Data Redaction: Find and remove sensitive information from health records with OCR technology

Nalaka Withanage Uncategorised Leave a Comment

Information is power. Managing information as a valuable asset to an organisation requires secure sharing of information with other value added providers with confidence.

Point of care systems used by health providers produce vast amount of clinical information in the form of pathology records, progress notes, discharge summaries as part of clinical episodes. Most actionable health related information is stored in documents either in paper of electronic form. These records usually contain identifiable  patient demographic information. Due to this reason health records must be protected from exposure.

This information however is vital source for research organisations and other value added health institutions working hard to enhance healthcare service delivery.

What if we could automate the process of removing sensitive data from heath records? Removing patient identifiable data such as patient name, address details, UR no. etc from health records and make health records de-identifiable.

With the help of intelligent Optical Character recognition (OCR) software now you can automate the process of finding and remove identifiable data from both paper and electronic heath records permanently. This is known as data redaction or data masking.

This is how automated data redaction works:  You train the OCR software to auto-recognise sensitive information by showing few sample documents. Once this is done you can feed documents that carries identifiable information as a batch. The software through learning will automatically recognise the document (auto-classification) and redact identifiable data by re-imaging the document. The end result is an output document batch contain with no identifiable information. Here is a how the end result looks like.

In summary informed decision making require representative real world data collected over time. Redacting sensitive data from documents permanently with the OCR technology gives you a greater  confidence and ensure compliance in making such information available with third party care providers and research institution working towards better health outcomes.

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