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Case study: Driving cost savings and physician efficiency with improved clinical documentation

Nashville, Tennessee

Snapshot of OneOncology

  • Type of practice: Oncology care network

    Size of practice: 134 care sites with 242 oncology clinicians

  • EHR: OncoEMR® by Flatiron

    Challenge: Improve clinical documentation practices to achieve value-based care

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"3M™ M*Modal Fluency Direct fits our organization so well because it literally gives time back to providers."

— David Stewart, chief information officer at OneOncology

About OneOncology

  • Founded in 2018, OneOncology is a partnership of prominent community oncology practices across the country. As part of its mission to deliver comprehensive cancer care in the communities it serves, the organization decided to align its facilities under one electronic health record (EHR). This strategy was designed to enable OneOncology to strengthen its network, drive economies of scale and deliver clinical intelligence to its physicians. A combination of these factors is critical to improve cancer care.

    When clinicians have the right tools and meaningful insights at hand, they can deliver more informed and targeted care to achieve better clinical outcomes.

    By using common systems across its network, OneOncology clinicians can easily communicate with each other and their patients, while capturing patient data in a standard way. This enables them to more easily drive smarter workflows and collaborate on best practices in caring for patients.

Capturing the complete patient story with ease

  •  Complete and compliant clinical documentation is critical to the health of the patient and the provider organization. Thorough and accurate information is key to improving clinical, financial and operational outcomes.

    “Accurate clinical documentation is also very important to value-based care,” said David Stewart, chief information officer at OneOncology. “Ensuring the patient’s record is complete and correctly documented can have significant impact on value-based care.”

    But capturing the complete patient story in the EHR is not always easy or efficient for clinicians. “Few people went to medical school to sit behind a keyboard,” added Stewart. “We want to lift that cognitive load on doctors and put minutes back in their day.”

    OneOncology is committed to making the lives of their clinicians easier. On average, physicians, in general, spend more than half of their work time¹ doing tasks within the EHR — time they would rather use to deliver one-on-one care.

    The organization’s adoption of OncoEMR, an oncology-specific EHR, was the driving force behind OneOncology’s search for additional technology and physician assistive solutions to help enhance and streamline the documentation process.

    Integrating older methods of documentation such as transcription, along with onboarding a modern EHR, proved to be challenging and costly. OneOncology practices needed solutions that would allow their clinicians to easily document the patient record in the EHR efficiently, effectively and accurately.

    At one practice, OneOncology had a transcription workflow to support clinicians but with the implementation of OncoEMR, the practice wanted to reduce and/or eliminate the cost and delay of transcription.

Creating efficiency with 3M front-end speech recognition

  • OneOncology reviewed competitive products and implemented 3M™ M*Modal Fluency Direct as part of its clinical documentation strategy. This front-end speech recognition solution helps health care organizations and clinicians meet their goals of improved efficiency, EHR adoption and higher quality clinical documentation. Its speech understanding incorporates proprietary speech recognition and artificial intelligence (AI), enabling clinicians to conversationally create, review, edit and sign clinical notes directly in the EHR. Built-in natural language understanding (NLU) technology facilitates contextual understanding of clinical notes, improving documentation accuracy.

    “3M Fluency Direct fits our organization so well because it literally gives time back to providers,” said Stewart. “Workloads are increasing, and any additional time for our clinicians is a critical component in the long-term success of our providers and their organization.”

    3M Fluency Direct seamlessly integrates and interacts with OncoEMR, speech enabling documentation tasks using any device from any location. This gives clinicians the flexibility to document any time and in any way, using speech commands specific to the EHR for easy navigation. It also incorporates oncology-related dictionaries and language models, enabling fast, fluent and accurate real time documentation.

With 3M Fluency Direct OneOncology practices experienced:

  • Icon of a piggy bank

    $1 million dollars
    in transcription cost savings

  • Icon of an arrow pointing up next to a gear

    One clinician experienced a
    30% increase
    in productivity

  •  Icon of a person speaking

    High speech recognition
    adoption rate by clinicians


  • Since implementing 3M Fluency Direct, OneOncology has achieved many positive outcomes, including a reduction in transcription cost and the enhanced ability to capture discrete data quickly and easily using speech understanding technology.

    “The addition of real time speech recognition has enabled OneOncology practices to almost eliminate the cost and delay of transcription, saving them more than $1 million per year,” said Stewart. “At one practice, our physicians used to rely on about 19 in-house transcriptionists before the implementation of 3M Fluency Direct. Additionally, the clinical note is available immediately to other medical stakeholders as well as for coding and billing, helping to improve patient care and the revenue cycle.”

    OneOncology leadership has received encouraging feedback from clinicians since implementing 3M Fluency Direct. Some stated that their note quality improved while others showed interest in expanding use of the solution to nonclinical areas. While a few OneOncology physicians were concerned about losing their traditional transcription services, many came around to be avid 3M Fluency Direct users. Reactions from clinicians have been positive, with some expressing excitement about its speech recognition accuracy, ease-of-use and overall performance, while others have described it as “life-changing".

    OneOncology clinicians have also seen an improvement in performance, efficiency and throughput, giving them the ability to focus more on patients and their families. One oncologist at the practice reported a 30% increase in productivity with the use of 3M Fluency Direct, Stewart noted. This results in creating time to care for patients.

    The organization also credits the proactive approach of 3M adoption services and clinician support in creating a smooth implementation and utilization process for its clinicians.

    “We had 3M associates on standby to help our physicians in case of any hiccups or struggles, and no one needed them,” said Stewart. “No one went back to transcription. The adoption rate out of the gate for 3M Fluency Direct was really high."

    Partnering with 3M has helped OneOncology achieve significant operational and financial outcomes by simplifying and streamlining the clinical documentation process. This improves the physician documentation experience while reducing administrative burden and burnout. Through delivering efficiencies and creating time to care, 3M can continue to support OneOncology’s mission to bring world class cancer care to individuals and communities across the country, while also taking care of their clinicians.


    1. Arndt, Brian G., John W. Beasley, Michelle D. Watkinson, Jonathan L. Temte, Wen-Jan Tuan, Christine A. Sinsky, and Valerie J. Gilchrist. “Tethered to the EHR: Primary Care Physician Workload Assessment Using EHR Event Log Data and Time-Motion Observations.” The Annals of Family Medicine September 2017, 15 (5) 419-426; DOI:

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