The Benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare – How Machine Learning Leads to Improved Outcomes

When documents are unstructured, they appear within workflows without any context, which means that hospital staff must manually review and sort them before action can be taken. This results in delayed tests, treatments, and often, poorer health outcomes. Consensus Clarity helps solve these problems and offers the following benefits using NLP and AI healthcare technology:

The right artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare solution could be applied far more broadly to streamline and improve other faxing workflows that healthcare professionals use every day.

What is Natural Language Processing in healthcare?

Natural language processing (NLP) is the ability of a computer program to understand human language in the manner it is spoken and written — referred to as natural language. With NLP, a digital fax solution will be smart enough not only to recognize character strings in the document (Smith, John, follow-up visit, shortness of breath) but also to know what they mean, such as John Smith is a person’s name. NLP knows where to put each detail and what action to take if the data suggests it (such as an urgent notification). In fact, NLP algorithms can recognize that a single digital fax transmission contains details on multiple patients, automatically segment the pages, and keep them with the correct patient record. Over time, an NLP-powered data extraction solution will become capable of understanding an ever-growing range of variations of how different people present the same data.

Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare?

Artificial intelligence (AI), or Machine Learning, takes NLP technology one step further by bringing these capabilities together and adding layers of learning, thinking, and continuous improvement.

What Benefits Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare Provide?

Consensus’ comprehensive AI-enabled data extraction solution enhances a range of healthcare workflows

Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is the ideal next step in enhancing organizations’ faxing environments—because it can streamline an organization’s operations, save time and money, and even help providers deliver better care.

To understand how significant these workflow improvements could be for your organization, let’s briefly review the levels of “intelligence” or “machine learning” with today’s various faxing solutions.

The traditional fax machine transmits faxes by first scanning an “image” of each hardcopy page and then sending the image by phone line to the recipient’s fax.

The traditional fax machine transmits faxes by first scanning an “image” of each hardcopy page and then sending the image by phone line to the recipient’s fax.

When you receive these pages on your fax machine, you’ll have no way of automating the process of turning this unstructured data into structured data that you can use to make informed decisions and take the next steps in your patient’s care plan. Your team will have to read, review, and re-enter the fax’s contents manually.

If you’re like most healthcare organizations, this is probably the extent of your fax environment’s “intelligence”—leaving the work of identifying, interpreting, parsing, extracting, and re-entering the data to your already-busy staff.

As recently as 2019, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) published a survey of healthcare leaders that found 89% of their organizations still use a fax machine for such everyday tasks as sending and receiving referrals, sharing records with other providers, and communicating test or lab results.4

What is Unstructured Data

Unstructured data is usually text-heavy or configured in a way that’s difficult to analyze. Unstructured data does not conform to any preset template, is non-formulaic and is usually presented in random formats such as scans, pdfs, text or video.

What is Structured Data

Structured data, on the other hand, is often numerical and easy to analyze. It’s organized in a pattern or pre-defined structured format, such as spreadsheets. The framework of structured data models is designed for easy data entry, search, comparison, and extraction.

Extract Vital Data Faster; Connect With Clinicians Sooner, Administer Care Earlier

Structured vs Unstructured Data

Despite the availability of new and updated technology, most healthcare providers’ data remains embedded in non-automated, unstructured documents like paper faxes and PDFs.

Structured data consists of clearly-defined data that have patterns and key-word matches, making them easily searchable, while unstructured data (e.g., everything else) is composed of random information that is not categorized or organized in a meaningful way, such as scans, images and video.

“Unstructured data makes up 80% and more of enterprise data, and is growing at the rate of 55% and 65% per year. And without the tools to analyze this massive data category, organizations are leaving vast amounts of valuable data on the business intelligence table.”

Source: Christine Taylor, May 21, 2021, Datamation (Owners of eWeek and webopedia)

Consensus Cloud Solutions: AI-enabled Intelligent Data Extraction

A trusted leader in healthcare data exchange and digital workflow applications, Consensus Cloud Solutions has developed the industry’s leading machine learning-powered fax solution for providers.

Our cloud-based digital faxing solution, eFax Corporate—the most widely used platform for transmitting ePHI by fax for more than 20 years—includes the most advanced natural language processing and healthcare AI capabilities available today.

Over time, your organization’s NLP AI powered fax solution will similarly process and learn from an ever-increasing number of faxes, making it continuously more intelligent and capable of accurately processing fax data no matter how the sender presents it.

A thinking, learning machine: artificial intelligence

(The best option—making your fax solution an informed, smart, and capable part of your team.)

Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare brings all these capabilities together and adds layers of learning, thinking, and continuous improvement to your fax solution.

Here are just a few examples of what a truly effective AI-powered fax solution can do:

Read, understand, and extract free text in a fax document.

Automatically apply data in fax documents (prescriptions, patient IDs, demographic information, etc.) to the right fields in a digital form.

Integrate with EHRs, enabling an EHR system to consume and inbound fax, parse the data, and populate the correct fields in the patient’s record.

Flag specific data points (in checkboxes, typed text, or handwritten) for actions, such as sending notifications to clinicians for immediate attention.

Integrate into other digital systems and databases that healthcare providers use in their everyday workflows—such as Direct Secure messaging, patient query systems, and health information exchanges.

Learn continuously from the many healthcare faxes it reads and processes, allowing the system to become more intelligent, understand more variations of the same data, and even detect and flag patterns over time.

The great news: true data extraction using machine learning is available for you today.

Advanced machine learning capabilities for cloud faxing already exist in the healthcare industry. In fact, these machine learning capabilities are being proven every day by the healthcare industry’s leading cloud-fax provider.

The even better news for your organization is that deploying this solution is quick, easy, and won’t require any additional on-prem faxing infrastructure. In fact, you can remove your existing fax hardware when you implement this AI-enabled fax solution—and outsource your company’s entire fax environment to a trusted cloud provider.

Here’s a little detail about the Clarity AI data extraction solution, which you can implement immediately.

Here are just a few real-world examples of how Consensus’ AI NLP solution, Clarity, is improving fax workflows, and health outcomes for providers today.

Intelligently Streamline
Prior Authorizations

Our NLP and AI solution, Clarity, can intelligently read text and understand terms such as ‘urgent’, ‘stat’, or ‘rush’ on forms like prior authorizations to help prioritize it for immediate action.

Extract Patient

Pull demographics using AI in locked-down, unstructured documents such as digital fax or PDF, and match it to the patient in other systems, creating a more complete longitudinal record.

Convert Digital Fax to

Identify and map clinical information in a digital fax and output it as a standard C-CDA format for consumption by an EHR.

Learn More About Consensus Clarity’s AI Data Extraction solution

Our solutions utilize the latest in natural language processing technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning, to offer meaningful, analytics-ready data that enables clinicians to spend more time with patients and less time deciphering documentation. Our interoperability solutions provide a unified digital environment that offers:

  • Optimized workflows
  • Real-time event notifications
  • On-demand, patient query
  • Direct, secure messaging
  • Universal APIs
  • Machine learning – (NLP AI)
  • Electronic signature
  • eFax HITRUST CSF® Certified digital cloud faxing

Experts Agree – Don’t Just Take our Word for it!