Auto-Indexing to Connect Data in Hospitals for Better Patient Care

By Ruchi Medhekar, Senior VP of Strategy and Platform, Vyne Medical
Twitter: @VyneMedical

Improving data capture to form a more complete patient record. Creating true and measurable workflow efficiencies. Filling process gaps to recover lost revenue. All these priorities are essential to operating a successful hospital, and automation offers a solution to address each of these objectives.

At its core, auto-indexing technology provides a straightforward path to transform unstructured patient information into structured, reliable data capable of powering the financial health of care organizations. How? Auto-indexing solutions leverage machine learning and form recognition to read incoming text data, map it to targeted form fields and then incorporate that data into the patient record.

Advanced auto-indexing simplifies workflows, enabling administrators to easily manage high-volume documents such as insurance and registration forms that account for a significant portion of a hospital’s fax volume. The technology provides a way to extract data in a repeatable manner and integrate it into a searchable, centralized database for easy access across the enterprise. That said, how can auto-indexing save time and resources for hospital staff?

Saving time and resources
Without auto-indexing, employees manually open and transcribe information from each incoming document. This requires searching for, interpreting, and hand-keying every bit of relevant data into the patient record. When auto-indexing is added to the process, documents arrive with common data pre-populated into the appropriate fields.

Less time spent manually keying data means improved accuracy, increased speed, and better quality, which translates to fewer downstream errors and corrections. Teams that deploy auto-indexing solutions find that staff who were previously focused on data entry are freed-up to perform other beneficial duties.

Hospitals using auto-indexing functionality report time saved, increased productivity, reduced overtime, and fewer expenses. The technology also helps hospitals improve data integrity, elevate service levels, streamline patient throughput, and enhance financial outcomes.

Workflow benefits
The benefits of auto-indexing functionality extend well beyond those related to the processing of patient and claims data. The data flow from auto-indexing is driving enhanced interdepartmental workflows, streamlining handoffs and improving care coordination between providers. Data integration happens quickly and seamlessly behind the scenes, giving employees access to information when and where they need it.

Employees in departments such as patient access, case management and operations have traditionally dedicated countless hours to the manual processing of patient and payer data including physician orders, registration and admission forms, and a near-infinite repository of faxes and other image-generated data. Auto-indexing empowers those same teams to accomplish more in less time.

Hospitals that are using auto-indexing in scheduling, for example, say it has improved their order processing times by giving them the ability to work patient orders immediately upon arrival and anticipate workloads more accurately. This has translated to fewer abandoned calls, shorter hold times and an increase in proactive outreach to patients for scheduling. Leaders have observed reduced overtime, departmental restructuring, resource redeployment, and reduced backfills of employee vacancies as a result.

There is no doubt that automation features prominently in the future of healthcare. Auto-indexing of form data is an obvious path to transforming documents into structured, reliable data to bolster the financial health of care organizations and ultimately, to empower better patient care.