More companies than ever are hiring transcription companies to convert their audio records into a written format. Medical practices, legal practices, court systems, law enforcement agencies, colleges and universities, podcasters, publishers, and many others desire quality transcriptions at a fair price.
Accuracy, timeliness, and confidentially are a few of the essential ingredients to successfully transcribing audio files. Some clients require only basic transcription services for internal records. However, in many situations, clients need a verbatim transcript (captures every word and sound from each speaker) with a minimum 99 percent accuracy rate and meet U.S. medical (HIPAA and HITECH) and legal standards security standards.
In today’s competitive business environment, the cost is undoubtedly a factor. Consider this though; if the low price you pay on the front-end results in a lackluster transcript, then you’ve wasted time and money.
One of the primary issues with transcription companies is how they charge for services, the transcriptionist’s quality, and the accuracy rate. We’ll take a look at three leading companies and compare their pricing and service levels; Rev vs Transcribeme vs Ditto Transcripts.
Company Information: Rev vs Transcribeme vs Ditto Transcripts
Ditto Transcripts (formerly Transcription Outsourcing, LLC)
Like most transcription companies, they work with a wide range of clients and transcribe practically every audio file type. Ditto Transcripts’ forte is legal transcription, law enforcement transcription, medical transcription, and general business transcription projects.
We are HIPAA compliant (required for medical transcripts) and can certify our work for legal clients. Ditto Transcripts only hires U.S. employees, most of whom have college degrees. Why is this important? Because their transcriptionists specialize in their respective niche, such as legal or medical transcription work. All employees must pass very difficult tests, including grammar, spelling, punctuation, and a criminal background check.
Rev is one of the largest transcription companies in the world. Their website states they use over 50,000 plus freelancers worldwide to transcribe files. However, many of their freelancers permanently reside outside of the U.S. According to a company representative, they cannot adhere to HIPAA or CJIS requirements, nor can they certify legal transcripts.
They highlight the use of artificial intelligence, touting quick turnaround times and low rates. To meet rush delivery obligations, they often use multiple transcriptionists for the same audio file. The problem there is consistency. Different transcriptionists may interpret an audio file differently and even punctuate it differently.
The company claims to be based in San Francisco, California as they advertise a post office box for their address. TranscribeMe also uses artificial intelligence to transcribe most of their audio files and predominantly uses non-U.S.-based transcribers to edit their AI produced transcripts. The company was founded in 2011 by Yuri Pikover, a startup entrepreneur. According to their website, TranscribeMe claims fast delivery, unrivaled accuracy, and affordability.
What To Evaluate When Choosing a Transcription Service
When you hire a transcription service, you’ll likely consider price, quality, and service levels. However, there’s always a difference between a quoted price and your final costs.
Before you settle on a transcription service, it’s best to call and speak with someone at the company. Some of the questions you may consider asking are:
- Is your company based in the U.S.?
- Do your transcription freelancers undergo criminal background checks?
- Do your transcriptionists reside in the U.S.?
- Do you offer a free trial and a satisfaction guarantee?
- Do you use artificial intelligence programs or human transcriptionists?
- Will you guarantee your accuracy rates?
- Are you HIPAA and or CJIS compliant?
Pricing comparison: Rev vs Transcribeme vs Ditto Transcripts
Comparing pricing from different transcription companies can be confusing. For example, some transcription projects are priced by the audio minute, while others, like medical, are often priced by the line. Sixty-five characters per line are the industry standard in medical transcription.
In our attempt to provide an “apples-to-apples” comparison, we’ve posted our rates online on a per audio minute basis.
Several factors impact transcription service rates. We recommend that you speak with the company to understand how they calculate rates and when payment is due. Most companies prefer immediate payment for small projects. If you or your company require ongoing services, reputable transcription companies will establish a billing arrangement if you meet minimum credit standards.
At Ditto Transcripts, we’ve found that hiring transcriptionists with previous experience is best for our clients. Sure, many other companies are willing to employ a beginning transcriptionist. For some projects, that’s okay.
Yet the truth remains; the work you receive should be of the highest quality, error-free, and at a fair rate. We consider that to be a significant value, and that’s why we pay our transcriptionists well.
Other needs such as speaker ID, verbatim transcription, timestamps, and other factors should be discussed and understood before you submit your order.
Features: Rev vs Transcribeme vs Ditto Transcripts
Use of Artificial Intelligence software
Many transcription companies like Rev and Transcribeme now mainly rely on AI programs to translate audio files. Sometimes they’re then edited by human editors to clean up the mistakes. Many times you must ask for human transcription. Speech-to-text is accomplished through automatic speech recognition (ASR), using AI technology that high volume transcription companies use. Human-computer programmers develop the algorithms that the ASRs use.
One glaring issue is the difficulty programming every situation a human transcriptionist might encounter when listening and transcribing real-life audio.
AI transcription works best if there is only one speaker in a noise free environment and the audio file is short. However, most transcription requirements aren’t so simple. When police detectives question a suspect, there are usually multiple people in the room. Plus, the microphone may not capture every sound in a precise manner.
Why CJIS Compliance Is Important For Law Enforcement & Legal Transcripts
Sensitive information gathered by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies is protected under United States law by the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS). Documents under their jurisdiction may include fingerprints, criminal background checks, or any other sensitive information like undercover surveillance videos.
When companies or organizations are CJIS compliant, they must agree to several requirements a few which are:
- A written agreement stating you will comply with CJIS standards
- All employees, contractors and subcontractors must submit to a security screening, including national fingerprint based record checks
- Security training for employees handling CJIS data
- Incidence response guidelines if CJIS data is ever breached
- Auditing & Accountability measures in place
- Control all access to CJIS information
When transcribing legal matters such as court proceedings and depositions, the transcription company must be willing and able to certify their work. What does certification mean in the transcription industry? When a company certifies its legal transcriptions, it will testify in court regarding its transcription services, the same as a court reporter.
Why HIPAA Compliance Is Important When Transcribing Medical Information
Similar to the requirements to protect t confidential legal data, protecting medical records is equally essential. Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to regulate and safeguard patients’ medical information. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), within the Department of Human Services, is responsible for enforcing the privacy laws outlined in the bill.
HIPAA requires companies and organizations to include:
- Implement a policy to control the access of information
- Maintain activity and compliance logs
- Implement a policy for workstation privacy
- Restrict third party access, including freelancers and subcontractors
- Train staff on any Omnibus Rule amendments & changes
Conclusion Rev vs Transcribeme
Our pricing is very affordable for simple projects and certainly for more complex transcription work. When you compare our price and the quality of our work, you’ll find true value. That’s a firm commitment I make to all of our clients. Let us show you our value and service the next time you need any type of transcription work.
Call us at (720) 287-3710 or visit or fill out our contact form.