Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been integrated into many industry sectors, and healthcare is also undergoing transformation from AI. The Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI) at UCSF is using AI to automate manual, repetitive workflows that traditionally have relied heavily on human staff. UCSF receives over 1 million faxes annually. With our Referrals Automation solution, we have been able to use optical character recognition (OCR) technology to automatically extract patient information from faxed referrals. However, this solution is needs further development because the technology is based on using templates of the forms, which both limits accuracy and requires upfront investment to build the templates.
We are working to increase the accuracy, add new automation, reduce upfront investment, and expand the automation to non-referrals, which account for more than 80% of the fax volume. The latest advancements in document image classification and OCR have allowed us to build an application that utilizes these algorithms, automatically and accurately differentiating types of faxes and extracting the the patient information relevant to providers. We are taking incremental steps to streamline the patient intake process, ultimately providing our patients to have a better experience and be scheduled sooner with greater efficiency.