwanted material can be avoided by being sure to erase prior dictations fully before re-using an old tape recording and ensuring that the dictation device is turned off upon completion of the dictation.
Sending Jobs to Multiple Email Addresses
During the dictation of any job, a client can add one or more additional email addresses for receipt of that completed transcript by verbally requesting such as a part of the dictated material. This will apply only to that one job. If you want to change your account Preferences to have all future jobs sent to multiple addresses, you can contact Customer Support at (800) 828-3889, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, when an additional email address for a particular job is indicated, please be very careful to state the additional email address slowly and carefully, and repeat it if possible. Unlike the email address registered with your account, the typist must understand this added address perfectly for the additional delivery to be made.
Typists are instructed to use Templates only when a client specifically requests a 'Template' by name.
For example, if during dictation you intend for a typist to use your 'Letterhead Template,' you must request your "Letterhead Template" during dictation. If you simply request your letterhead, the typist may not include the Template since the word 'Template' was not used. If you have more than one template of a certain type, please request the exact Template required, by name.
In order for a Template to be used in a job, it must be requested at the beginning of the dictation. If a Template is requested in the middle or at the end of a dictation, the Template will not be used.
Multiple Documents in One Job
If a client has a series of letters or other documents that they would like to dictate in one call, they may simply keep dictating and indicate "next document" after each. By doing this, the typist will continue to type each of the documents in one MS Word file, which the client may then cut and paste into different files upon receipt.
If the client would like for the documents to be returned as separate jobs, and therefore separate email attachments, they can press the # key on their telephone keypad between each job and follow the instructions there to have jobs separated into different files.
Our typists are instructed to type exactly what is said, even if they believe the grammar or syntax is incorrect. In order to ensure that you get back the product you dictated, we do not correct grammar nor otherwise correct your work in any way.
Misunderstood Words, Names or Language
If a typist is unable to understand a word in a dictated job, or is not familiar with the spelling of it, they will not attempt to guess at the word or the spelling. Instead, the typist will place a series of four asterisks (****) at that point in the transcription. This will indicate to the client that there was a word or words at this point that were misunderstood, couldn't be heard or that need additional attention. Typists will not attempt to spell names phonetically if they are not verbally spelled or on a client's Word List.
Unless otherwise specified, and specifically requested by the client, our documents will always follow the following layout specifications:
- Left justification
- Single spacing
- One line between paragraphs
- Paragraphs indented with ½ inch tab
- Page layout set to 100%
- One inch margins
- No page numbering
- Date and signature will be started at the 3" mark (They will only be left justified when specified)
- Suite name, room number and floor number will be on the same line as address, separated by a comma
- One line will be placed between City/State/Zip, then 'attention' line
- No 'closing' included, unless instructed
- 'Enclosures' will be typed at the left margin, with each enclosure underneath at the left margin
- 'Do not indent' can be formatted as not indenting paragraph or as no part of the correspondence is indented
- Full block will be treated as left justification set for every element
- "Dear so and so" will be indicated with '_____' (as dictation implies party was not known)
- 12 point font
- Double spacing
- No extra spaces between paragraphs
- Indent paragraphs with ½ inch tab
- Standard formatting of all caps for "COMES NOW" and "WHEREFORE"
Note: Due to the wide differences in formatting requirements of different courts and jurisdictions, it is strongly recommended that pleading templates be used wherever possible. We are currently unable to use numbered pleading paper, so documents requiring this formatting will contain a note to your in house staff '[Place on pleading paper]'.
Unless layout is specified, typist will not attempt to re-create complex format of a text.
In accordance with the SpeakWrite policy of transcribing all work verbatim, the exact words dictated by the client will be transcribed (For instance, the typist will type 'can't' if that is what is said and 'cannot' if that is what is said).
If a client wants to establish a uniform policy of never wanting to use contractions, they can contact Customer Support at (800) 828-3889 and so indicate, one time, and their account will be noted to be handled that way on all future jobs.
Any dictation with more than one person speaking is considered a Group Conversation and billed accordingly.
When there is audio to be transcribed between two people speaking, the typist will identify 'Speaker 1' and 'Speaker 2', if the two voices are distinguishable.
If they are not distinguishable, the typist will use 'Next Speaker'.
If there are more than two people speaking during the audio, the typist will use 'Next Speaker' throughout to distinguish speakers.
Reasons a Job May be Rejected:
- Excessive interference and/or static on the audio
- Audio fading in and out
- Audio volume set too low
- Distorted dictation from speaking too close to the microphone
- Dictating too fast
- Dictating too slow
- Mumbling throughout the dictation
- Excessive profanity or obscenity
- Large number of medical terms
- Fax quality too poor or text size too small
- Action requested is outside Scope of Service
- Too much dead air
- Legal job submitted on General account
- Too much medical terminology
If the typist is unfamiliar with a medical term the typist will first spell it phonetically if possible, or simply replace the word with **** if they are unable to understand the word. If a job contains too much medical terminology, it will be rejected.
"Strike That"/"Check That"
In the event a client dictates something, and then indicates that it should be deleted, the typist will type what was dictated and simply include [Strike that]. Our typists follow this policy, so that your original thoughts and dictation remain intact. If the client wants to edit out these portions upon receipt of their final document, they will have the ability to do so.
In accordance with the SpeakWrite policy of transcribing all work verbatim, typists are instructed to never correct grammar or punctuation in any work dictated.