Optical Character Recognition For The Healthcare Industry – On Mitigating Errors And Improving Services

Optical Character Recognition For The Healthcare Industry - On Mitigating Errors And Improving Services
OCR – Optical character recognition. Document scan. Process of recognizing document. Vector stock illustration

The healthcare industry is growing with an exceptionally high CAGR of 27%. This increase in industry growth can be credited to an increasing number of hospitals, administrative units, and also, diseases worldwide. Healthcare organizations require the management of large amounts of patient data, health records, insurance information, and other internal processes and documents. Optical character recognition or OCR offers technological services that can help hospitals and other healthcare institutions manage this data effectively and efficiently without errors.

What Is Optical Character Recognition

Optical character recognition or OCR utilizes computer technology to scan and analyze printed or handwritten documents to convert the text into computer-readable form. For this purpose, we use machines called OCR readers or scanners. 

OCR scanners or their precursor machines have existed since the 19th century. While optical character recognition machines were based on simple technologies, in the past, today we have smart AI-based OCR solutions.

OCR is one of the most commonly used technologies of today. It is actively utilized in a range of industries, primarily for administrative purposes. The healthcare industry is another one of these industries.  

Why The Healthcare Industry Needs Optical Character Recognition

The healthcare industry involves the management of extensive paperwork. While doctors and other staff have ample paperwork and documentation of their own, the industry also requires the management of a large number of patients.

In a hospital, there are hundreds of patients coming in and going out every day. 

Hospitals need to document all these patients as well as take their personal data, health records, and insurance details into account. For other healthcare-related institutions such as government and insurance companies, too, it is equally important to manage large amounts of personal records.

Paperwork and manual data records – personal data and insurance

Manual record records and paperwork require a lot of attention and maintenance. Oftentimes, hospitals can misreport insurance profiles or misplace data. However, in such cases, the consequences can be terrible for both parties. Optical character recognition offers easy management of all this data with reduced chances of errors or delays.

Patient safety through Optical character recognition

Besides financial and document loss, misattribution of prescriptions or personal health data can also lead to misdiagnosis or errors in prescriptions or medications. This can have severe medical consequences and can sometimes even be fatal. Computer tech such as optical character recognition can help avoid such human errors.

The need to offer exceptional healthcare services

 It is important for the healthcare industry to offer exceptional healthcare services to its patients.  Traditional or manual administrative processes can take time or have errors. Moreover, this affects both patient healthcare as well as customer service. By improving the administrative speed of labor-intensive tasks through optical character recognition, healthcare institutions can improve both their reputation and service.    

Optical Character Recognition For The Healthcare Industry – Why It Is Important

As discussed above, the healthcare industry has to deal with a lot of problems when it comes to data and paper management. These problems unfortunately do not come on their own and can also bring severe consequences with regard to patient healthcare and hospital administration processes.

This makes it very important to introduce steps to mitigate these risks by countering the problems. By using optical character recognition, we can easily and effectively solve these problems.

Building better management systems

Through optical character recognition, healthcare institutions can manage patient data better. OCR allows for building efficiency and making these processes more systematic. Where separate employees for data entry or patient record management systems are required, hospitals can use optical character recognition. This can help make these processes seamless.

Cutting down on work and building space

Optical character recognition can help reduce extensive piles of paperwork.  For example, instead of keeping records on paper, hospitals and other agencies can easily convert paper-based information into computer storage format. This can help optimize space.

Cyber-attacks and data theft

Healthcare data is one of the most valuable data forms on the black market. Where a credit card is valued at $5, healthcare records value up to $1000. This makes it very important for healthcare institutions to implement strong security measures. Fortunately, data can be protected with strong encryption and cybersecurity techniques when online. This makes it very important to implement the best OCR solutions.

Cost efficiency

Healthcare institutions that store their data digitally require separate employees for data entry and organization processes. Through optical character recognition, these institutions can reduce the number of such employees required. Besides this, optical character recognition’s efficiency too can help reduce financial costs.  


All institutions have to manage data to different extents. While some may need it less, others may have to deal with extensive data on a regular basis. Healthcare institutions are one of those that need it more.

Every day hundreds of patients visit hospitals and other government agencies for their individual healthcare management. Additionally, giving suitable information and attention to each of these patients is also important. This puts a burden on the institutions.

Optical character recognition offers services that can help ease this burden on such institutions. By utilization of optical character recognition, hospitals can improve healthcare services and build better reputation. While these benefits stand strong on their own, the way optical character recognition eases administration is another major plus point.