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Blog | Jan 19, 2024

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Automation

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Automation
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Digitizing and Sharing Patient Information Securely

The healthcare industry faces process bottlenecks where they rely on inconsistent, error-prone, paper-based processes for large amounts of data. To combat these slowdowns and get back more time for patient care, healthcare providers are implementing healthcare automation.

Intelligent automation (IA) streamlines healthcare’s manual processes while ensuring patient data stays secure and accurate. IA’s digital workers removes human errors and makes the relevant patient data more easily accessible to the appropriate care providers so they can improve the time to a diagnosis. And it does all this while ensuring healthcare organizations stay compliant and patients’ safety stays a priority.

By automating medical records, healthcare providers can use IA tools to create, manage and distribute medical documents securely. This can include electronic health records (EHRs), clinical decision support systems, and billing and coding documents.

Before we jump into medical record automation, let’s clear up a common question: 

What’s the Difference Between EMR and EHR? 

Electronic medical records (EMRs) capture patient information from one care provider. Meanwhile, electronic health records (EHRs) can be used by multiple healthcare providers and organizations.

What is EHR (electronic health records) processing? 

An EHR is a digital record containing a patient’s medical history and health information, and it can be shared between clinicians, hospitals and care.

By automating EHR processing, you can convert all patient data into a structured, standardized format that can be used between departments. You can also program IA digital workers to flag any missing information or errors in the data to ensure all patient information is correct, consistent and up to date. This frees up a lot of manual tasks from clinical staff and augments clinician’s work, giving them more time to spend focused on the patient and their needs.

What is EMR (electronic medical records) processing?

An EMR is a digital version of a patient chart that stays within one provider’s system. Because of this, there are more barriers to sharing EMRs between healthcare professionals. That’s why smaller healthcare organizations primarily use them. EMRs contain data on a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medication, treatment plans, etc., and having these records consistent and accurate is crucial.

What Are the Use Cases for Automation in EHR Processes? 

Healthcare automation is a critical step in preparing the healthcare industry for the future, even as they face challenges in growing patient numbers, staffing shortages and longer wait times. By automating patient records, you’re going to collate information existing across disparate systems, digitize it and bring it into one centralized system. This will ensure:

  • Patient information is up-to-date, correct, consistent and secure.
  • Clinicians are kept informed with real-time access to patient information.
  • Admin staff doesn’t have as much repetitive data entry slowing them down, which can improve their job satisfaction.
  • There are fewer backlogs caused by paperwork-heavy processes.
  • Patient processing is streamlined considerably, which can open up capacity and reduce the issues caused by staff shortages.
  • Cost savings improve and resources are better allocated.
  • You can improve patient care quality through faster processes and give patients more access to their care provider.

How Can You Automate Medical Records Updates? 

Let’s break down intelligent automation. IA uses robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and business process management (BPM) along with a suite of other digital technologies to connect health systems and automatically update patient information without requiring human intervention. Here’s how some of these IA tools work:

  • RPA automates repetitive administrative tasks like data entry and appointment scheduling, freeing up staff time for higher-value work.
  • Intelligent document processing (IDP) uses natural language processing (NLP), optical character recognition (OCR), AI, etc., to integrate digitized documents such as health records or insurance claims into a centralized system. IDP can be used for patient onboarding, medical billing, medical coding and patient record management.
  • NLP can understand and interpret unstructured medical text from patient notes or medical reports and convert it into structured data that healthcare organizations can then analyze and use to update their systems.
  • AI detects data patterns and uses those to find more efficient pathways in patient processes. It can alert staff of patient record errors and even predict potential health risks so patients can receive a follow-up appointment.

What processes in EHR can be automated? 

There are several opportunities within an EHR system where automated processes can transform the accuracy and accessibility of patient records.

IA can do that by:

  • Creating charts based on analyzed data from EHRs, lab results, pharmacy records, etc.
  • Inputting patient data, updating patient records and medical history, transferring files and scheduling appointments and follow-ups.
  • Digitizing medical records with IDP, ensuring all patient data is available in a centralized system and standardized format.
  • Notifying staff of any outliers, errors or missing information in patient records so they can follow up.
  • Improving diagnosis accuracy by analyzing large data sets in patient records quickly and accurately and identifying patterns or anomalies.

How Our Customer Did It

Marie Curie turned to IA to help their staff enter patient data. Now, when they receive a service referral, staff enters the patient’s data and referral ID into an SS&C Blue Prism | Interact® form. SS&C Blue Prism digital workers pick up the information from the Interact form and log into the patient record systems to enter all the pertinent details. Once the work is complete, digital workers send the referral to the nursing team for immediate action. If a new patient information pack is needed, staff can make a note in the Interact form. The information will then be forwarded to a third party, who assembles and mails the packages.

What Automation Can Do for You

When it comes to patient data, care and security are a healthcare provider’s top priorities. Repetitive, paperwork-heavy processes can distract from that, causing errors, reworks, duplicated effort and missed critical information.

With IA, you can digitize medical records and bring them together into a centralized system where only the right people have access, the data is always up-to-date and sensitive information is reliably protected.

Find out how you can get started with automating patient medical records with SS&C Blue Prism.

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