According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were approximately 130 million hospital visits in 2021 in the United States. While 43.5% of patients were seen within 15 minutes or less, far too many had to wait much longer to receive care. 

Although specific 2021 wait time data is not yet available, it is doubtful that hospitals did much to improve upon 2020 figures. Based on those numbers, millions of individuals had to wait two hours or more to see a provider. 

The question is, what is causing these abysmal wait times? 

While there may be several potential culprits, the document-intensive nature of the healthcare industry is at least partially to blame. Many hospitals’ document management practices rely on tedious and time-consuming manual processing. This drives up wait times, diminishes the quality of care, and could potentially impact patient outcomes as well.

The good news is that Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) technologies can improve these long wait times for hospitals, care providers and most importantly, patients. IDP technology can rapidly process physical and electronic documents, structure data, conduct analysis and streamline every phase of providing healthcare. 

Mobilizing Data via IDP to Optimize Patient Care: Two Compelling Case Studies

Several studies have demonstrated the nexus between wait times and perceived quality of care. IDP solutions have the potential to significantly streamline wait times, thereby enhancing both the actual quality of care and the patient’s perception of the experience. 

Here are three instances in which IDP technologies have been deployed for file management purposes in healthcare organizations.

1. Liverpool University Hospital Implements Digital Transformation Initiative

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital National Health Service (NHS) Trust are a part of a massive healthcare network known as the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Cumulatively, these entities serve over 750,000 patients annually. 

Naturally, an organization of this size processes significant amounts of electronic health records (EHRs) and other documents. The trust set out to achieve 100% paperless document processing before 2020 and leveraged IDP technologies to accomplish this goal.

The trust was able to implement the technologies in just three months. After implementation, the trust lowered data storage costs, reduced errors and gave providers easier access to pertinent patient records. 

By adopting these two integrated technologies, the NHS gained the ability to:

  • Send e-referrals
  • Support EHRs that are universally accessible
  • Streamline collaboration between providers
  • Enhance data management capabilities 

Cumulatively, these capabilities led to improved patient care and a streamlined service experience. 

2. Health Care Authority Saves $4.5 million by Customizing their IDP Solution

Washington State Health Care Authority generates a tremendous amount of paperwork and insurance forms from its many interactions with resident customers. Before optimizing these processes, they used to have six dedicated Kodak i5200 scanners and miscellaneous desktop scanners throughout the enterprise. Their multifunction peripheral (MFP) device fleet was 100% Ricoh equipment.

Their primary goals were to reduce paper handling, reduce indexing efforts and eliminate the dual entry of index values to other line of business applications. Ephesoft’s innovative solution with its patented machine learning capabilities was configured to learn the many different document types we have as well as populate fields, which make our lives easier,

After doing a direct comparison against competitors, Washington State Health Care Authority estimated that they would achieve a positive ROI in just six months and save $4.5 million over a five-year period. Additionally, the organization could reduce document preparation efforts by 50% and document indexing efforts by 75%.

3. Large Care Provider Improves Outcomes and Scales AP Capabilities 

A major U.S. healthcare provider serving more than seven million patients per year found its invoicing practices antiquated. On average, they process 1,500 to 2,000 invoices per month, but the invoices can range from one page to almost 200 pages, depending on the services.

Before implementing IDP solutions, the provider performed manual data entry, which was highly inefficient. To alleviate this, the provider attempted to deploy an off-the-rack solution but struggled with implementation.

Ultimately, the organization elected to adopt Ephesoft Transact. Once implemented, the technology drastically increased invoice processing speeds. Ephesoft was able to read any type or format of the invoice. This major healthcare provider no longer manually typed emails for approvals and confirmations. They could send PDFs directly into Ephesoft for processing. In turn, this reduced payment delays and decreased the frequency of denials. The provider saved countless hours each year, reduced the workload on its support staff and improved its cash flow.

IDP in Clinical and Non-Clinical Settings

Intelligent Document Processing solutions can be used for both clinical and non-clinical applications. The primary use cases apply in clinical and non-clinical spaces.

Clinical Applications

When implementing IDP solutions, most healthcare organizations begin by addressing inefficiencies at the initial point of care. 

Document processing in ambulatory environments is a significant pain point for every healthcare organization — especially those that provide emergency medical care. IDP technology can virtually eliminate the risk of data entry and indexing errors in these fast-paced environments.

Unfortunately, faxing remains a staple of most patient order transmission practices. While organizations may not be able to convince other entities within their networks to stop faxing orders, they can expedite document processing with IDP.

Groups of patient records are typically scanned or uploaded in batches. Organizations that sort and index these batches manually waste time and diminish patient care experience. IDP technologies can expedite this process, recognize various document types, classify, extract the necessary information, and export the data into an EHR or other line of business system. 

Non-Clinical Applications

The most apparent non-clinical application for IDP is processing invoices. IDP technology can rapidly process both paper and electronic invoices. 

This technology can structure data, extract relevant information and then classify it so it can be uploaded into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Adopting IDP for invoicing can improve cash flow stability and generate more revenue. 

While the accounting department will undoubtedly benefit from IDP technology, other non-clinical teams can as well. Human resources personnel are a prime example. 

HR staff is expected to manage contracts, employee files, resumes, applications and other vital documents. With IDP technology, the HR department can digitize all of these documents, eliminate the need for manual data entry and enhance the company’s compliance with HIPAA and other relevant laws.  

Streamline File Management with IDP

Revolutionary intelligent document processing technologies hold the key to modernizing file management practices, increasing data usability and delivering better care in the fast-paced healthcare industry. 

As evidenced by the above applications, IDP technology is uniquely suited for the complexities of managing files in the healthcare space. If your organization would like to achieve measurable improvements in efficiency, agility and quality of care, schedule a demonstration of our intelligent document processing technology.