Finally, all patient records are reviewed – with the help of robotic automation
Bad records put patients at risk. But auditing 3,500 patient records is almost impossible. Unless you are a robot, that is. Now, a meticulous robotic process automation keeps track of all the city’s patient records and sounds the alarm before someone gets hurt.
Aziza Munke is a medically responsible nurse and, together with her colleague, is ultimately accountable for all patient records in the City of Helsingborg. There are almost 3,500 care recipients’ records, including all assessments, interventions and treatments that must be noted.
But it is easy to forget or not to keep up with it, and reviewing the 3,500 records by hand makes it nearly impossible to keep an accurate record.
”When you start investigating after a medical injury, you often see major deficiencies in the records. They have forgotten certain things and failed to look at various factors. When IVO (Swedish Health and Social Care Inspectorate) carried out inspections in 283 municipalities, they found that one of the four most serious deficiency areas is that documentation is not done properly,” says Aziza Munke.
In Helsingborg, they have taken a giant step forward and done something about it.
The pilot project in a nursing home
With the help of the company PS Provider, the City of Helsingborg has launched a pilot project a few years ago. For a limited time, robotic automation reviewed all medical records at one of the city’s nursing homes. It is precisely the same review as a human would have done if it had the time, but faster and more efficiently.
The technology used is robotic process automation, also known as RPA. ”It is a tool for automating monotonous tasks where there is a clear regulatory framework,” says Sanna Andersson, developer at PS Provider.
The automation looks for gaps in the documentation. If a care recipient has a disability that increases the risk of pressure ulcers, the automation checks that staff have examined the skin. If the care recipient has a mental disability, the automation looks for assessments on how the person can orient themselves in time and space.
”It is impossible to do this yourself in all medical records,” says Aziza Munke.
The trial has been scaled up to all journals
The project was successful, and since spring 2023, the automation has been reviewing all the city’s medical records. The record is flagged in the electronic health record system if it finds a discrepancy. If the inconsistency persists during a second review, the record is also flagged by the manager.
The robotic automation review is unique. As far as we know, there is no similar system anywhere else, and several municipalities have contacted the City of Helsingborg to learn more.
More evaluation is required
It is clear that the robotic process automation review results in better medical records. Whether it also leads to better care remains to be seen.
”We need to measure that there is actually better care. Perhaps we can measure whether the number of deviations decreases and, if so, see if this is due to the fact that the number of deficiencies in the documentation has decreased. We haven’t checked that yet. So far we know that the staff think that they get a better picture of the patient,” says Aziza Munke.