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Avoid Data Entry Errors in Medical Billing

How to avoid data entry errors and why it is important to avoid them?

A data entry person enters data into a computer from electronic databases or non-electronic data like forms and printed records. The job of a medical biller (or a medical coder) has two main aspects: data processing and data analysis.

DATA PROCESSING

According to Collins Dictionary, data processing is “the series of operations carried out on data, especially by computers, to present, interpret, or obtain information.”

This is how a vast amount of information is processed and entered into a computer.

DATA ANALYZING

The second data entry process that includes analyzing the given data is data analysis.

Both data processing and analysis are of immense importance in the healthcare industry. Even the tiniest of errors can result in denial of medical claim payments by insurance companies and documenting patients’ wrong medical history. Medical coders and billers must make sure they do not make any data entry errors.

COMMON REASONS FOR DATA ENTRY ERRORS:

Inadequate training: When medical coders and billers do not receive appropriate training, they tend to make errors. They might not be aware of the errors they make. 

This brings us to the next point.

No double-checking of entered data: Organizations and employees must double-check entered data. This is to ensure zero mistakes. If data is not rechecked, it might lead to serious problems, including but not limited to financial loss, improper documentation of patient history, fines, and penalties.

Lack of focus: Too much work and mental stress lead to a lack of focus. When that happens, employees are bound to make errors. 

SOME TIPS TO AVOID MAKING DATA ENTRY ERRORS:

Hire and train sufficient staff: Hiring and training sufficient staff helps to reduce the stress of workload and, in turn, helps avoid errors. This ensures better focus and productivity.

Provide a comfortable working environment: Employees need to be comfortable to work better. This reduces the chances of making errors.

Ensure work is double-checked: Organizations must add an extra layer of employees, the QA/audit Team, to double-check their entered data. Automated error reports help with checking errors too.

Identifying the source of data inaccuracies: Sometimes, when an error occurs frequently, it is essential to trace it back to its origins and do a root cause analysis. This prevents further errors.

Be organized: An organized desk leads to an organized mind. Decluttering their physical and mental surroundings helps improve a person’s concentration.

Add transparency: Transparency of an organization helps find errors easily. This will not put too much pressure on the medical coder or biller.

Prioritize accuracy over speed: It is crucial to be accurate. Speed is essential to keep up with turnaround times but at the expense of accuracy.

Train employees to value data: Employees must understand the importance of the data they are entering. They tend to be more cautious after knowing what’s at stake. But one should make sure this does not lead to more pressure.

Use Software Tools: Many organizations like MedConverge use software tools to recheck the entered data. This helps stop errors easily.

Though there are many more tips a medical coder/biller can learn, it is important to have a clear mind and concentrate while entering data.

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