Northeastern Health System boosts performance, efficiency, and job satisfaction

AI-powered solutions alleviate burnout, significantly reduce deficiency rate, and improve documentation quality.


  • Expensive and inefficient transcription
  • High document deficiency rate of over 25%
  • High administrative burdens
  • Need for Health Information Management (HIM) team to be available after hours



  • Successfully reduced document deficiency rate from over 25% to 2%
  • Dramatically improved job satisfaction for HIM staff
  • Allowed HIM to reallocate resources toward more proactive efforts

Northeastern Health System is a regional hospital system that comprises four partner facilities across Oklahoma to offer urgent, specialty, and primary care. The organization takes pride in being the regional healthcare provider of choice and is committed to increasing patient accessibility to quality healthcare in its rural community. Northeastern has 98 licensed beds and handles 5,000 annual admissions each year. With more than 1,000 employees, the organization is one of the region’s largest employers.

“The changeover with Dragon Medical One was pretty simple. There were no disruptions with little training required—just another day with a different icon.”

Cynthia Payne
Director, Health Information Management
Northeastern Health System

Positioning for growth

Northeastern Health System had previously implemented an older clinical documentation solution but was poised to exceed the number of available licenses. Instead of simply adding more licenses, the team used this opportunity to take a more holistic approach to clinical documentation by bundling solutions to address the broader needs of the organization.

As part of this shift, Northeastern decided to redirect funding used for another transcription service provider to invest in Dragon Medical One, a cloud-based speech solution that offers a consistent and personalized clinical documentation experience, and eScription One, a comprehensive, cloud-based transcription platform for clinical documentation that uses speech recognition to increase productivity and reduce costs.

Already a satisfied client using a legacy Nuance solution, the team entrusted Nuance to help the organization better prepare for future growth. The shift to Dragon Medical One was seamless, as clinicians already familiar with the Nuance experience could continue to use their voices to securely capture the patient story and control applications more naturally and efficiently—anywhere, anytime. “The changeover was pretty simple,” said Cynthia Payne, Director, Health Information Management for Northeastern. “There were no disruptions and no training required—just another day with a different icon.”

“Managing our transcription vendor was my biggest challenge,” said Cynthia. “I felt like I had a leash around my neck—it didn’t matter if it was nights or weekends, I had to be available to deal with constant after-hour calls from doctors complaining about something not showing up in their charts.”

Despite these frustrations, the HIM team was not eager to make the switch. “As difficult as the old process was, I wasn’t looking forward to making any changes,” she said. “It had taken us so long to figure out how to manage what we had—the prospect of starting over actually seemed worse.”

Moving forward with renewed optimism

The transition to eScription One was scheduled to coincide with the organization’s deployment of a new EHR. “That was definitely a factor in selecting Nuance,” said Cynthia. “Ensuring that Nuance solutions would integrate with the Cerner EHR was critical.”

The team worked with Nuance to establish the new interfaces and test the new transcription process. “Once we reconciled all the fields, it worked great,” said Payne. “We put a heavy emphasis on testing, including over thirty different work types, to be able to handle over 100 doctors at any given time.”

The careful planning and preparation paid off as the team was pleased with the ‘lack of response’ from the organization’s clinical staff. “While implementing eScription One, we literally issued a flyer, set up their IDs, and sent them on their way,” said Payne. “It was all quite seamless—I’m not sure they even noticed when we changed.” For a regional healthcare system with limited resources, the difference was much more significant. “It was literally life changing,” said Amanda Johnson, HIM Tech Specialist. “Beyond giving us our nights and weekends back, this fundamentally changed our roles and our working relationships with clinicians.”

“Moving to eScription One was literally life changing. Beyond giving us our nights and weekends back, this fundamentally changed our roles and our working relationships with clinicians.”

Amanda Johnson
HIM Tech Specialist
Northeastern Health System

Delivering results

Previously, Northeastern had an entire crew dedicated to fielding complaints, responding to frustrated physicians, and addressing a seemingly endless flow of executive escalations. Since moving to eScription One, the HIM team has reallocated resources to focus on more proactive efforts. “The HIM team’s work queue is no longer backlogged; they’re happier, less stressed, and so much more productive,” said Payne.

The organization has also seen impressive quality benefits with eScription One versus their previous solution. Northeastern had struggled with a documentation deficiency rate of approximately 25%—meaning clinical documentation was still incomplete 30 days after a patient was discharged. “We were constantly chasing blanks,” said Payne. “We had to manually scrutinize and reconcile patient files when information was missing or attributed incorrectly.” Now, the team successfully maintains an average deficiency rate of approximately 2%. “We’re incredibly proud of this,” said Payne. “Quality and patient safety are our highest priorities. This type of improvement is a huge boost to our organization’s credibility with both providers and patients.”

The performance improvements within the HIM team added a level of excellence to an already high-performing department in the hospital.

“I went into this so nervous and none of my fears came to fruition,” said Payne. “Transitioning to new technologies can be so intimidating especially for a small team, but this added nothing to our burdens—quite the opposite. It worked out better than I could have imagined.”

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