Thursday, July 9

New AI Accurately Translates 93% of Prescription Information Imported into EHRs

New AI Accurately Translates 93% of Prescription Information Imported into EHRsNew AI Accurately Translates 93% of Prescription Information Imported into EHRs

What You Should Know:

– Healthcare technology company DrFirst has announced the
release of its next generation, patented SmartSig AI technology to improve the
quality of patient medication history when it is imported into hospitals’ and
health systems’ electronic health records (EHRs).

– Simple prescription instructions, called “sigs,” can
have hundreds of variations or be missing entirely from patients’ medication
histories when they are imported into hospitals’ EHRs. The missing instructions
add to the risk of medication errors and take time for staff to reconcile
during the medication reconciliation process.

– SmartSig 2.0 accurately translates nearly 93% of
incoming prescription information, saving up to 30 seconds of work for each
drug entered during the medication reconciliation process.


DrFirst,
a Rockville, MD-based provider of e-prescribing, patient medication management,
and price transparency solutions, today announced the release of the next
generation of its SmartSig technology, which uses patented artificial
intelligence (AI)
to improve the quality of patient medication history when
it is imported into hospitals’ and health systems’ electronic health record
(EHR)
systems. Clinicians use the imported information for medication
reconciliation, which is recommended every time a patient is admitted,
transferred, or discharged from a healthcare facility. Accurate medication
reconciliation is a National Patient Safety Goal of The Joint Commission.

How Gaps in Prescription Histories Complicate The
Medication Reconciliation Process

Simple prescription instructions, called “sigs,” can have
hundreds of variations or be missing entirely from patients’ medication
histories when they are imported into hospitals’ EHRs. The missing instructions
add to the risk of medication errors and take time for staff to reconcile
during the medication reconciliation process. In addition, the wide variability
of sig terminology presents a more significant challenge than most people might
imagine for translating and structuring the data, said G. Cameron Deemer,
president of DrFirst. “Even a simple prescription instruction, such as ‘take
one tablet by mouth once daily,’ can have hundreds of text variations,” he
explained. These gaps in prescription histories complicate the medication
reconciliation process, often requiring clinicians and staff to spend hours
conferring with pharmacies and other providers to gather missing sig details
and then manually enter them

A recent study by the University of Michigan reveals that
quality issues due to free-text sigs also negatively impact pharmacy workflow
and endangers patients, requiring pharmacists to manually edit 84% of
electronic prescriptions to create accurate patient labels, which can still
introduce human errors. The study, published in May by BMJ Quality &
Safety, concludes that “development of tools and techniques such as a
comprehensive set of structured direction components or machine learning-based
natural language processing techniques may help produce clear directions.”


 How SmartSig 2.0 Works

DrFirst’s SmartSig is incorporated into the company’s MedHx solution, which provides a more complete, clean, and consumable patient medication history for the medication reconciliation process. When medications are imported into EHRs, sigs associated with them typically arrive as unstructured free text, often with missing pieces of information and using a variety of terms for the same instructions (e.g., “by mouth” vs. “orally”) which makes the process of entering the medications labor-intensive and increases the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs).

SmartSig AI addresses these challenges by producing
accurate, structured, real-time translations. The technology converts free text
elements of medication sigs into a health system’s standard terminology and
processes the data into appropriate fields so that it becomes functional within
the EHR. With better and actionable data, health systems’ EHRs can more
accurately trigger critical safety checks, such as drug interactions and
allergy alerts.

SmartSig 2.0 accurately translates nearly 93% of incoming
prescription information, called sigs, helping avoid medication errors and
saving up to 30 seconds of work for each drug entered during the medication
reconciliation process.


Initial Results/Outcomes for Providers

This time savings can add up to several thousands of hours
in a month, depending on the size of the hospital or health system. For a mid-
to large-size hospital reconciling more than 2 million patient medications in a
month, this could save more than 200,000 work hours per year.

In an initial study with six health systems, SmartSig 2.0
further enhanced the quality of structured and codified sigs over the previous
version. Sig translations from free text increased by an average of 11% with
the next-generation technology, compared to SmartSig 1.0, which already
improved translation and inference by up to 82%. The early adopters include
Covenant HealthCare (Saginaw, Mich.), King’s Daughters Medical Center
(Brookhaven, Miss.), Lafayette General Health (Lafayette, La.), Maimonides
Medical Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and St. Claire HealthCare (Morehead, Ky.).

SmartSig’s patented AI is a game-changing solution that
nearly perfects the quality of converted free-text sigs and drastically reduces
the amount of time staff must spend verifying and reconciling medication
histories,” he added. “More importantly, SmartSig has the potential to reduce
adverse drug events, which are blamed for more than 100,000 deaths per year,” said Deemer.


Provider Adoption

First implemented in 2015, SmartSig now serves health
systems across the U.S. and Canada as part of DrFirst’s MedHx solution,
processing millions of pieces of information daily. Early adopters of SmartSig
2.0 within MedHx have successfully integrated the solution with all the major
EHRs in the U.S.


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