To help you decide which is right for your business, we’re walking you through some of the pros and cons of both a data capture provider and an off the shelf software solution to help you decide which is best for your business. Your data capture solution is critical to the success of your business. There are many factors to be considered and its outcomes affect multiple departments and stakeholders. Factors such as budget, implementation, and functionality may play a pivotal role in this decision making process.
Benefits of Using a Data Capture Software
Data Capture Software is Budget-Friendly
Upfront data capture software is typically less expensive than a provider. Different software may offer plan levels ranging from free or basic to more premium services. There may be transactional costs per document captured, or you may be able to purchase the software outright and not have to pay any monthly or transactional fee.
You Can Maintain All Actions Internally
By integrating data capture software within your existing systems and programs, you can be in complete control. You can manage all updates, tweaks, customizations, and edits in-house. This requires some extra training, but your IT department will then be able to handle issues internally, rather than having to wait for a third-party to step in.
Most data capture software is cloud-based, allowing you to have access to any images, files, and other data right at your fingertips. Users would be able to quickly and easily access data from any location or device. It also allows providers cloud access to share and view data on the go. With cloud capabilities you can transfer medical record requests and other imaging to other locations securely, keeping sensitive health information private and secure within the system.
Downfalls of Using a Data Capture Software
Some of the benefits of utilizing a data capture software can also become disadvantages in the long run.
More Responsibility and Accountability
We stated internal edits and more IT control being a benefit, but part of that also means you are on the hook for fallout resolution and necessary upkeep of the systems. This responsibility may not be something that a business wants to handle. Any tweaks you need to make are the full responsibility of your IT department, which includes potential errors and costly mistakes.
Still Having Manual Entry
A lot of data capture software ends up being all or nothing. If a form cannot be read, the system may kick it out as unreadable, meaning that those forms would have to be processed entirely by manual entry. Depending on the amount of rework needed, this can end up costing you more time than it’s worth.
Required System Updates
In line with having more responsibility, your IT team must do all maintenance and onboarding of the software. Regular updates or upgrades need to be done to ensure compliance and proper maintenance. Without timely updates, systems can slow down or crash, so it’s important to have a dedicated team to ensure these get done.
Benefits of Using a Data Capture Provider
Data capture providers are third-party vendors specializing in capturing and validating data. These companies often have robust solutions that can help you attack issues head-on and improve data capture workflows.
You Get What You Pay For
Though the costs of a data capture provider are generally going to be higher than a software solution, the service provided is also of a much higher quality. DC providers are often subject matter experts on data capture, especially those in the healthcare-focused industries. They know exactly how to capture your specific forms because they already have experienced processing all of those forms for other industry competitors. Additionally, instead of software kick-outs, which result in manual work, capture providers can offer partial fallout processes where up to 99% of the information is captured leaving only a minimal amount of manual rework.
They Handle All Changes, Updates, and Issues
Data capture providers handle updates, form changes, and any other technical work needed. Changes can be dictated to your DC provider rather than having to be enacted within your internal IT department.
They are Industry Experts
Data capture providers have the expertise and knowledge to execute any and all data capture processes. They know which forms go where, common errors or issues that arise and are the best middlemen between the payers and providers you could ask for. They can quickly and easily handle any discrepancies, quality control issues, or disputes in a timely manner. You can trust that they will get your data capture services done right.
Downfalls of Using a Data Capture Provider
Hiring an outsourced provider can also have some downfalls, depending on what your business needs are and what you expect out of a data capture team.
Releasing Sensitive Information
In the healthcare field, patient information must be handled under strict security requirements to ensure privacy. Outsourcing to a data capture provider does introduce potential risk by handing off this sensitive information to another vendor. This risk is why it is essential to choose a provider that is highly rated, credited, and HITRUST certified.
Can’t Gain Their Full Attention
Chances are, the data capture provider you hire is working for multiple clients and companies. They cannot be fully dedicated to your work alone, which can sometimes clash with what a company is looking for culture-wise. If the provider you choose is too overwhelmed by clients it could lead to poor communication, turnaround time, or even quality. So, beware of vendors who seem to be taking on more than they can handle.
Which Should You Choose?
It truly all comes down to what your needs are as a business. As a data capture provider, we at Smart Data Solutions provide a truly one-stop-shop experience. Our experienced team is well-versed in the industry combining technology with diligent policies and procedures to ensure security and accuracy.
To see what Smart Data Solutions offers for OCR and data capture, check out our website or call us at (651) 894-6400 for more information.