The high cost of manual data entry in healthcare – and how to reduce risk

The high cost of manual data entry in healthcare – and how to reduce risk

In healthcare, even the smallest data entry error can have devastating consequences.

Despite the advances in automation technology, providers still fill out an average of 20,000 forms each year.

Inefficiencies like these run rampant across healthcare organizations, leading to hefty administrative costs. In fact, roughly 38 percent of healthcare costs go to administrative overhead.

Manual data entry forces healthcare organizations to spend valuable time and resources on completing simple tasks and rectifying mistakes. But you have the power to avoid or eliminate these errors and inefficiencies with modern automation technology.

Let’s explore the pitfalls of manual data entry in healthcare and tips for reducing risk and improving productivity.

The costs of manual data entry in healthcare

If your healthcare organization relies on manual data entry, these costs are inevitable:

Medical errors: Human data entry errors are common and unavoidable. When employees are fatigued or distracted, they can easily input the wrong numbers or information.

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. When physicians don’t have access to medical records — or worse — operate on faulty information, patient lives are at stake.

Medical test results and reports can contain dozens of 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.

Missed results: Forgetting to record test results in the EHR system slows down a patient’s treatment process and can spell trouble for audits and compliance.

Incorrect reporting: Healthcare organizations that base decisions on inaccurate data could make decisions that threaten patient safety and miss opportunities to improve care.

Low productivity and high administrative costs: Employees have physical limitations when it comes to processing data. Delegating an employee’s time to mundane tasks like recording test results and submitting insurance claims takes time away from activities that improve patient care and drive the organization forward.

Filing physical forms also leads to lost productivity when administrative staff lose track of documents. Healthcare organizations reorder three of every 10 tests because they cannot find the results and are unable to locate patient charts on 30 percent of visits.

Want to learn more about automating your manual data entry processes? Start with a business process improvement assessment.

The benefits of automating healthcare data processes

Automating and integrating your healthcare data systems lets you simplify routine data entry tasks, including:

  • Scheduling medical appointments
  • Medical billing
  • Electronic health records (EHR)
  • Prescribing medications
  • Patient check-in
  • Financial reporting

Immediate benefits of healthcare data entry automation include:

Improved compliance

During an audit, you’ll need to provide patient test results and logs for quality control. Inaccurate or unorganized data can make audits extremely stressful. And failure to meet compliance requirements can lead to heavy fines or suspension.

With modern data automation software, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your data records are accurate, secure and meet all compliance requirements.

Less administrative waste and higher quality care

Inputting, verifying and reporting on data is timely and expensive. Automating data systems eliminates transcription errors and reduces the time involved in recording, entering and checking data entry processes.

By increasing the accuracy of results and data collection efficiency, your staff can dedicate more time to caring for patients. Data automation also enables you to predict staffing needs with greater precision.

Better patient experience

No one enjoys filling out the same paper forms and waiting long periods of time — especially patients in need of medical attention. Having the ability to schedule appointments, fill out forms and access test results online will cut down on long wait times and ease the frustration associated with doctor’s appointments.

How to reduce the risks of manual data entry in healthcare

Healthcare technology is changing fast. Reducing your reliance on manual data entry is paramount for success.

Here are some automation and integration technologies your healthcare business can use to reduce errors and become more profitable today.

Point-of-care tools

Point-of-care technology lets you capture and share data electronically during patient appointments.

You won’t have to manually transcribe information on paper forms and transfer it to electronic systems later. Instead, you can capture patient information on the spot, upload it to the correct system and share it with other caregivers using a tablet or computer.

Patient portals

Patient portals make it easy for patients and healthcare providers to interact. They let staff access nearly everything in an EMR and EHR, including the patient’s history, medications, treatments and conditions.

Patient portals let you retrieve lab results, update patient profiles and share information with insurance providers in a central location.

A patient portal that is compatible with your EMR/EHR system will reduce the need to copy information from one system to another.

Data validation tools

Data validation tools ensure healthcare data is valid, complete and reliable. They allow your organization to verify claim accuracy and identify errors that need to be corrected, leading to lower risk scores and worry-free audits.

EMR/PMR data integration between healthcare systems

Many healthcare organizations are forced to rely on physical data entry because their systems can’t talk to one another.

The staff at MSO Great Lakes was manually copying thousands of pieces of data per month from their EMR system into a Complex Case Management (CCM) web portal. This time-consuming process caused frequent data errors and forced staff to work overtime to meet deadlines.

MSO Great Lakes enlisted the help of MXOtech to create an integration framework that would eliminate the need for laborious data entry. The custom web tool allowed the MSO Great Lakes staff to securely export data from the EMR system and load it into the CCM portal automatically.

Read the full case study here.

Start with a business process improvement (BPI) analysis

You know your healthcare data processes need work. But with so many inefficiencies competing for your attention, where do you begin?

If you want to build a bulletproof strategy for fixing costly data entry processes, start with a business process improvement (BPI) assessment.

During MXOtech’s low-cost BPI assessment, a consultant comes onsite to analyze your current processes, systems and resources and uncover gaps and inefficiencies. They present a detailed roadmap with recommended technology solutions that will extract higher ROI of time, workflow and resources for your business.

For more than 10 years, MXOtech has been working with healthcare companies to improve efficiency and compliance and connect critical systems with user-friendly technology solutions.

Ready to cut costs and simplify your healthcare processes? Contact us today to schedule a free review with a BPI specialist.

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