Case Study - MidWest Heart Specialists

Clinic Switches to Winscribe for Ease-of-Use at Half the Price!

Midwest Heart Specialists (MHS) is a nationally recognized group of 55 cardiovascular physicians, making it one of the largest cardiovascular practices in Illinois.


  • Winscribe Digital Dictation
  • PDA-based Dictation
  • Network Dictation System
  • Non-proprietary Hardware
  • Winscribe Management & Workflow
  • Reporting


  • Integration with Midwest Heart’s EMR system
  • Non-proprietary hardware
  • Ease-of-use
  • Quicker reporting
  • Easy job identification
  • Friendly customer service


  • Improved workflow
  • Increased productivity
  • Easy reporting
  • Happier staff
  • Fast ROI

The Solution


Midwest Heart compared 3 solutions; Dictaphone, Lanier and Winscribe. Following demonstrations by each vendor the practice chose to replace their existing system with Winscribe. Factors in the final decision included ease-of use, cost, non-proprietary hardware and client support. “Winscribe was recommended by a few different IT consultants and I was very impressed by the demonstration,” said Jayne Radek, Director of Operations. “The system worked better than Dictaphone. We liked the idea of not being forced to have proprietary systems and also the ease-of-use and Nelson System’s eagerness to work with us.“ Winscribe was seen to be much easier to use than its competitors’ solutions. “The better price was a major part in the decision, but how Winscribe works so much better and the ease-of-use is the best part,” Jayne added.


The Challenge

An alternative digital dictaction solution

During more than a quarter-century of caring for tens of thousands of patients, Midwest Heart Specialists has pioneered dozens of cardiology “firsts” - technologies and treatments they were first to develop, first to use, or first to adapt to patient care. They have gained a reputation for practicing medicine with excellence.

With over 75 authors, including 56 physicians and 20 nurses, over 300 dictations are transcribed daily. The existing digital dictation system was not integrated with the practice’s EMR system MedInformatix and there was no way to identify jobs. To upgrade the existing system was going to be expensive and in addition to this, the physicians were also using ‘Walkabouts’, the supplier’s own brand of handheld which was going out of production and would have to be replaced. There was also a backlog of 4000 jobs due to staff losses and sicknesses. Taking all these factors into account and also terrible customer service, MHS decided to take the opportunity to look at alternative digital dictation solutions.

The Result

Improved Work Flow

Winscribe has played an integral part in the organization’s strategy to improve workflow. This has been achieved to a great extent by the ability to route jobs to different transcriptionists according to peaks and troughs in workload. “We now have a centralized transcription pool instead of lots of scattered transcriptionists working on jobs independently,” says Colleen Kuhn, Office Manager. ”It is also a lot easier to set up users in this system, especially when trying to divide up pools.” The main benefit though, from her perspective as the Office Manager, is Winscribe’s sophisticated reporting functionality. It is now much easier to measure productivity by being able to easily report how fast the transcriptionists are producing transcriptions. “One of the things I like the best is the reporting. With the previous system it was very hard to measure productivity. It could take 8 hours to generate reports and with Winscribe it is instantaneous,” says Colleen.

Increased productivity

The improved workflow management combined with work sharing has resulted in a big difference in productivity. Previously there was lots of cherry picking associated with which jobs the transcriptionists picked up, but now Colleen is able to take greater control of which are assigned to which transcriptionists. The transcriptionists themselves also have the ability to assign their own work and pick up the oldest jobs waiting in the queue.

There is no need to outsource work anymore. The clinic previously had a 3 month backlog of regular office notes and these are now all transcribed within 4 hours. “We get out about 300 transcriptions a day which is the same amount, but turnaround is faster and less human resource is used.” The introduction of Winscribe integrated with the clinic’s EMR system has also initiated the employment of clerks. The transcriptionists do the typing and then the clerks merge the jobs with the records.

Happier staff

Internal acceptance has been straight forward at Midwest Heart Specialists because of how easy Winscribe is to use. When using their PDA’s, the authors love the fact that the patients’ names are automatically attached to their dictations, as it automates the process for them. “We had one physician who refused to use Dictaphone, but even he now uses Winscribe because it is so easy to use. It makes the transcriptionists’ lives easier too as they don’t have to spend time matching a record up to a name anymore,” says Jayne. The transcriptionists also required little, if any training. “I’m a big believer in Winscribe for the job ID feature. I can copy the patient’s name in to my Word document, which is very nice and a huge timesaver. You can find jobs so much quicker,” says Linda Murphy, Transcriptionist. Jayne enjoys the fact she can work from home or anywhere. “I love it because it’s web-based. Pathetic I know, but I can look at it from home,” she says.

Fast ROI

Ultimately, the Winscribe solution delivered immediate cost savings. The upgrade to Midwest Heart’s existing system to allow integration into their EMR system was going to cost double the price of the Winscribe system. On top of this there would have also been the expense of purchasing proprietary hardware. “The cost of the new Dictaphone system would have been double what we paid for Winscribe so we made an immediate cost saving and we can also now use whatever hardware we want,” says Jayne.

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