Healthcare data are becoming more numerous and diverse. According to a study, due to Covid-19, telehealth service acceptance increased over the past two years to 38 times their pre-COVID levels, necessitating the need for patients and physicians to have immediate access to vital medical data.
However, even after massive technological advancement, numerous healthcare industry workers still do manual data entry. Based on a recent study, between 26% and 39% of healthcare staff manually enter data. Besides that, 32% to 40% of respondents think that difficulties in finding the data they require at the right time contribute to this. Not only that, but manual data entry operations waste valuable time and increase data entry error risks.
Here’s a look at what this means for healthcare industries — and what steps they can take to reduce total risk.
Data Entry Mistakes In The Healthcare Industry
The loss of time and money due to data entry mistakes is prevalent in all industries. However, for the healthcare industry, the result of such errors could be fatal.
In fact, the most common reason for accidental deaths in the US is medical data entry mistakes. The total number of these fatalities is still low when compared to other mishaps but still a major cause of concern. This undesirable outcome is more likely to happen if erroneous data is used for decision-making by doctors and medical staff. Other issues include data gaps, such as a test result that is improperly entered or uploaded. It could have a severe impact, resulting in treatment concerns and lower productivity.
Healthcare businesses also need to consider how compliance will affect them over time. For example, until processes are per due diligence standards, inaccurately entering patient data or neglecting to input significant results may result in compliance audits, penalties, and potential operational punishments.
10- Step Plan To Reduce Manual Data Entry Mistakes
Here’s A Glimpse:
#1 Resource Enough Medical Personnel
#2 Verify The Data’s Accuracy & Quality
#3 Validate Data Processing Work
#4 Use The Most Recent Technologies
#5 Enable Data Profiling
#6 Systematize Data Entry Processes
#7 Eliminate Redundant Data
#8 Automate The Entire Data Entry Processes
#9 Track Down The Sources Of Inaccuracies
#10 Upgrade Your System
#1 Resource enough medical personnel
Regardless of the industry, companies should always have enough personnel to handle the workload.
No matter how efficient your staff may be, there is still a limit to a single resource’s capability when handling the monotonous data entry process. Thus, to manage the frequent data entry requirements in the healthcare industry, it is imperative to hire enough employees. Furthermore, they should receive sufficient training on the primary areas of data entry mistakes to perform effectively and with few errors. Each department should have a thorough audit and adequate staff members to ensure that the burden is distributed fairly and that business operations go without a hitch.
#2 Verify data accuracy & quality
Consistently verifying medical data accuracy and quality is an effective approach for eliminating mistakes. In addition, access to precise, correct, and complete medical data contributes to the consistency and upkeep standards in business operations. Thus, whenever the organization sources external data from clients, suppliers, or the market, verifying the data’s correctness and integrity criteria is imperative. Utilizing data validation tools will assist in identifying partial information entering the system. The two methods brands across all industries frequently use to verify data are data integration and batch processing.
#3 Validate data processing work
Double-checking every piece of data processing work should be considered a regular operating procedure for reducing medical data input errors. It is an excellent way of dealing with manual medical data entry mistakes. However, data entry tasks are time-consuming and complex; thus, errors might occasionally occur whether the process is automated or done manually. While it might not be practical for enormous data-entering activities, a routine, thorough double-check might identify potential problem areas. The medical firm also benefits from updating or switching technology checkpoints to streamline the data entry process.
#4 Use the most recent technologies
Medical companies frequently extract data using software tools like Intelligent Character Recognition and Optical Character Recognition technology, which lessens the effort for the data entry personnel. As a result, fewer manual errors due by employees are made. Furthermore, other applications (like automatic error reporting) can be used to evaluate the accuracy of the input data into the system following predetermined specifications. All these technologies will ultimately lessen the data entry errors in the system, and if operators are aware of the inaccuracies, they may promptly correct them.
#5 Enable data profiling
Data profiling is a defined procedure for examining and upholding the integrity of the data in the system. By detecting values that do not fit into specified patterns and other necessary factors, the analysis of data profiling aids in identifying the flaws in the supplied data. Typically, data profiling tools recognize potentially inaccurate values and limit them while highlighting the data for inspection. With this, organizations can choose the incorrect data and locate the origins with its assistance.
#6 Systematize data entry processes
Standardizing the data collecting and entry procedure significantly aids in achieving the highest level of medical data accuracy. Keeping a standard approach across the company, the data entry operators will know what to search for, anticipate, and use in any database, lowering data entry mistakes overall. In the long run, it will also assist in safely automating the entire healthcare data entry process to reduce workload and mistake rates.
#7 Eliminate redundant data
Data redundancy is somewhere the main reason for data upload mistakes. It takes a lot of time to enter new medical records into the system. Therefore, limiting the amount of unnecessary data reduces the possibility of data entry errors in medical databases. Data redundancy can be decreased by often revising forms and examining the entire process, including all data and information. By eliminating the redundant data from the medical databases, you will inevitably reduce the possibility of entering any mistakes.
#8 Automate the entire data entry process
Manually entering medical data is not only expensive, but it also takes a lot of time. Additionally, the repetitive work of data entry personnel greatly increases the likelihood of errors and has an adverse effect on business operations. Intelligent Character Recognition and Optical Character Recognition- automating technologies, together with other applications, will assist in automating the entire data upload procedure, hence minimizing the possibility of healthcare data entry risks. Data entry automation is the future of the medical industry, ensuring tasks of the workforce will be spread so that it is error & risk-free.
#9 Track down the sources of inaccuracies
The most uncomplicated strategy to reduce the likelihood of medical data entry mistakes is to identify external and internal sources of data inaccuracy. As a result, a system where data validation occurs at each stage needs to be enabled. Every step should be double-checked and confirmed, from examining the data migration across various databases to updating time-bound modifications. By following this procedure, you can explore the sources for inaccurate data and note any potential inaccuracies that could lead to data input mistakes.
#10 Upgrade your system
Even if your company utilizes high-security systems, there are still chances for data loss. The efficient functioning of the framework and technologies employed in data operations depends on regular system upgrades. Therefore, investing in modernizing and automating technology is imperative, simplifying winning the competition. Furthermore, using various technologies and applications will considerably reduce the work pressure on data entry professionals. Thus, data entry personnel must know how to make tools operational when necessary to boost their functioning.
According to research, manual data entry mistakes account for approximately 30% of data leakage, which can seriously harm a company’s revenue and reputation. However, with the aid of the above-mentioned efficient methods, any medical firm can lower its data entry mistakes while using a 360-degree holistic strategy to identify the causes of errors and mitigate them simultaneously. In addition, do not forget to consider the healthcare data entry professionals’ feedback as they handle the data. Although, the best recommendation is to outsource medical data entry. By opting for healthcare data entry outsourcing, automating the system, and adequately training the data entry professionals based on the business requirements, businesses can lower manual medical data entry mistakes in real-time.