Published on 22-Dec-2010
Validated on 07 Oct 2013
"These tests represent a lab’s proficiency. If we make a mistake on data entry, which leads to a poorer grade for the lab, we are not upholding our end of the bargain. IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture provides us with the highest possible accuracy." - Connie Laubenthal, Director of Medical Laboratory Evaluation, American College of Physicians
American College of Physicians
Healthcare, Professional Services
Enterprise Content Management
American College of Physicians automates worldwide laboratory certification process with IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture
Medical testing service tests 3,100 labs for several organizations, each with its own format for the testing booklet. Results must be processed in a timely fashion.
IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture pulls the images in and compares them against a library of test layouts to identify the particular test, then extracts the data from the checkboxes and hand-printed fields.
· One month to process tests which would take several months without automation · Near 100% accuracy · Staff additions avoided
The American College of Physicians (ACP) was founded in 1915 to uphold the highest standards in medical education, practice and research. Headquartered in Washington D.C., ACP is the largest medical specialty society in the world, with approximately 129,000 members. Its mission is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care and foster excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.
One of the important services ACP provides is the regular testing of the medical laboratories in the U.S., Canada and the Pacific Rim. ACP’s Medical Laboratory Evaluation (MLE) unit is one of several programs approved to offer testing for certification by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Three times a year, the MLE department sends out thousands of testing samples to 3,100 laboratories along with a 113-page examination booklet, to be filled out by lab physicians. Participants have three weeks to test the blood samples and accurately report their findings back to MLE. If they fail two tests in a row, CMS has the right to revoke their license.
Seeking fast, accurate way to process paper tests
MLE processes tests not only for ACP members, but also for the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) and government labs through a contract with the Government Services Administration (GSA). Each organization features a different format for the testing booklet. For example, MLE and GSA tests employ constraint boxes for physicians to write in numerical results by hand. AAFP tests utilize handprint constraint boxes as well as bubble checkboxes for multiple choice answers.
While ACP has an identical online testing form for physicians to use, Connie Laubenthal, ACP’s director of Medical Laboratory Evaluation, reports that a significant number of lab physicians prefer to submit results using the paper version of the test. “Doctors seem to be more conservative than others in their use of computers and the internet, so we need a dependable paper-processing system,” she says.
Within a week of sending out the blood samples and test booklet, the ACP team starts getting results back. They need a fast and accurate way to process the test documents, extract the checkbox and handprint data and populate a database with the test results. Analysis and grading are done from the relational database, which also holds the document images for retrieval should results need to be audited. Both electronic and paper test documents must be saved for five years, according to CMS policies. Laubenthal reports that the MLE stores paper test results offsite.
16,500 pages processed in one month
The MLE department has been an end user of IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture for more than a decade now. As test results pour in to ACP’s mailroom during the testing period, batches of 100 pages are prepped and scanned on a Fujitsu 4860C scanner. IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture pulls the images in and compares them against a library of test layouts to identify the particular test, then starts extracting the data from the checkboxes and hand-printed fields.
Approximately 165 batches—16,500 pages—are processed this way three times a year and all test results are entered into the database within a period of about a month from the test distribution. Everyone in the MLE division rolls up their sleeves to pitch in, including Director Laubenthal. “We have two people prepping the documents, one running the scanner and about five of us logged in to the Taskmaster Verify screen to edit test images,” she reports. Without document automation, Laubenthal suggests that the process would take several months and a larger staff.
Near 100% accuracy
More importantly, Taskmaster enables MLE to achieve a near 100 percent data accuracy. “These tests represent a lab’s proficiency,” she says. “If we make a mistake on data entry, which leads to a poorer grade for the lab, we are not upholding our end of the bargain. “IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture provides us with the highest possible accuracy.”
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About Datacap Inc, an IBM Company
Datacap provides award-winning ECM software for document capture and paper forms processing. These solutions help organizations worldwide improve the speed, accuracy and cost-efficiency of data extraction, making information more accessible. Using the latest technologies and innovations, Datacap solutions help automate a broad range of document-centric business processes in a wide variety of industries.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Datacap Taskmaster Capture
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