How to Extract Health Data from Faxes in Seconds — Automatically

Healthcare Fax
5 minute read

If processing inbound faxes takes more than a minute, your organization is not operating at optimal efficiency 

Imagine every patient-related fax that your organization received were formatted like the following:

ABC Primary Care


Reason for correspondence: Knee surgery referral

Patient name: Jane Smith

Current medications: atenolol, amlodipine

Allergies: none

Insurance carrier: XYZ Health Coverage

Carrier member ID: 12345678 

How much time and energy could your staff save each week across the dozens (or hundreds) of similar faxes if every fax they receive displayed these critical patient details upfront this way, clearly and consistently?

Of course, we’re guessing your organization rarely receives patient-related communications structured so concisely and helpfully. Instead, your staff almost certainly needs to manually review each fax and scan the pages to find the key details — which are often written in different ways, using different phrases, and often hidden many pages into the multi-page document.

Manually handling patient-related faxes costs your organization in numerous ways

You’re probably aware of your staff’s frustration at having to spend so much time searching for data in poorly arranged patient-related communications and then manually re-entering that data into other systems. But you might not realize just how detrimental these inefficient workflows can be to your organization.

For example, because the process of manually extracting relevant details from a fax is difficult, and your staff isn’t eager to take on the task each time a new fax hits your fax machine…

  • It will take your staff longer to initiate prior authorizations with the patient’s carrier.
  • It will take your office longer to schedule a physician consultation with the new patient and arrange for an appointment for treatment.
  • These delays mean that ultimately it will take your organization longer to be able to bill for your services.

The Hidden Costs of Manual Fax Handling

Delayed Prior Authorizations

Due to the difficulty of manually extracting relevant details from faxes, initiating prior authorizations with the patient’s carrier becomes a time-consuming process.

Consider the impact: your staff faces delays in obtaining necessary approvals, hindering the timely delivery of patient care.

Extended Consultation Scheduling

The manual nature of fax processing slows down the scheduling of physician consultations with new patients and the arrangement of treatment appointments.

Resulting in prolonged waiting times for patients and potential disruptions in the continuum of care.

Billing Inefficiencies

As delays accumulate in prior authorizations and consultation scheduling, the ultimate consequence is a longer timeline for your organization to bill for the services provided.

This not only affects your revenue stream but also introduces complexities in financial planning and resource allocation.

Consensus Clarity can help automate fax processing — and even the next actions in your document workflow

Solving these challenges is why we at Consensus Cloud Solutions developed Clarity, a Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI engine that helps healthcare organizations convert unstructured fax documents into actionable content.

Even if your facility receives a patient referral as a sloppily arranged fax — with key details scattered in no logical order throughout the multi-page transmission, and even if some details are handwritten — Clarity leverages advanced language processing capabilities to quickly and automatically extract the details your staff needs to move forward with getting the new patient into your system. And because it’s an AI-driven learning engine, Clarity will only become more adept at identifying the key data points your staff needs from each fax even if the sender has a different method of describing some of those data points.

Clarity can turn even the most poorly organized fax referral into something that looks much more like the hypothetical fax above — with all of the most important data easily converted into a digital, actionable format. And none of this will require your staff to spend any time manually searching, scanning, copying, or re-keying data from the fax into an EHR or other digital platform.

Clarity not only transforms poorly organized fax referrals into a streamlined, digital format but also offers substantial time savings. By eliminating manual efforts such as searching, scanning, copying, or re-keying data into Electronic Health Records (EHR), Clarity ensures a seamless and efficient process for healthcare staff.

In fact, Clarity can help your organization save even more time — and help you move more quickly from intake to treatment, to billing — by providing you actionable data you will need in several subsequent tasks, including:

  1. Creating a new patient record in your EHR and populating it with relevant information from the faxed document.
  2. Electronically sending the new patient a request to schedule an initial consult from a list of the physician’s available times.
  3. Alerting relevant staff members of the patient’s condition, insurance carrier, and member ID, so they can quickly initiate the process of submitting a prior authorization request.

When your staff sees what the Clarity engine can do for your organization, you’re going to ask yourselves, “Why are we still spending even one minute — let alone dozens of hours — sifting through paper fax pages to find the patient data we need?”

Ready to see it in action?

Book your free demo of the AI-powered Clarity