Efficient medical data entry is a vital asset for healthcare providers. Information regarding health should be properly managed so that it can be integrated into the treatment and care that is provided by physicians and other healthcare professionals. Hospitals and healthcare units have huge volumes of data and with accurate data you can provide better care. Medical data can be digitized with the help of medical data entry services.
Every day, huge volumes of data is generated in the healthcare industry and any minor error in data can harm the health of the patient, cause financial loss and also damage the reputation of the healthcare. Medical errors are the third common cause for death in the USA. Some of the most common errors in medical data entry are
- Medical Errors: When healthcare providers are overworked, they become fatigued and stressed and tend to input wrong data. Medical test results and reports can contain many data points, and doctors make real-time clinical decisions based on these numbers. Doctors and emergency staff need accurate results to be able to correctly diagnose and treat patients and wrong data leads to wrong healthcare decisions.
- Missed Results: Forgetting or skipping to record medical data and test results in the EHR system can slow down the process and pose an issue at the time of audits and compliance.
- Incorrect Reporting: Healthcare organizations base their decision on accurate data and inaccurate data leads to poor decisions that can threaten patient safety and cause you to miss opportunities to improve care.
- Poor Productivity and High Administrative Cost: Healthcare employees have physical limitations when it comes to processing data. Performing mundane tasks like recording test results and submitting insurance claims takes time away from activities that could be otherwise dedicated to improve patient care and drive the organization forward.
Before going on to discuss how data entry errors can be minimized, let us look at the challenges that exist in the way of ensuring real data-driven care.
Challenges in the Way of Achieving Real Data-driven Care
- Incorrect Structured and Unstructured Data
The healthcare sector has huge volumes of data to handle – from labs, small clinics, physicians, hospitals, public hospitals and so on. The data can be structured or unstructured i.e., in the form of tables or text. Structured data are viewed in tables which are easy to understand whereas unstructured data can be lengthy and hard to use for data analytics. It is estimated that each year there are about 2 billion new medical notes created. These data should be interoperable and also analyzed when needed. This data could be error prone. With the implementation of ICD- 10 codes, the rate of error has increased from 20 to 50 percent. The volume of unstructured data is growing rapidly due to very little interoperable technology and tools and the amount of data loss is also increasing.
- Poor Awareness of the Right Data
Right data can add value to patient’s lives and also for those who provide care to the patients. Data should be meaningful and help physicians manage acute and chronic conditions of the patients. Physicians know what makes data meaningful which is hidden in the imperfect unstructured data which is visible through electronic medical records. For physicians, right data is necessary to provide quality care to the patient.
- Legacy System and its Effects
Patient data is not freely available to patients, data is released only for a fee. But in a data-driven world, accurate data should be open and user-friendly. With the right technology, processing and refinement of data becomes easier and also you can avoid 5 million medical notes daily.
Tips to Reduce Medical Data Entry
- Automated Data Entry: Today, physicians have access to advanced tools and software that can automatically send information from physiological monitors to a patient’s chart. This helps to eliminate errors when entering data about blood pressure, temperature pulse and other data. Automating these data saves time and helps eliminate errors.
- Make Evidence-based Order Sets: Order set is a collection of pre-formed orders used to manage a disease state or a specific procedure. So, you can set up order sets in advance for common medications, diagnostics tests, procedures or conditions.
- Adopt Smart Dictation Facility: Some clinics use the latest voice recognition software to minimize error in data entry. You can use the correct dictation solutions to speed up the data entry process, improve turnaround time and reduce errors.
- Use Templates: EHR software provides some level of customization with specialized templates suitable for the practice. EHR templates help to store all important data.
- Assign Patient Portals: Set up patient portals and enter some of the data. If patients can access a portal, they can provide their own accurate data and the medical team only has to confirm the information’s accuracy. Ensure that you are using all the right tools available to reduce data entry time and confirm the accuracy of patient data.
With reliable and professional data entry services, healthcare units can ensure accurate data entry and thereby improve workflow and provide better care. They can handle huge volumes of data while helping healthcare professionals to be relaxed and devote their time to providing quality care to the patients.