The Plague of Paperwork is Over: The New Reality of Healthcare

By Joe Budelli posted 10-06-2010 11:42


Healthcare has clearly lagged behind other industries in the adoption of automated digitizing solutions.  That trend is quickly changing, as electronic health record (EHR) adoption is increasingly becoming a reality thanks to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act has marked the stage for some of the most significant changes to the U.S. healthcare system in generations, and it is rapidly reshaping the implementation of document capture technology.

HITECH is aimed at improving healthcare outcomes, facilitating access to records and to simplifying care. These goals will be met when EHR is used in what the government calls a “meaningful way.” The Meaningful Use Rule consists of 25 measures that health care providers have to comply with in order to be eligible to receive thousands of dollars in stimulus funding.

For example, one of the Meaningful Use items states that 80 percent of a medical office’s records must be held digitally, including X-rays, test results, and medication lists, so that information can be freely sent to patients when they request it.  Healthcare institutions must be able to provide patients with this information so that if they need to see a specialist, their medical history can instantly be sent so that nothing is overlooked.

With the government incentives starting now, there’s no better time to introduce powerful and accurate recognition and data extraction tools. By digitizing and centralizing medical records that can be sent to different providers, EHR will help institutions avoid mistakes and provide better care for patients. Additionally, implementing data capture and OCR technology will allow organizations to streamline documentation, lessen wait times, and reduce costs.

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