Mastering Healthcare Documentation with the Pros: How to Transform Your Compliance, Auditing, and Legal Processes through Scanning and Document Transformation

October 16, 2023

10 minute read

Healthcare, like many other regulated industries, is no stranger to challenges associated with documentation management, ranging from patient records and medical research to drug approvals and administrative paperwork (digital and traditional).

With growing numbers of patient records and staff shortages faced by hospitals today, healthcare institutions can no longer afford to rely on outdated, manual processes. Manual documentation workflows not only consume valuable time and pull medical staff away from what really matters (better patient care!) but also increases the likelihood of errors, leading to potential complications in patient outcomes, regulatory compliance, and potential lawsuits.

In our recent webinar co-hosted with Visioneer, a partner of Xerox, our industry experts covered best practices for applying latest technology advancements in patient record digitization, automation and management to specific use cases in healthcare. These solutions not only aim to simplify the task at hand but also significantly improve the accuracy, security, and speed of handling critical documents in healthcare.

webinar screenshot - documentation challenges in healthcare

Understanding Current Documentation Issues in Healthcare

The intricate nature of healthcare demands an equally intricate documentation process. Every patient visit, treatment, diagnosis, and administrative task brings with it a deluge of paperwork and digital records. But what are the challenges that these documents present?

Complexity of Image Capture and Data Extraction: Modern healthcare is not just about pen and paper. It encompasses digital images from MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays, alongside lab results and handwritten notes. Extracting critical data from these diverse formats is a task many hospitals struggle with.

HIPAA and Security Concerns: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets stringent standards for how patient information should be stored and shared. Any breach, intentional or accidental, can result in severe penalties, making it imperative for institutions to handle documents with utmost care.

Volume of Paperwork: Consider the exhaustive documentation associated with medical research and drug approvals. Every step, every observation, every result needs to be meticulously documented and reviewed.

Patient Discharge and Continuity of Care: A patient's discharge from the hospital might seem straightforward, but it's one of the most documentation-heavy processes. Proper documentation ensures continuity of care, impacting not just patient well-being but also hospital ratings and reimbursements.

Prioritizing Patient Care Over Paperwork: At its core, the healthcare sector's primary focus should always be the patient. However, with the current emphasis on documentation, healthcare professionals often find themselves spending more time with paperwork than patients.

Data Transfers and Privacy Concerns: With patients often visiting multiple healthcare providers, the seamless transfer of medical records between facilities is critical. This transfer, however, needs to balance speed with the absolute assurance of data privacy, reducing legal risks.

"We want to ensure that hospital staff can concentrate on patient care without the added stress of managing records. Data accessibility, such as seamlessly transferring records from one medical facility to another, presents challenges. Legally, there are compliance, audits, and litigation concerns, especially as we transition to digitizing paper records for back file conversions. Also, there are pressing concerns regarding data privacy and retention. It's crucial to manage this repository of records effectively, both to enhance patient care and to mitigate legal risks."

– Eric Olsen, Senior Solution Consultant, Visioneer


Step 1: Automated, Fast-Speed Scanning

Xerox Scanner Solutions: Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Digital in Healthcare

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the healthcare sector has the onus to adapt, ensuring that patient documentation is both secure and efficient. Xerox, a name synonymous with quality and innovation, emerges as a beacon with its top-notch scanner solutions tailored for the healthcare world.

Diverse Portfolio for Varied Needs:

Personal and Mobile Scanners: Designed keeping in mind the mobility needs of today's healthcare professionals, these devices are sleek, portable, and highly efficient.

Departmental Scanners: Ideally positioned in busy areas such as pharmacies, outpatient departments, and reception areas.

Production Scanners: Catering to larger healthcare setups with a substantial daily inflow of documents, like ambulatory or surgical centers.

Learn more about Scanning Solutions >

Seamless Integration in Healthcare:

Enhanced Patient Admissions and Discharges: With the power of Xerox scanners, medical facilities can efficiently handle extensive paperwork associated with patient admissions, ensuring that patient care remains the primary focus.

