The greatest determinant in the turnaround time of any transcription task depends on the recording situation and the quality of the audio or video. It will obviously take far less time to transcribe a physician’s dictation than it will take to transcribe an interview recorded in a restaurant.
As a general rule, it takes approximately four to six hours to transcribe one hour of recording. The four-hour turnaround time applies more to dictation transcription and the six-hour turnaround time is more relevant to the transcription of interview.
My aim is to complete the transcription of dictation within 12 to 48 hours and is dependent on the quantity of dictation received. Generally speaking, it takes approximately one hour to transcribe 15 minutes of dictation.
It is important to bear in mind that the better the audio quality, the quicker the turnaround time. Factors that will speed up the transcription of dictation are listed on the Recording Dictation Tips page to assist clients in producing an optimised dictation recording. It is not always possible to find the ideal environment in which to dictate medical reports as doctors work under extreme pressure and finding the time for dictation is usually the overriding factor with less attention paid to the recording environment. This is perfectly understandable and I am accustomed to receiving reports dictated in all environments and merely work with the audio that I receive.
I will require approximately six hours to transcribe one hour of recorded interview audio. Certain factors can slow the pace of transcription and these are usually attributable to a recording device that is perhaps not the best choice for the job or that the interview was recorded in a noisy environment. Often the decision as to the choice of venue where the interview will take place is left up to the interviewee and if this venue is a noisy restaurant or a busy home, the researcher has to do the best they can in the situation presented to them.
In instances where the quality of audio does not allow for quick and fluid transcription, the turnaround time will increase accordingly. This increase may in some circumstances be so significant that the charge rate will need to be adjusted to compensate for the increased turnaround time. The client will be advised should this situation arise and asked to make a decision about whether or not transcription should continue at the increased rate.
Several tips for recording interviews are provided on the Recording Interviews Tips page.
It does happen – but only on rare occasions – that I receive files where the quality of the audio precludes the production of a coherent transcript. Unfortunately, in such instances the client is advised that the file is not viable for transcription by Etranscript.