Nuance Healthcare Success Story—Orthopedics Northwest improves patient care, boosts efficiency and reduces overhead

Orthopedics Northwest improves patient care, boosts efficiency and reduces overhead.

Company profile

With nine physicians and seven mid-level providers serving 280,000 patients, Orthopedics Northwest, PLLC is central Washington State’s most comprehensive provider of orthopedics and sports medicine.

Recognized by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) for superior performance in Profitability and Cost Management in 2010 and in 2011, Orthopedics Northwest is committed to using technology to improve patient care, boost efficiency, and reduce overhead. The practice installed NextGen EHR, which provides checklists to ensure thorough documentation for billing and ARRA compliance.

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If we had continued to use the EHR without Dragon Medical Practice Edition, we would have had to cut back on a full schedule. Dragon Medical Practice Edition is an absolute necessity with an EHR.

Chuck Stillwaggon
Practice Administrator
Orthopedics Northwest, PLLC


  • Replace inefficient, labor-intensive paper-based process
  • Reduce $150,000 in annual transcription costs
  • Create comprehensive patient documentation


  • Speech-enable NextGen® EHR with Dragon® Medical Practice Edition


  • $75,000 reduction in transcription costs
  • 3% reduction in overhead
  • 11% increase in complex patient (Level 4) in six months
  • Faster turnaround times


As clinicians began to use the EHR, they realized they also needed to document part of each patient visit in their own words, to make the notes more meaningful to other clinicians. The practice decided to adopt Dragon Medical Practice Edition to help clinicians create complete, comprehensive, realtime patient notes within the EHR.

Medical Information Software Technology (M.I.S.T.) Inc. implemented NextGen and Dragon Medical Practice Edition, helping customize EHR templates and documents, and developing speech commands to streamline provider efficiency. M.I.S.T. rolled the solution out to three or four providers at a time, giving early adopters plenty of time with M.I.S.T. trainers. These earlier adopters acted as superusers for the next wave of clinicians.

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