4 More Signs You Need an Advanced OCR Solution

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.

So, to continue my colleagues train of thought, here are 4 more signs that you need an advanced /intelligent OCR solution:

1. Your Clinicians Spend Too Much Time
Looking for Data "Stuck" in Documents

If your clinicians are spending too much time looking for data stuck in documents on the media tab, documents tab, orders tab, procedures tab, encounters tab or any other tab for that matter.  Call it a “tab”, call it the “abyss” or call it the “place that documents go to die”.  Data stuck in those documents needs to be searched for, is not presented in the context of other data in the patients chart or flow sheet and does not offer decision support mechanisms that the EHR is meant to offer.

2. Your Quality Measures are Incomplete
Because of Data "Stuck" in Documents

This one is really easy.  To extract and place in an encounter or order in the EHR the service date for an external screening or to extract an A1C lab test result or any other important quality measures is easy with an advanced OCR solution.  Automating this process will ensure your numerators are complete and your reporting is optimized.

3. Nurses Help Get Info From Documents into the EHR

Nurses are one of your most valuable patient-facing asset.  When they are able to focus on your patients, they are the glue that holds together the all facets of quality of care.  When they are forced to spend time reviewing, marking up, and even manually abstracting data into the EHR, they are distracted from what they do best.  Even better would be if the information they needed were in the EHR before they had to go looking for it.

4. The HIM Dept. is Doing ANY Manual Indexing

There are many indexing solutions out there today, but when information needs to be manually abstracted or the ability to automatically attach to an order or encounter is not available via the solution, you risk inconsistently indexing (making it harder for clinicians to find) or long lead times until documents are available to clinicians (forcing them to go looking for them).  Advanced OCR solutions automate the extraction of valuable, deeper indexing data and that enables intelligent routing to the right places in the EHR so that it happens quickly and accurately.


We recently calculated with a customer that they were abstracting 1.4 Million clinical lab results into the EHR with test names, results, reference ranges, units of measure, flags, resulting lab information, and full patient and physician demographic data using the equivalent of 2 HIM FTE annually.  Imagine that, with 2 FTEs, your clinicians get all the lab data they need in the EHR as discrete, trendable data.

Their clinicians are happy and their patients are better off.


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About the Author: Ellen Bzomowski

With 20 years of experience in data capture and voice recognition, Ellen’s experience has focused on achieving higher efficiencies and automation in getting data where it will be most useful to an organization. At Extract Systems, she continues to focus on the same ideas and works to get the word out about how Extract Systems’ advanced data capture and redaction solutions make more data valuable and accessible, while securing anything that is private. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University and lives and works in Boston.