Records automation is increasingly prevalent, where healthcare executives and service managers look for better ways to approach database management and information sharing. Against a backdrop of quickly-evolving regulatory standards, in which hospitals, clinics, and providers are switching to EHR data extraction tools and an electronic medical records system, automating updates can make administration faster and more accurate and optimize workflows.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what ‘medical records automation’ means, the benefits it offers, and how automation slots into EHR systems to make data collection, storage, and reporting more effective.
The Basics of Medical Records Automation
Automation is a well-known concept. In healthcare, this technology can produce detailed reports, aid with clinical decision-making, and offer HCC coding suggestions to improve documentation of the patient’s medical condition and risk. Transitioning to EHRs combined with built-in automation processes can eliminate the potential for human error and provide on-demand access to precise reports.
Data exposed to mistakes or duplications may be inefficiently organized or require extensive manual intervention. This scenario makes it difficult for doctors and practitioners to provide the best possible patient care and results in inaccurate billing and decreased margins as primary business cases for automation.
Tech solutions with automation capacity can take over varied tasks and functions such as predicting developing health conditions, generating billing payment reports, or scheduling follow-up appointments based on pre-set programming.
Advantages of Automation in Medical Records Management
The innovations in automation software and tools have progressed exponentially in recent years, with compelling benefits for medical practices and providers across the healthcare sector. Scaling back administration tasks and workloads can immediately reduce outgoings, with automation managing regular manual tasks with ease. Producing reports quickly or expediting systems used in areas such as triage can help health services respond faster and with a more targeted, data-driven approach.
Of course, human error is an unavoidable byproduct of any manual output–switching to automation means tasks are completed consistently, according to standardized rules and parameters, and with flawless accuracy. Other benefits include:
- Better accessibility to patient reports, care plans, and medical histories, with automated updates ensuring that every medical professional who interacts with a patient has the latest information available
- Freeing up the time of skilled clinicians, nurses, and practitioners by delegating monotonous and low-skill responsibilities to automation software
- Incorporating data across systems and networks, using interoperability to create detailed and comprehensive patient records and medical notes for better-informed care delivery
Tangible outcomes depend on the types of automation used and in which functions or processes, but in every case, the core benefits are speed, cost reductions, greater accuracy, and efficiency.
Ways to Introduce Medical Records Automation
Automation software can manage almost any task that follows a series of instructions or rules. Registration processes fall into this category, when an automation tool can deal with logging the details of a new patient, retrieving their medical data from other networks, and combining this information in logical and understandable reports, graphs, and visualizations.
The software can be tasked with intelligent document processing, which involves collating data from different documents used in insurance claims or extracting specific metrics and data from alternative sources to update health records. Other reporting automation can include tracking provider payments, patient service delivery, and payer processing, providing real-time reports when claims or billing processes need to be followed up.
Uses for AI in Medical Records Automation
AI and machine learning have several applications in healthcare, using automatically updating algorithms to provide insights into the accuracy of medical records, spotting inconsistencies in standard patterns or formatting, and highlighting indicators that may require medical intervention. For example, AI might be used to raise an alert if new data is added into a patient’s medical record that it suspects may be inaccurate or incorrectly categorized; it might also report patterns and trends, which can help determine the likelihood of an emerging health risk, allowing practitioners to respond proactively.
Healthcare services can also rely on automation to assist in demonstrating regulatory compliance, when processes are clearly set out and documented with data and records available for inspection on demand. Most automation tasks are carried out using robotic process automation technology, with experts forecasting the implementation of this tech within 50% of all healthcare services throughout the US–with clear benefits and returns on investment available.