Automating data capture safeguards against clinical data errors

Recently there was a new report that got the attention of my colleagues here at Extract Systems. The headline was “Urgent Change Needed to Improve Diagnosis in Health Care or Diagnostic Errors Will Likely Worsen.” According to this report issued by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, most people will experience at least one diagnostic error – or inaccurate or delayed diagnosis – in their lifetime. 

Clearly hearing this kind of news can give you pause. But with the amount of information and clinical data moving through healthcare organizations today, it’s not hard to imagine how errors can occur. If clinical information is not updated and readily available, a complete and thoughtful analysis can be lacking crucial details – potentially impacting patient care.

In working with healthcare organizations across the country, we understand that not all clinical information arrives in the same format. Many healthcare organizations we work with have their labs performed at outside facilities, and process hundreds of thousands of external paper-based labs annually. The manual handling involved in processing these paper-based labs, though, increases the chance of clinical data entry error.

However, our customers are using Extract Systems’ intelligent data extraction software to capture test values from clinical labs into discrete EMR fields while reducing manual data entry. The benefits of automating data entry is that the results are quickly available as structured data in the EMR for provider analysis, data trending and clinical team evaluations. Most importantly, it also ensures the EMR can trigger essential safety measures such as alerting physicians to abnormal or critical results. With the capture of 80% of data automatically, the chance of human error is greatly reduced and overall patient safety is increased.

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About the Author: Joseph Smith

With over 15 years experience working with large hospitals and health systems in both HIS and communication platforms, Joseph Smith helps healthcare organizations streamline data entry to enable fast access to critical information. He blogs on topics relating to advanced data capture, and automating workflows.