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In what order are jobs presented to MTs for transcription?

Answer / Solution

Order Jobs Are Presented to Transcriptionists


The InfraWare 360 platform provides a robust set of features to manage the flow of transcription jobs to Transcriptionists. In general, the business logic which controls this process is known as “queuing.” This article describes those features and how they interact with each other to determine which job should go to an Transcriptionist at any particular point in time.  Once you understand each of these features, you will have granular control over automation of your workflow routing.

Note: While the flow of QA jobs is similar, some of the factors are necessarily different so this article only applies to transcription jobs. It is recommended to learn how transcription jobs and then learn the variances for QA.


Most of the complexity of the queuing process comes from optional features which are not active by default. For that reason, we will begin with the most basic behavior as the platform behaves for new customers. Then, we will introduce the optional features and examine their impact on the ordering of jobs.

Basic Queuing

By default, jobs are ordered for production based on the Queuing Method set on the Account screen in the InfraWare Management Console (IMC). In the IMC, click Administration, then click Edit Account. Scroll down to the option labeled: Queue Method to use. There are four choices:

  • FIFO (First in, First out) with STAT Priority:
    • Stats are moved to the top.
    • The oldest non-STAT job (based on date/time of dictation submission) will be next issued to the Transcriptionist, after the oldest STAT job.
  • FIFO (First in, First out):
    • The oldest job (based on date/time of dictation submission) will be next issued to the Transcriptionist.
    • STAT jobs move to the beginning of the line.  When comparing the position of one STAT job to another, FIFO is applied.  An older STAT job will be routed before a more recent STAT job.
  • TAT (Turn-around time) Remaining with STAT Priority:
    • The platform orders jobs based on how much time remains until they are due (based on TAT Settings established for the Document Type of each job) and STAT jobs are given special priority and placed at the top of the queue.
    • One wildcard option does exist at this level.  The STAT designation can be applied by an author submitting a dictation.  When this happens the job is given some special consideration.  In general, STAT jobs are routed to Transcriptionist prior to non-STAT jobs.
  • TAT (Turn-around time) Remaining:

MT Access Rights

The platform allows administrators to specify which jobs a Transcriptionist is allowed to work based on the submitting Author or Work Type. The initial default setting for Transcriptionist Access rights is to “allow access to all jobs”. Once that setting is removed (on the Transcriptionist Settings page in the IMC) the administrator must specify which Authors or Document Types the Transcriptionist in question is allowed to transcribe.

The only way Transcriptionist Access Rights affect the order of job distribution is by removing some jobs from the ordered list of eligible jobs when a particular Transcriptionist’s ITC requests a new job. The order is not technically altered, but some jobs will be skipped over due to lack of access rights.

Job Assignments & Urgency

Most workflow settings are based on rules which apply to future jobs. Conversely, Job Assignments and Urgency settings are applied to specific existing jobs (dictations). These features represent the Administrator’s ability to “take over” for one or more jobs by expressing specific directions which over-rule the existing workflow settings.

Assignments are applied to a job by loading the Job Properties screen in the IMC for one or more jobs and clicking the Assignment link next to Transcription in the Job Assignments area. An Assignment implies Access Rights. In other words, even if an MT does not have rights to a particular job, once an Administrator assigns it to them, they are given the needed rights. A job can be assigned to a particular MT or an MT Pool. Upon assignment, a job can optionally be marked Urgent.

Urgent jobs are worked ahead of non-Urgent jobs. In other words, any job marked as Urgent will get routed to an Transcriptionist prior to any other job (no matter how old). This is similar to Stat but not the same. Stat is driven by the Author. Urgent is a transcription workflow setting. There are significant differences in billing, TAT reporting and more. When there are multiple Urgent jobs in the system, the Administrator can assign an Urgency Order. Details on managing this process are in KB91.


Masks are used to limit (filter) the types of jobs an Transcriptionist is working at a particular time without changing their access rights. Based on the Administrator’s preference, Masks can be managed only by Admins or directly by MTs themselves. When a Mask is active for a particular MT and set for “Dr. Smith”, that Transcriptionist will only receive jobs for Dr. Smith from regular queuing until there are no more.

Note: Masks do not grant any access rights to an Transcriptionist. They also don’t apply to specific Job Assignments. In other words, if the Transcriptionist is assigned a job for Dr. Jones, they will still receive it even if they have an active Mask set to only receive for Dr. Smith. Details on Masks and managing them can be found in KB91.


Putting all these features together, the platform will send jobs to a particular Transcriptionist (who has access rights to them) in the following order:

  • MT Urgent – Any jobs assigned directly and marked Urgent.
  • MT Pool Urgent – Any jobs marked as Urgent assigned to a pool to which the Transcriptionist belongs.
  • Unassigned Urgent - Any jobs which have been flagged as Urgent, are not assigned to a particular Transcriptionist or Pool, and to which the Transcriptionist has access rights.
  • Assigned to MT – Any jobs assigned but not marked urgent. (These will be ordered by the Queue method: FIFO or TAT.)
  • Masks – Any Masks which are currently active. Masking criteria overrides Transcriptionist Access Rights for automatic job routing so a job meeting masking criteria will be routed even if Transcriptionist Access Rights are not expressly assigned.  (Note: This does not mean that jobs can be searched, found or downloaded manually without Transcriptionist Access Rights.)
  • Regular Queuing – Any remaining jobs, filtered by Transcriptionist Access Rights and ordered by account queuing method (FIFO or TAT).

Differences with QA

There are several differences to the above behavior when routing jobs for QA. Most notably, Transcriptionist Access Rights do not apply. Instead, permission to perform QA is based on a combination of QA Requirements and QA Authorizations. A job can have multiple QA Requirements and each can have different associated Authorizations.  QA Authorizations are cumulative.


Please watch a short video that describes the Combined Order for Transcription feature:


Related KBs
How do Transcriptionists Manually Download/Retrieve Jobs in the ITC?
Search and manually download jobs in the ITC
How is Workflow managed in the IMC?
Workflow Management in the IMC
What are Urgent jobs?
Urgent Jobs vs. Stat Jobs
How can I setup masks for MTs to get specific types of jobs?
Setting up masks for transcription queuing
What factors determine how many jobs a transcriptionist can download?
Setting the maximum jobs for an MT to download
How do I setup jobs to go to QA?
QA Workflow Explained
How do I adjust a Transcriptionist's permissions (Access Rights)?
How to Adjust MT Permissions (Access Rights)
Why isn't a transcriptionist receiving jobs when there is room in their Queue?
Identifying jobs that are checked out

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Last Updated
Thursday, March 3, 2016

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