Medical data needs to be digitized because it provides an easy and effective method for locating, accessing and retrieving important clinical information. It has become absolutely essential for medical data to be digitized as this allows clinicians and hospital staffs to make informed decisions and improve the quality of care. Most healthcare providers now utilize medical data entry services to digitize bulk clinical data and improve productivity. Alternately, healthcare systems also use reliable data entry software to simplify the data entry process.
A case in point is Scripps Health, a private, non-profit, integrated health system in San Diego, California. They needed a cost effective method to free their 200 internal medicine and family medicine physicians from the daily flood of prescriptions refill requests that forced them to spend less time with the patients. They considered hiring more staff but it was an expensive affair.
The health systemâ€™s prescription refill centre nurse manager along with a project manager started researching software programs that could improve workflow efficiency. They chose a software application created by a start-up company, which could automate and streamline prescription refill workflow. This software app could effortlessly interact with Scripps Healthâ€™s electronic health record software. Once a refill is generated, this application checks the patientâ€™s last qualifying visit and labs. Routine requests that did not need a physician to look into it would be routed automatically to a nurse or pharmacy technician.
- The health system was able to minimize the staff required to handle the refill requests.
- They could improve workflow efficiency and now handles 46,000 prescriptions per month.
- The software application enabled them to identify bottlenecks in their workflow.
- They could reduce the turnaround time for refilling prescriptions to less than 24 hours.
Scripps Health implemented this system in their primary care and OB/GYN clinics, and is planning to introduce it in their specialty clinics as well, which have more complex prescription protocols. Examples pointed out are oncologists and transplant specialists who prescribe numerous drugs in varying doses, according to specific needs of each patient. This complexity could also lead to unnecessary variation in their prescribing patterns, which could result in suboptimal care. It is expected that efficient software systems such as this can help physicians in highly complex fields by bringing more consistency to each of their varying care patterns.
While prescription refill is one example of the diverse data entry requirements in a healthcare setting, there are numerous other data entry needs also. For instance data related to the following has to be accurately entered and maintained.
- Hospital records
- Surgery records
- Tests/lab records
- Patient information
- Account information
- Insurance details
- Clinical and healthcare records
- Charge entry and payment posting
- Handwritten documents
To meet such extensive requirements for timely and accurate data entry, providers are increasingly using HIPAA-compliant outsourced medical data entry services. Data entry professionals can work with a range of medical software such as Medisoft, IDX, NextGen, Hypersoft, Medic, MedicsII and so on. Streamlined data will help to expedite patient care, improve the quality of care, save valuable time, improve the efficiency of managing records, and improve access to the medical records.