Did you know that 86% of mistakes made in the healthcare industry are administrative? Imagine what kind of results a simple clerical error can have. Maybe a patient is billed incorrectly. Or, worse yet, maybe he or she receives the wrong medication or another incorrect treatment. What if a patient record is misfiled and lost? These errors can present serious issues!
Today we’re going to take a look at 6 ways that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools can help protect your practice – and your patients – from the risks associated with administrative errors.
Automated Data Entry
Whether they’re dealing with new patient forms or medical claims, your team is responsible for some form of data entry. This is one place where mistakes can be made. But if you let OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology take care of reading and entering data for you, you can eliminate costly human errors, while also saving your team a ton of time.
This is how it works: Documents come into your system and are read automatically by your OCR software, which is looking for specific details contained within designated zones within each of the forms. Once the data is identified and read, it is entered into the system automatically, filing your documents away, and allowing you to find them at a later time by searching for that very data.
Entering data once is quite enough. But when you have to enter it into multiple systems, not only is it a pain in the neck, but you open up the door to making more administrative errors. Fortunately, RPA tools can save you from that effort, along with the risk of keying data incorrectly. With data sync, you can push information to or pull information from your other systems and databases, making sure that all of the info in your various systems is accurate and up-to-date.
Whether it’s intake forms or medical claim forms, if your practice is still using paper-based forms for anything, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to avoidable administrative errors. Anytime you can cut out a step and sync your data automatically, your accuracy becomes greater. If new patients can fill out forms electronically and submit them directly to your system, you’re cutting out the step of your team having to manually enter (and possibly mis-keying) their personal information into your system.
Web forms can be accessed from within your Document Management system, or they can be hosted online, whichever is more convenient for you. They can also be used as Contact Us forms on your website, or adapted to whatever other application makes sense for your business. They can kick off internal, automated processes, and help your organization run more smoothly in general.
Whether your files are paper or digital, how can you be sure that all of the documents that you need are present? Is your office staff responsible for reviewing each file for completion? If so, you may be leaving yourself vulnerable to human error. In the case of an audit, how will you produce everything required, and are you confident that nothing will be missing?
When you automate new patient intake with Workflow Automation, you can ensure that every required document has been received and filed away. If anything is missing – for example, a patient’s signoff that he or she has received a Notice of Privacy Practices – the system will realize the document is missing, and it will notify the responsible party of the incomplete file. This can be applied to any and all required documents, leaving your practice’s files complete and audit-ready. As Florida-Based HME reflects, with DocuPhase’s Document Management system, “Nothing falls through the cracks.”
What happens when a document is misfiled in the wrong patient’s medical file? Or, worse yet, when an entire folder is misfiled? When your documents are digital, your “folders” are always right where you left them, since they are never physically moved when someone needs to review them. Further, imagine how much easier it will be to search your files when they’re organized by name, attending physician, date, document type, status, and whatever other indexes you designate.
No more toting around paper files. With web-based document management, your staff will be able to bring laptops or tablets into patient rooms, trusting that patient files are current and complete. Your medical professionals will have each patient’s complete chart at their fingertips, giving a holistic view of family medical history, current and past prescriptions and procedures, and any other relevant medical data. This thorough view of each patient will help reduce careless mistakes and more serious errors.