Empowering Research and Drug Approvals: Every drug that hits the market has an exhaustive paper trail backing its efficacy and safety. Xerox scanners facilitate the seamless digitization of this research, ensuring quick access and easy archival.

Efficient Insurance Claims Processing: With enhanced features like color dropout, Xerox devices simplify the often complicated realm of medical insurance claims, ensuring quicker processing and faster patient settlements.

As the healthcare sector races towards digitization, tools like Xerox scanners are not just devices but enablers. They ensure that the transition from physical documents to digital records is smooth, error-free, and efficient. Xerox's technological advancements in thin scanning and connectivity where users can initiate scanning irrespective of device, ensure that healthcare providers are equipped with the best tools to serve their patients and are better prepared for a more interconnected digital future.

Learn more about Cloud Thin Scanning >

"The [Thin Scanning] technology is groundbreaking.

There's no longer a need for scanner drivers or a direct PC connection. Everything operates in the cloud. The days of requiring a scanning PC or USB cables are behind us. Simply connect one of these scanners to an internet connection, and you can scan from any modern device. This is especially beneficial in the healthcare sector, notably in distributed environments like remote clinics or multi-floored hospitals. It streamlines the process for IT teams, eliminating the need for driver installations or dedicated PCs for scanners."

– Eric Olsen, Senior Solution Consultant, Visioneer


Step 2: Intelligent Document Digitization & Assembly

Post-Capture Digital Document Workflow in Healthcare

The path from receiving a physical or a digital document to its fully machine-readable digitized form and subsequent processing is a journey that healthcare institutions navigate daily. As patient volumes grow and regulations tighten, streamlining this workflow becomes not just an operational necessity but also a critical factor in delivering timely patient care.

The Adlib Way: More than Just Digitization

Advanced Document Assembly: Regardless of originating source, whether scanned or digital-born, all documents ingested by Adlib are intelligently enhanced. With Adlib, elements from multiple documents can be seamlessly merged into a cohesive digital file. Adding structured elements, like tables of contents, pagination, or headers and footers, becomes an automated process, eliminating manual interventions and ensuring consistency.

Middleware Role: Adlib doesn't function as a mere tool for digitization and format conversion. It serves as a middleware, bridging the gap between raw documents and the sophisticated data processing that follows. While it doesn’t act as a long-term storage solution, it prepares and funnels documents to the desired end-system seamlessly in conformant, audit-ready, machine-readable formats.

Broad Spectrum Input: From emails to direct scanner feeds, from EHR systems to SharePoint repositories, Adlib is versatile in handling a multitude of input sources. This adaptability ensures that irrespective of where a document originates from, it undergoes the standardized processing that Adlib promises.

"Adlib is not designed to be a long-term storage provider. Instead, we function as middleware. Our role is to process these documents in an automated, scalable manner and then transfer them to your system of choice. Once processed, these documents are not only searchable but also universally accessible in a compliant format that meets your business's requirements."

- Anthony Vigliotti, Chief Product Officer, Adlib Software

Deep Dive into Adlib's Capabilities:

High-Quality OCR: Optical Character Recognition is no longer about mere text extraction. With solutions like Adlib, the emphasis is on accuracy and maintaining fidelity to the original document, ensuring that nuances and subtle details aren't lost in translation.

Data Compilation and Enhancement: Once in the system, Adlib takes documents through a transformation journey. Essential data points are extracted, while documents might undergo enhancements such as watermark addition, header/footer insertions, and more. It ensures every processed document aligns with the predefined business and regulatory standards.

Smart Workflows with AI: With Adlib AI, documents undergo auto-classification, ensuring they're channeled through the appropriate workflows without manual oversight.

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"When you first glance at this document, it might appear to be a typical Word-generated file. However, this document has been assembled from multiple sources. Elements such as the chart and table were extracted from different documents, and the summarizing text was taken from another. What we've achieved here is not merely a PDF rendering;
it's an advanced document assembly.

Beyond merging content, we've incorporated generative assembly by adding features like a table of contents. As you can observe on the left, Adlib generated this table of contents, and each entry is hyperlinked for easy navigation to the corresponding section. We've also managed to paginate the document and integrate headers and footers. Traditionally, these would be manual tasks.

