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Dec 19

3 Ways to Streamline Your Practice’s Data Digitization for Interoperability

Interoperability has become a buzzword of sorts in the healthcare industry in recent years, as the goal of having a more connected healthcare system has moved to the forefront. The ability to easily and securely transmit data among a patient’s care team is vital to positive patient outcomes. Data digitization plays an important role in the move towards greater interoperability. Read on to learn more.

What is data digitization?

Digitization refers to the conversion of information from a physical to a digital format. Once the information is in this digital format, it’s organized into bits which are discrete units of data that can be addressed separately. Often, these bits are organized into multiple-bit groups known as bytes. Computers and other devices that operate with computing capacity are able to process this type of binary data.

Data is digitized through several different processes. First, data may be digitized through scanning, in which a scanner creates an image of a document and converts that image to a file, such as a bitmap. Next is optical character recognition (OCR), where a specific program analyzes an image of text to identify the letters and numbers, converting each character into an ASCII code. Recording is next, where an analog-to-digital converter digitizes a sound or image on a recording medium. And finally there’s sampling, where an analog waveform’s signal strength, or amplitude, is measured at evenly spaced markers representing numerical values for digital data.

Why is data digitization important for interoperability?

It’s actually quite simple to understand why data digitization is so important for interoperability. One of the most important pieces to interoperability is data standardization. Before data can be standardized for transfer and use across systems, it must be in digital form. So essentially, data digitization isn’t just important for interoperability, but rather necessary, because without it interoperability is impossible.

3 Ways to Streamline Data Digitization for Interoperability

Essentially, the easiest way to streamline data digitization is to put as much data into a digital format to begin with as possible. Here are three ways to do that.

  1. Use digital intake. By using a digital intake solution as opposed to having patients fill out paper forms that then have to be transcribed into an EMR, you will reduce the possibility of a transcription error and save valuable time for both you staff and patients.
  2. Conduct patient screenings digitally. Digital patient screening tools allow patients to complete surveys when it’s most convenient for them, increasing patient satisfaction. Additionally, completing screenings this way allows the data to be transmitted directly to your EMR for provider review and storage.
  3. Choose an EMR that works seamlessly with your existing workflow. While it’s not seen as often as previously, some practices will try to float between paper charting and using an EMR only as needed to fulfill regulatory requirements. Often this is done because of an ill-fitting EMR that is seen as more of a burden than a solution. Choosing an EMR that’s a good fit for your practice will allow you to conduct your encounters and maintain your patient records entirely digitally and will also make tasks more efficient.

Interoperability is integral to the future of the healthcare industry. Data digitization is a vital piece to successful interoperability. Understanding this, Henry Schein MicroMD works diligently to identify solutions that will empower practices as they continue to contribute toward the goal of greater connectivity.

We begin with our simple, customizable, and connected MicroMD EMR, a scalable solution that enhances your practice workflow and enables you to maintain patient records digitally without pulling focus from patient interactions. We are also proud to offer MMDengage, our patient engagement solution, that includes digital intake to streamline the data coming into your practice during registration. Finally, we offer CHADIS, a digital patient screening solution that allows screening surveys to be conducted electronically.

To get more information or get started with any of our solutions, visit or call 1-800-624-8832.

About the author,
Crystal Stanton

Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.

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