The 7 Million Dollar Clinical Data Problem

Your clinical staff must refer to paper, faxed, and/or scanned documents because clinical data found within these documents are not found in the EHR. Your interruptions to the workflow, that was carefully designed into the EHR, costs time, money, and frustration and it may even insert errors into the healthcare decision making process. For more information on how medical errors negatively affect treatment, read Medical Errors are Causing Patient Deaths by David Rasmussen, President and CEO.

When these interruptions occur, the information is keyed into the EHR at that moment in time, or, it is mentally absorbed by your nurses or physicians as best they can in the moment (and sometimes forgotten a moment later). Because these mental notes are not specifically pulled in the EHR, the information cannot be included in data analysis, trending, or some other comparison to data in the EHR because it is not in your EHR. 

Is it possible to calculate the cost of these expensive workflow exceptions? Absolutely.

According to a study conducted by Extract Systems regarding clinical data research, a select group of healthcare organizations were presented with questions about the quantity of staff, their salaries, and approximations about how these interruptions affect their workday. The following assessment has been made:


Lost time could total over seven million dollars in revenue loss and nearly 125,000 hours of wasted time when clinicians are forced to work with paper documents. It’s incredible how quickly that wasted time adds up.

It doesn’t end there because the organization also loses in ways that cannot be immediately quantifiable, such as:

  • Frustrated staff dealing with frequent data-related interruptions and missing information, leading to higher turnover which could also mean interactions with patients are negatively affected.
  • Missing data could also lead to missed appointments as clinicians do not have what they need to consult with the patient.
  • Pressure on staff to enter data manually could lead to inaccurate data entry and mistakes and data on paper means that it is inherently insecure and has potential for HIPAA breach.

If you would like to learn more about streamlining clinical workflows, accelerating the speed of external labs into the EMR and enhancing patient care, check out some more of our blogs or join us for a webinar.

We invite you to our next Monthly Monday Webinar, January 30th at noon CST. Sign in, sit back and relax while we take you through the Extract Systems™ Platform and the solutions it provides. This is the perfect time to address any questions or concerns you may have. Register by following the button below—we hope to see you there!

About the Author: Chantel Soumis

Chantel Soumis represents the Marketing Department at Extract as Marketing Manager. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Extract’s advanced OCR solution by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.