By understanding your business processes, we've transformed these tasks into a set of rules, ensuring consistency and accuracy with every document processed by the Adlib system."

- Anthony Vigliotti, Chief Product Officer, Adlib Software


Step 3: Leveraging AI for Repeatable, High-Volume Tasks

Machine Precision, Human-Like Intelligence

Document Classification: The sheer diversity of documents in healthcare can be overwhelming. From X-rays and MRI reports to insurance forms and discharge summaries, each document type has its unique destination and processing requirements. Leveraging AI, systems can now automatically categorize these documents, ensuring they follow the right processing path without human oversight.

Data Extraction: Beyond the document type, it's the granular data within these documents that holds immense value. Be it a patient's diagnosis, medication dosage, or allergy information, automated systems can now extract this critical information with remarkable accuracy. This ensures quicker updates to Electronic Health Records (EHR) and better synchronization between various healthcare touchpoints.

"When you digitize a document, it doesn't merely reside in a folder. Embedded within these documents are valuable insights beneficial for workflow, patient care, and necessary for integration with EHR or EMR systems. The essence of an organization lies in the information its documents hold.

Often, managing these documents demands the attention of a knowledgeable worker with specialized expertise. They may need to open, rename, and categorize the document based on its relevance to a patient or an insurance claim, then move it to the appropriate application. Our system automates this process. It can classify these documents automatically. Once classified, the system relocates them to the right destination and extracts the critical data elements for you." 

- Anthony Vigliotti, Chief Product Officer, Adlib Software

Specific Use Cases in Healthcare:

Clinical Trials and Drug Approvals: Clinical trials generate an enormous amount of documentation. Ensuring that each piece of documentation adheres to strict standards, especially for FDA submissions, can be labor-intensive. Automated workflows can validate, organize, and prepare these documents, cutting down approval times and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Patient Transfers: When patients move between facilities, their medical records accompany them. Ensuring that these records are comprehensive, consistent, and quickly available can be the difference between timely and delayed care. Automated scanning and document processing systems guarantee that patient data is instantly accessible when and where it's needed.

Insurance and Claims Processing: Insurance paperwork, be it for claims or approvals, is a significant operational aspect for healthcare institutions. An automated system can process these documents, extract necessary data, and even validate them against predefined criteria, ensuring faster turnaround times and fewer human errors.

As the healthcare sector grapples with increasing patient volumes and heightened expectations for quick service, embracing sophisticated digital workflow solutions like Adlib can be the answer. By ensuring that every piece of information is swiftly and accurately transformed into actionable digital data, healthcare institutions can focus on what they do best - providing outstanding patient care.

“The system converts documents into PDFs, adds features like the table of contents mentioned earlier, identifies the document type, and moves it to a designated location in your chosen system while extracting essential data elements. While previously it took roughly 8 minutes per document, with Adlib eight documents were processed in under a minute. That translates to an hour's workload being completed in less than a minute. And in fact, you didn't have to do it. Adlib system did it.”

- Anthony Vigliotti, Chief Product Officer, Adlib Software

webinar screenshot - power of automating your documents


Modern document processing tools, combine the power of high-speed scanning with the precision of artificial intelligence, streamlining workflows that were once dominated by tedious manual tasks. From effortlessly categorizing diverse sets of documents to ensuring compliance with every scan, these tools have positioned themselves as indispensable assets to healthcare institutions.

But beyond the obvious operational benefits, there's a bigger picture. By automating and optimizing document workflows, healthcare professionals can redirect their time and efforts towards what truly matters - patient care. Instead of sifting through stacks of paper or navigating fragmented digital files, they can focus on diagnoses, treatment plans, and direct patient interactions, potentially improving outcomes and enhancing the overall patient experience.

In conclusion, as the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, institutions must proactively seek and embrace solutions that promise not only to streamline operations but also to elevate the standards of care. The future of healthcare is undeniably intertwined with technological advancements, and in the realm of document processing, the future is not just promising; it's already here. 

Speak to our experts today to learn more about transformative solutions for your healthcare business.

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