In the last few decades, the healthcare industry has continually improved automation, reducing manual processes, and increasing accuracy. Moving away from paper records and converting them to electronic is changing the way patients receive care, how insurance claims are processed, and how quickly providers and physicians can process forms and claims in general. Major errors that occur with manual processes can severely affect patient care, timelines for diagnosis, and may lead to incorrect billing.
Benefits of Using Data Capture to Convert Paper to Electronic Records
There is a multitude of benefits to using data capture for converting paper or manual processes into electronic, automated processes. First and foremost, paper records take up a lot of physical space. Many records have never made their way to digital format, and some never will. Many hospitals have storage facilities with floor to ceiling records in boxes that, aside from some alphabetical and numerical organization, are not simple to retrieve. For both spatial and convenience reasons, converting those paper forms and records to digital saves a lot of time and space.
Using data capture can vastly increase turnaround time for lab results, claims processing, receiving a diagnosis, transferring records, and more. Claims can often be processed in as little as 24 hours if all steps in the process were to utilize electronic data capture and auto-adjudication. Another great benefit is being able to keep multiple copies of records at separate locations providing redundancy and disaster recovery. This can help in complicated diagnoses by maintaining a constant running record of past and related services for comparison. It also ensures no data is lost in outages or system transfers.
Why Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Are So Important
Applying artificial intelligence (AI) to a program or system helps the program or machine “learn” and improve on processes on its own without having to be updated or specially programmed. Repetition of processes, along with templatization, can be picked up by the system and automatically take the appropriate actions based on the repetitive nature of the system.
Machine learning can practically eliminate labor costs by decreasing the need for manual keyers and processes. In line with that, it can eliminate costly turnarounds because updating the software can be far more cost-effective than training and maintaining a new hire. Not only that, but AI can pull more information, much faster, and with more accuracy than ever before. Machine learning can discover process inefficiencies, which can then be fixed and optimized. These advancements can also be programmed to integrate with your existing business systems and processes.
What Processes Are Still Manual, and Will Likely Stay That Way?
Many proprietary forms remain manual due to low volume and because they often change from one year to the next. It is just not cost-effective, or time-effective to develop optical character recognition software for such processes that change frequently and are too niche to be templatized.
While electronic medical records make it easy to keep track of all client visits, services, and records within an organization, many of those systems between companies do not speak to each other. For example, medical record transfers for referrals and second opinions must still be requested and gathered by the patient themselves, and often hand-carried to the second opinion appointments, to ensure they get there. However, the more and more forms and records that go through data capture, the easier it can be to locate, transfer, or print those files for use.
Smart Data Solutions Continues to Develop Ways to Improve How Medical Data is Gathered and Utilized.
Our mission at SDS is to lead the industry in healthcare workflow automation, and we are doing that step by step. With services like data capture, machine learning, optical character recognition, and clearinghouse, we can increase how fast and how accurately claims and other forms are processed between providers and payers. We want to help you find the absolute best solution to fit your business needs. Send us a message; we look forward to it.