How OCR Technology Secures Protected Health Information

Posted by Brinna Hanson on October 5th, 2022
Brinna Hanson
Brinna is a marketing professional and graduate of the University of Minnesota. Brinna joined Smart Data Solutions in 2019 to assist the marketing department reach new heights with a focus on the HubSpot inbound process. From her time at Smart Data as well as at previous internships, Brinna has been able to gain knowledge in many different aspects of marketing as a whole.

Millions of paper claims are processed every year by Payers and healthcare organizations. While many institutions have switched to digital claims and processing, paper documents are still an integral part of the industry and will remain so into the future. 

Paper documents provide a unique challenge when integrating workflows. Manual processing or data entry of these documents can be inefficient, inaccurate, and costly. Still, the data contained in paper documents is crucial and needs to make its way into the processing systems.

Using a combination of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and proprietary technology, Smart Data Solutions (SDS) can transfer documents from paper to digital format while protecting sensitive health data for increased efficiency, accuracy, and resource savings.

OCR Technology in Healthcare

Enter OCR, a powerful process that takes handwritten or printed documents and transforms them into digital information. OCR technology bridges the divide between traditional paper processing and modern digital workflows. Using OCR circumvents the need for time-consuming, manual data entry, as it allows healthcare organizations to scan hundreds of documents in a short time, ensuring claims remain on schedule. 

The details captured via OCR technology are analyzed using intelligent automation to sort and place the captured assets into the correct fields in online forms. This technology results in higher accuracy and fewer errors, which ultimately results in significant resource savings. 

Protecting Health Information Using OCR Technology

Protecting sensitive or confidential medical information is not only important; it’s the law. One potential drawback to standalone OCR data capture is that documents are transcribed in full and sent to their designated destination without redactions.

SDS’ proprietary SmartZone Snippets technology can be paired with OCR to separate segments of claims documents into individual fields for keying. This ensures only individuals with the correct permissions see protected health information (PHI), and they only see the information they need for their job, increasing the security of private information.

How OCR Technology Secures Protected Health Information 1

SmartZone Snippets technology separates individual pieces of information from a claim and securely presents them to a user who verifies or validates that single piece of information; no one user has access to an entire claim. The system then sends that validated field back to the original claim so that it can continue being processed.

In addition, the system identifies user strengths and provides similar claims to individuals who excel at specific types of keying for faster processing, all while only presenting the information each specific user needs to see. The result is more efficiency and accuracy across claims data.

Top-Tier Security with SmartZone Snippets

Individual users of the SmartZone Snippets systems are only permitted to log in for data entry from their facilities; they cannot access PHI from unsecured machines or machines outside of facility control. They only see screen scrapes of single claim fields, rather than entire documents, and only their keystrokes are logged within our system. When users see screen scrapes, our machines prevent them from saving that data in any way. Disaggregating PHI and preventing data from leaving our secure facilities ensures personal data is better protected.

How OCR Technology Secures Protected Health Information 2

Data is also protected system-wide in SDS’ secure facilities that use controlled machines. Both claim data and SmartZone Snippets systems remain in our on-shore Tier IV facilities throughout processing. Domestic access to our data entry equipment allows us better control of security. Our facilities and processes meet HIPAA compliance and are both HITRUST and SOC 2 certified, ensuring the highest levels of data security. In addition, all functionality takes place through our secure client on machines with restricted access that prevents any other connection or external media. 

Improve Your Workflows and Protect Your Data with OCR Technology

Smart Data Solutions has an unmatched understanding of how OCR technology can change your workflow for the better, and we can utilize our proprietary SmartZone Snippets for even more advanced workflow optimization. We can help you achieve the benefits of integrating intelligent automation into your business, including fewer manual processes and more consistent performance and accuracy. 

To set up a conversation with one of our in-house technologists and see how OCR technology in healthcare can benefit you, contact us here.

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