November 18, 2004
Dictaphone's ContactPoint Gaining Traction in Public Safety
Adams County Communications Center Invests in ContactPoint Software To Improve Training And Quality Assurance
STRATFORD, Conn. Dictaphone Corporation's Communications Recording Systems (CRS) group, a leading provider of recording systems for 9-1-1 centers and other public safety operations, today announced that it will provide its ContactPoint "Workforce Relationship Management" solution to one of its long-time customers, the Adams County Communication Center (also known as Adcom 911). The Commerce City, CO.-based Adcom 911 Center serves a population of approximately 375,000 citizens in the northeast metropolitan area of Denver, and provides 9-1-1 and emergency radio communications services to 15 agencies including police departments, fire departments and EMS operations.
Adcom 911 and other emergency communications centers around the country recognize the importance of having qualified and properly trained dispatchers on the front lines handling calls. Dictaphone?s ContactPoint solution was designed with this exact purpose in mind. ContactPoint's unique competency model enables 9-1-1 centers to specify and capture the critical skills, knowledge and abilities that dispatchers require for effective call handling, and then systematically apply these benchmarks to their hiring, training and quality assurance (QA) programs. Call-takers and dispatchers are pre-screened based upon core competencies required for the position. Each dispatcher's call handling techniques are routinely assessed after they are hired, and e-learning modules are administered to address any competency gaps identified through the ongoing QA process.
With its recent investment in ContactPoint and upgrade to Dictaphone's Freedom® Enterprise recording platform, Adcom 911 hopes to improve the effectiveness of its training and quality assurance programs, reduce the administrative workload involved in managing these programs, and improve its overall quality of service. Each year, Adcom 911's 59 full and part-time dispatchers handle close to 200,000 9-1-1 calls and provide EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch) services to thousands of 9-1-1 callers. The center relies on training and quality assurance to ensure that dispatchers are handling EMD calls properly, but to date, these initiatives have been paper-based. Dispatchers must complete up to a dozen paper-based continuing education training modules each year to remain EMD-certified. Training and testing is self-administered in paper-based packets and test scores are manually tracked in spreadsheets. Currently, Adcom 911?s QA program is also paper-based with supervisors completing hundreds of written assessment forms each month. Standards vary from supervisor to supervisor and the results are not tracked electronically.
Adcom 911 will use ContactPoint to complete competency-based assessments on-line, deliver targeted training modules and tests directly to dispatchers' desktops, automatically track post-training test scores and assessment results, and produce reports to more easily quantify and isolate problems.
"In the past, we might have suspected that we had some problem areas but we wouldn't have had any way to quantify it," said Alan Campbell, deputy director of Adcom 911. "With ContactPoint we?ll have insight into what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong and we'll be able to push out e-learning modules to our dispatchers to correct any weaknesses right away."
ContactPoint will also make assessments and recordings more readily available to dispatchers through its InfoCenter capability. "With our current paper-based system, the workload prohibits supervisors from reviewing with every dispatcher every call that has been assessed," added Campbell. "With ContactPoint, once the assessment is done, the dispatcher will be able to review it and listen to the call." Campbell also expects that the migration from paper-based processes to an automated system will significantly reduce the workload in managing and administering Adcom 911's training and QA programs.
About Dictaphone Corporation's Communications Recording Systems (CRS) Group
With thousands of installed customers worldwide, Dictaphone Corporation's Communications Recording Systems (CRS?) group is a leading provider of recording systems and Workforce Relationship Management solutions for 9-1-1 centers and other mission-critical operations. Dictaphone's Freedom recording system provides a flexible, all-in-one solution for full-time recording of mission-critical 9-1-1 and radio communications. Freedom accommodates traditional circuit-switched telephony networks, VoIP, conventional and trunked radio, and hybrid environments. Freedom also offers one of the world's most advanced phonetic search engines; a one-of-a-kind feature for authenticating voice recordings; integration with PBXs and ANI/ALI controllers; call archiving to network-attached storage devices; and secure access to recordings from any network-connected PC.
Dictaphone's ContactPoint solution for Workforce Relationship Management optimizes dispatcher performance by helping emergency communications centers hire and retain the best call-takers and dispatchers, assess them fairly and consistently, and empower them with the right training and rewards. The centerpiece of ContactPoint is a competency model that enables the creation of job profiles that outline the skills, knowledge and abilities that call-takers and dispatchers require for effective call handling. Once identified, these competencies can then be systematically applied to the emergency communications center?s hiring, training, and assessment programs using ContactPoint, to increase dispatcher effectiveness and improve customer service. ContactPoint is comprised of three software modules: Recruiter (a hiring management application), Trainer (a learning management system) and Assessor (an assessment tool). All three modules are linked together through the competency model.
The ContactPoint solution was designed to work in combination with Dictaphone's Freedom Enterprise recording system. Freedom Enterprise provides all of the benefits of the Freedom platform with the addition of a centralized SQL call records database for capturing call details, and the ability to capture and store dispatcher desktop screen activity along with voice recordings. For more information, call 1-800-886-4908, or visit www.dictaphone.com.