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Automating Laboratory Requisition Form Processing

By: Melissa Annecchini
Published: September 30, 2021

In the US alone, 14 billion laboratory tests are ordered annually. 70% of today’s medical decisions depend on these laboratory results. As clinical testing laboratories and Contract Research Organizations (CROs) process billions of forms that accompany those tests, it becomes clear that automating laboratory requisition forms, or test requisition forms, is the key to speeding up time to therapy and achieving operational efficiency.

Each laboratory test begins by accurately extracting critical patient and sample information from a laboratory requisition form, such as name, date, sex, time of sample, etc. Despite an industry shift toward more electronic records and technology, most of these requisition forms are still handwritten by providers. 

Even with high volumes (labs can receive tens of thousands or millions of requests each day), speed is the name of the game for labs once a form is received, as the data must be extracted in a timely manner before the sample goes bad. Delays can cause health issues for patients awaiting results, lead to an incorrect testing procedure, or even create a need to retest. Take blood testing, for example: once blood is collected from a patient, cells immediately begin to deteriorate and platelets begin to aggregate.

How can your laboratory ensure samples are moving through your systems quickly and accurately? 

The Results Are In: Intelligent Automation is the Cure 

The Global Medical Laboratories market size is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% through 2025 due to the increasing numbers of lifestyle-related ailments, chronic illnesses, and spurts of infectious diseases in different parts of the world.1

Currently, most laboratories rely on manual processing to read, interpret, and enter data from a requisition form into a Laboratory Information System (LIS), which halts operational efficiency while being both costly and resource-intensive. 

To complicate matters further, in addition to the growing number of lab tests requested each year, the forms you receive vary by test and are updated frequently (some forms may have more than 15 versions!).

Plus, healthcare is a highly regulated industry with zero room for error. Some labs have two workers key the same document to avoid inaccurate data entry. An error can wreak havoc on your bottom line by resulting in claims denials that create bottlenecks for payment processing and create even more paperwork. Worse yet, errors can lead to a patient receiving the wrong diagnosis.  

Experts estimate that 40,000–80,000 deaths occur annually from preventable diagnostic errors.2

Requisition forms will continue to change and adapt with the industry, as new data formats and testing methods emerge. Effectively automating lab requisition forms processing requires a solution that first and foremost treats accuracy as paramount and one that is also able to handle the variety of the forms to avoid workflow delays when updates occur. With this in mind, it’s crucial to evaluate flexible automation solutions. 

Enter intelligent automation. 

Get a Clean Bill of Health with Hyperscience

Intelligent automation solutions like the Hyperscience Platform merge Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and automation technologies to streamline complex processes with greater accuracy and fewer downstream steps. 

The ML continuously learns and improves over time, enabling laboratories to take human-readable requisition forms — even one that is entering your workflow for the first time — and process it, turning it into actionable data that can be transferred into your other business systems. 

Hyperscience excels at automating data entry. Our proprietary ML carriers between different document types and seamlessly loops in humans when needed. This collaboration between humans and machines ensures downstream data is accurate, actionable, and limits exception-handling and manual intervention. 

Additionally, the Hyperscience Platform was developed and trained to ingest, classify, separate, and deduplicate diverse documents (even ones with poor image quality), providing better accuracy, greater connectivity, and increased configurability to double throughput on day one. Better yet, you can set your desired target accuracy and the machine will automate against it, generally achieving over 80% automation out-of-the-box and 99% accuracy on handwritten forms with substantial improvements over time. 

For laboratories looking to automate laboratory requisition form processing, one of the key benefits of our Platform is its ability to reliably read handwritten text. 

More on how Hyperscience automates with accuracy.

Freeing time and valuable resources from tedious data entry tasks will enable laboratories to better serve patients when they need it most. Once accurate, automated data extraction is achieved, labs can unlock true end-to-end process automation to drive increased operational efficiency and help more patients.

In an industry where speed and accuracy of data is literally a matter of life and death, intelligent automation can cure your information bottleneck to seamlessly unlock data for swift and succinct diagnosis.  

Ready to bring your requisition forms to Hyperscience to speed up time to therapy? Learn more

1 Industry Arc 2 CDC