With the emergence of new technology, the Veterans Affairs Department in on the verge of overhauling its electronic health record system. As innovations are coming into existence, there is also a need to digitize the health records. Besides, the department wants to examine if the robotic automation of health records can work. The first deployment of the electronic health record was planned to take place at Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, in March. Congress later pushed the launch to July, but it did not materialize. However, the launch did not take place in July as the Veteran Affairs Department was also engaged in the fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digitalization of Electronic Health Records
As the system is almost reaching its full capacity, VA staff and health care providers will have to ensure all the records are digitalized, and they will also be linked with the correct patients and clinicians. However, this process of deploying and integrating electronic health systems is always complicated if the data is not machine-readable. To manage this, The VA is adopting robotic process automation as a potential solution.
Concrete automation processes are also being investigated by the Department of Veteran Affairs to help in streamlining of the external clinical documents into its electronic health record system. The VA also plans to use the automated system to select some of the digitization backlogs since 2018. These records, if not digitized and stored in hard copies, may reach five-mile high when stored.
Besides, the VA is also planning to integrate the use of a robotic process automation system, the agency-built VistA EHR system and new Cerner Millennium to improve its records. For the successful automation of electronic health records, it needs to have the following three core values.
- Should have the ability to automate the document scanning process, including ingesting and indexing of documents in the EHR platform and connecting it to the right patient and clinician.
- Provide metrics to solve problems and help with the planning of future RPA.
- Identify documents that cannot be automatically ingested and forward them for human processing.
The success of this process will be determined by the number of documents that will be processed within a given period. Furthermore, the accuracy of the program will also be determined by the correct linking of patient documents with the caregiver. The successful digitization of health records will also be measured by the ability of the algorithm to improve and learn, especially when coversheets with relevant information are not mixed with documents.
Experts believe that this step taken by the VA will be welcomed by biomedical companies like Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) since medical data stored in the latest digital formats can help a great deal in research and tracking trends among patients.
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