Address Verification

Data Scrubbing in Healthcare

By 8 April 2024April 18th, 2024No Comments
data scrubbing in healthcare

Why Do You Need Effective Data Scrubbing in Healthcare Systems?

Healthcare organizations regularly collect, analyze, store, and share Protected Health Information (PHI). But, it is not always correct and properly structured.

‘Bad’ data can lead to some concerns in every industry but create havoc in a highly regulated sector like healthcare. The numerous mandates and laws regarding healthcare data push physicians and hospitals to adopt effective data management systems.

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However, data cleansing in healthcare is complicated! It needs intensive and frequent maintenance because hospitals add new patient data every day. Plus, they need to deal with issues like outdated insurance information, fake addresses, incorrect medical history, etc.

Not only do these problems affect patients’ healthcare, but limit institutions from being lawfully compliant. Also, it hampers their marketing, patient acquisition, and retention plans majorly.

Therefore, this blog explains the causes of ‘bad' data and offers logical solutions to solve them. Also, it will walk you through the benefits of data scrubbing in healthcare that you should consider.

Let’s get started!

What is Data Scrubbing in Healthcare Organizations?

Generally, hospitals, dental clinics, diagnostic centers, physician practices, etc., store their patient details in different databases. This data spreads among numerous applications, like revenue cycle management, decision support systems, electronic health records (EHR), and more.

Hence, it is hard to trace mistakes or inaccuracies in healthcare data among so many different sources. Also, the bigger challenge is to merge all the information for quick and easy access. It results in problems like duplicate records and improper structuring.

But, data cleansing in healthcare helps bring consistency and accuracy to your databases. It, in turn, promotes better decision-making, revenue generation, and smooth operational management.

It refers to spotting issues and solving them from the roots. Furthermore, it consists of the different ways an organization adopts to avoid such problems in the future.

Causes of Bad Healthcare Data

Out of the many reasons that result in invalid data, we have highlighted the most common ones you should know about:

Duplicate Entries

Did you know that a hospital EHR consists of nearly 5-10% of duplicate data? The scary part is that it is hard to find duplicate records because of mismatched patient details. For example, suppose you have information about a patient named Mike Buffay. Then, it is almost impossible to find the duplicate details kept under the name Michael Buffay.

Luckily, data scrubbing in healthcare can help you trace such records and eradicate them from your systems. 

Incomplete Data

Incomplete details are as bad as incorrect information. Without all the necessary fields filled by patients, your data is useless. You cannot use this data to improve patient care or employ it for your marketing strategies.

The reason for incomplete data could be the patient’s inability to provide all the details or system limitations. An effective data cleansing in healthcare allows you to overcome this hindrance and add the missing information effectively.

Inaccuracies

Misspellings, transposed letters, incorrect spacing, etc., can also lead to ‘bad’ data. They limit you from using your healthcare records for better insights and treatment plans. Therefore, it is now time to introduce and follow strategies around data cleansing in healthcare that enables you to handle such problems without disrupting your daily schedules.

Incorrect Mailing Addresses

A large portion of a healthcare institution’s operations is printing and mailing medical documents. Hospitals need to send documents to their patients almost every day, from test results to invoices. Also, they might need to connect with several insurance agencies and other third parties via mail. 

But, you cannot do these things smoothly with undeliverable and invalid mailing addresses. You may not know whether an address is correct without mailing it first, which is why you need an address validation software like PostGrid.

It allows you to autocomplete, standardize, and validate addresses in one go. Thus, it smoothes your data scrubbing in the healthcare system and lets you access updated delivery addresses.

Let’s get started!

Steps to Solve Issues Related to Healthcare Data

You can adopt a successful data cleansing in healthcare strategy by following these steps:

  • Inspection and identification: If you don’t cross-check your patient data, you can never determine its accuracy. Thus, try inspecting your databases from time to time to spot any issues at the earliest. Make it a routine, like weekly or monthly, to avoid piling more and more information without proper inspection.
  • Cleaning and updating: During this step, the organization uses several procedures for data scrubbing in healthcare to modify or clean its database. It removes all inaccuracies, duplicates, etc., and updates all the available information.
  • Verification: Next, you need to confirm if your data conforms to the prescribed data quality standards and guidelines.
  • Reporting: It is essential to report the data quality progress and trends to the authorities and make plans for further improvement. This report comprises the number of issues found, updated metrics, cleansing methods, etc. It helps you to stay updated regarding data scrubbing in healthcare institutions.

Advantages of Incorporating Data Cleansing in Healthcare

Updating your database frequently and eliminating ‘bad’ data is advantageous to healthcare firms in more than one way. Here are the most popular benefits of using data scrubbing in healthcare.

Reduced Administrative Costs

Incomplete or inaccurate data requires a lot of work on your staff’s end. If they need a specific patient’s details, they are likely to have a hard time. These delays and lack of efficiency can add to unnecessary costs, which you can avoid by using data cleansing in healthcare.

Improved Billing

Having the correct patient details allows you to speed up your billing process. But, even a minor mistake can lead to huge problems. For example, if you send the wrong bill to a patient, they might refuse to pay you. Or it may cause a data breach.

Hence, it is better to use data scrubbing in healthcare and remain on the safer side.

Avoid Reshipping

Reshipping has become a norm for almost all organizations because of lost items, delivery delays, mail returns, etc. Sending your marketing or transactional mail to incorrect recipients means that your items will never reach their destination. Hence, you may need to spend extra and mail again.

These inefficiencies can hamper your practice’s or hospital’s growth and pose a financial threat. But, data cleansing in healthcare can prevent such scenarios effectively.

Maintain Brand Image

No patient wants their details to get leaked or misused. Thus, they choose healthcare organizations that are trustworthy and reputed. But, an inaccurate database can push your staff to make mistakes and disrupt patient communications, putting your brand image at stake.

Incorporating data scrubbing in healthcare can save you from such intense risks and help you boost your brand reputation.

How Can PostGrid’s Address Verification Services Help You Update Your Database?

PostGrid’s address verification API can help you double-check your mailing list accuracy against an authoritative source like the USPS. We can enable you to access CASS-verified addresses that are cent percent accurate and valid.

Our automated solutions for data cleansing in healthcare also allow you to reformat your mailing addresses to ensure deliverability. Below, we have mentioned some more features of our address verification services that might help you:

  • Geocoding: PostGrid uses rooftop geocoding to capture a patient’s accurate address. Hence, if they fill out a contact form or book an appointment online, you can collect their correct details by integrating our API into your website. 
  • Bulk verification: You can also verify your existing addresses in any volume you need. PostGrid’s services are scalable and can expand to meet your ever-growing needs. 
  • Autocomplete: Our API integration also enables your users to enter their precise mailing addresses on your website as our autocomplete capabilities do the work within just a few keystrokes. 

Also, PostGrid’s services for data scrubbing in healthcare are available for you at the best rates and with the highest levels of data security. 

Want to see how our address verification API works towards data cleansing in healthcare? Click here now!

💡 Also Read: Healthcare Direct Mail Marketing

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