While I've never worked directly for a healthcare organization, I'm proud to say that I've spent the last 13 years working for two great companies who are making great strides to improve these very problems. At Extract, we are working tirelessly to get more data into the EMR discretely and marching towards ridding the EMR of the hide-and-seek for critical clinical data that is buried in scans, faxes, and unstructured blocks of text.
Recently while attending the AHIMA Conference last month in Baltimore I engaged in a number of conversations during the general sessions. As you may have guessed, many of the topics revolved around EMR integrations and data extraction. Being a conference for HIM professional’s, clinical documentation was also a major concern.
A few weeks ago, my colleague started the discussion on signs that you need a more automated way to get valuable information out of a document, 4 Signs You Need an Advanced OCR Solution. People turn to OCR to convert text from a fax, scanned document, or PDF into raw text that can be used more readily. Companies like ours put an intelligent layer over that OCR process and automate the extraction, pre-validation and structuring of that data so that it becomes even more useful more quickly and in a more automated way.
There are so many aspects to hospital information systems. To someone investigating a system solution or diving deeper into the world of hospital systems, a glossary may be helpful. That is why we pulled some research together. There are a lot of healthcare terms that are floating around and while your exact definition of these may differ, here is our interpretation of some of the most common ones...
UW Health is an integrated health system serving 618,000 patients each year in the Upper Midwest and beyond with 1,400 physicians, 16,500 employees, six hospitals, and 80 outpatient sites. UW Health is governed by the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board, UW Health supports patient care, research, educations and community service missions of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. UW Health was voted the best hospital in Wisconsin. UW Health has a large transplant program that has been serving WI for over 40 years.
Meaningful use was developed to ensure compliance to result in improved population health outcomes, increased medical transparency, promote patient care efficiency, empower healthcare staff and patients, provide better clinical outcomes and more robust research data on health organizations. Meaningful use obtains clear objectives that healthcare organizations must meet in order to qualify for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Incentive Programs. To some healthcare professionals, meaningful use stages cause confusion—let’s go over meaningful use stage two.
I attended the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) conference during the week of October 16 and learned about the complexities of copy-and-paste in healthcare. It’s a common problem that Extract’s automated data capture can help with.
The copy-and-paste function (CPF) is extremely prevalent in the EHR in efforts to improve efficiencies, foster prompt communication and increase time spent with patients. At the event, I learn that 7.4% of charts contain CPF information. This isn’t good for the following reasons...
As our workload continues to build and technology continues to advance, it may be time to analyze your current procedures to see if an advanced OCR solution is right for you. Applying such a solution can save valuable work hours, improve turnaround times, increase transcription accuracy and yield an exceptional ROI all while streamlining your workflow. Here are four signs that you should look into an advanced OCR software solution.
Non-interfaced data in healthcare is the “bane” of all clinical and administrative staff. If data is not interfaced, it’s not in the fields of the EMR, not in flow sheets, reports, trend analysis, etc. It causes more work for it to be moved, stored, and made accessible in EMR as scanned documents or otherwise. It makes continuation of care and quality of care much, much harder.
If you've read prior HealthyData blogs such as this one, then you know that we're doing some pretty "classy" things when it comes to handling your incoming documents. This includes putting those documents into the correct section of the EMR chart with nothing more than a quick once-over. This is something we're very excited about and are quite confident that it will change the way document handling is viewed by your organization.
One of the major attractions of having an EMR system is the ability to track and trend patient data. Ideally, with a click of the mouse a clinician should be able to instantly see trending lab results to influence their diagnosis. According to a studyby Mayo Clinic, 60-70 of clinical diagnoses and treatments are based off of lab results. In fact, the importance of having complete and accurate lab results in the EMR was included in step one of the Meaningful Use guidelines, as stated on HealthIT.gov.
Healthcare regulations and processes continue to change. Tools that have been adopted and adapted throughout the evolution of healthcare technology include the EHR (electronic health record) and the EMR (electronic medical record). The EHR and EMR are complementary technologies, providing more benefit together than on their own.
In the medical field, if you are an organization that receives incoming faxes of documents, you could have dozens of different categories. However, if you are part of the organization that manages lab results, the most important documents are those lab results, then everything else. In a world consumed by managing documents, proper classification and routing is critical to controlling these lab results. CAP Today outlined the need for lab documents control in their article, Bedeviled by Documents, Labs Seek Control.
If Google can make a self-driving car why can’t external labs be automatically integrated (driven) into clinical information systems?
Recently while visiting a National Cancer Institute customer that is also a designated Comprehensive Cancer Center we had a brief chuckle regarding cutting edge technology and healthcare. Our customer, a large academic medical center, had asked us to come and talk with other departments about expanding our clinical data extraction software to other departments. They currently use Extract to capture data from lengthy pathology reports and then import the information into their data analytics repository.
Abstraction is the process of reviewing large or small data sets or documents for information that will be needed in the future for decision making. The crux of the problem is having domain knowledge that allows one to accurately and swiftly sift through the important from the unimportant. When completed in accurate fashion, the result of data abstraction is the compression of a large amount of information to its essence without loss of meaning or usefulness. Abstraction is used to manage complexity so that great decisions can be made quickly and with confidence.
I worked at Epic for 12 years and I'm a big fan of what they do to innovate their products to meet the needs of clinicians. However, no matter how good the Epic EMR software is, implementing an infinitely complex piece of software in an infinitely complex industry brings with it many short-comings.
A few that I saw the most during my tenure at Epic were:
Can you benefit from OCR?
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is powerful software that transforms images such as faxes and scanned documents into human readable text. Access to this text is very powerful and can be used for many purposes. The questions below will help you determine whether or not you could benefit from an OCR solution.