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Enhancing Efficiency in Medical Equipment Sales with Automated Document Processing

DME Document Processing Automation

Stethoscope on a pile of medical records
Durable medical equipment (DME) providers rely on a complicated mix of documents as they work feverishly to manage patient registration, submit prior authorization paperwork, fulfill product orders, process claims, and provide quality patient care.


These processes often depend on critical information that is buried within thousands of pages of unstructured documents, including emails, faxes, and even handwritten notes. Extracting that information is incredibly burdensome for DME providers. 

Throughout the healthcare industry, organizations struggle with the demands of document processing. In an American Medical Association study, 85 percent of physicians said prior authorization alone comes with a high or extremely high level of burden. 

Manually extracting the data needed for prior authorization and other processes is woefully inefficient, costing companies time and money whether they manage it in-house or outsource it to a third-party vendor. The answer? Automation. Automation, augmented by artificial intelligence (AI), can be leveraged to enhance efficiency and, ultimately, improve operations and a company’s bottom line.

Notable Systems’ proprietary solution is built with the needs of medical device companies in mind and can be tailored to fit their precise specifications, making all the document and data processing involved in DME sales more efficient and seamless. 



Read Our Apria Case Study

Screenshot of Apria Case Study
Learn how Notable Systems helped medical equipment provider Apria streamline their approach to data extraction, improving efficiency, speed, and accuracy.

Read the Apria Case Study Now

Read Our Enovis Case Study

Cover of Enovis Case Study
Enovis handles millions of orthopedic prescriptions annually. Learn how they were able to automate data capture and achieve 100% accuracy for same-day pre-authorizations using Notable Systems.

Read Our Enovis Case Study Now

Current State of the Industry

Medical worker using a copy and fax machine to send medical orders
Most DME company employees have experienced firsthand how the standard approaches to document processing are fraught with inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Let’s look at some current considerations and challenges facing medical equipment providers.

Analog tech will continue to be part of the process for the foreseeable future.

Automation in healthcare isn’t a brand-new idea. In fact, there is a push toward digital transformation in the healthcare industry, but this push is largely focused on patient-facing technology. Some more internal processes—including communications between medical practices, insurance providers, and DME suppliers—are still largely handled using analog tech.

In 2018, about 7 in 10 hospitals said they continued to use mail or fax to send and receive summary of care records. Fax continues to be a mainstay in the healthcare space due to its familiarity and its security advantages for HIPAA compliance. For these reasons, it isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. 

Still, leading DME companies are embracing digital transformation in their sales processes. This often looks like implementing an online portal to take orders and manage communications. 

Inevitably, though, individuals or medical practices fail to use the portal, preferring to communicate and place orders through more traditional means. Too many DME companies have learned the hard way that implementing an online portal is an expensive experiment that can still leave you with many orders coming in through fax, mail, or phone.

As long as traditional documents are part of the picture, DME providers need an efficient means to deal with those documents.


Jump to Our Solution


Whether in-house or outsourced, manual document processing is marked by inefficiency.

Those documents that come in through fax and mail present a challenge for medical equipment providers. The relevant data must make it from the page to the appropriate software systems. How does it make that leap? 

The current answer for most of the medical device industry is through manual data extraction and entry. In other words, someone must painstakingly find the relevant data points (no easy task when you’re dealing with a 50-page medical record, for example) and transcribe that data into the right digital systems, such as accounting, sales, inventory, or logistics platforms.

There are two main approaches to manual document processing: in-house and outsourced. Both come with some disadvantages, pointing to the need for intelligent automation.



Processing documents in-house allows you to control the process end to end, which has its advantages compared to outsourcing. However, there are two major issues with this in-house approach:


   Requires a larger workforce

DME suppliers who attempt to handle all their document processing in-house typically need a large workforce spread across different time zones in order to maintain ongoing availability. Companies may also feel the need to hire extra employees so they can keep up during the busier times, but this overprovisioning means you’re paying some employees year-round even though they’re only needed part of the time.


   Frustrates staff with menial labor

Another major downside to in-house document processing is that it can frustrate staff. If someone was hired for a function such as customer service or sales but finds themselves spending countless hours on the menial labor of entering data, they’re bound to experience some frustration and feel their productivity is hampered.



Outsourcing may seem like a simple solution that frees up staff to focus on their core competencies. However, DME providers who have tried this will often attest that outsourcing to document processing companies generally underdelivers.

The reality is that this solution:


    Still leaves your team with work to do on your end.
   Can be very expensive.
   Adds layers to your process that complicate it.
   Still moves at the pace of humans.
   Can allow inaccuracies to slip through.


Today’s Bottom Line

Regardless of whether DME companies are performing manual data extraction and entry in-house or outsourcing it, they’re wasting labor, time, and money on something that modern tech solutions can handle more efficiently and with greater accuracy.

What Is Document Processing Automation?

Physician sending medical equipment orders through a document processing automation system
Document processing automation replaces the manual work of finding and transcribing information with technology that can perform the same function in less time and more accurately.

This solution starts with optical character recognition (OCR) technology and computer vision to “read” the contents of the document and uses AI to make sense of that information.

As you compare OCR data extraction software solutions, you may also encounter the term “intelligent data extraction,” which emphasizes the role of AI and natural language processing in not only digitizing text but also further assisting your team by identifying and pulling out key data points and entering them directly into business systems. 

Whether removing the work of manual data extraction and entry through simple automation or embracing the addition of AI to minimize the need for human intervention, automated document processing can streamline your medical equipment sales process considerably.

What Makes Notable Systems Unique in This Space?

DME provider smiling as she easily finds a patient's orders through the automated system
With so many solutions and services out there, how can medical equipment providers choose one that makes sense for them?

Globally, the intelligent document processing market is valued at $1.2 billion and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 29.7 percent over the coming decade.


Unique Expertise

Notable Systems has unique expertise in this space because the company was founded by tech and healthcare professionals looking to employ cutting-edge AI solutions to modernize the healthcare industry. Notable understands the complexities of processes such as preauthorization and understands just how imperative accuracy is for ensuring a tight revenue cycle and compliance with potential audits. Informed by this understanding, Notable provides medical device companies with the ideal solution for intelligent data extraction and document processing tailored to their unique needs. 




Proven Effectiveness

With Notable, what used to take medical equipment companies days can now take just minutes—and that’s with an extreme level of accuracy. Notable’s intelligent data extraction solution can help DME providers achieve that accuracy seamlessly with little to no human intervention. Companies can choose to loop humans in to the level they’re comfortable with depending on the level of automation they adopt.

See how Notable helped leading home medical device provider Apria automate its data extraction and achieve amazing results, including 200,000 fewer hours per year spent on order entry and preauthorization.


Read our DME Case Study

Benefits of Notable Systems Intelligent Data Extraction for Durable Medical Equipment Providers

Smiling DME provider writing on a form as she talks to a patient on the phone
Medical equipment companies who have partnered with Notable Systems have found this revolutionary approach to deliver powerful benefits.

Some of these powerful benefits include:

   Enhanced productivity

With less time dedicated to menial tasks, staff can be more productive in other, more meaningful areas. Employees will appreciate their newfound time to focus on their core competencies and deliver better customer service and patient care.


   Lower costs

By embracing intelligent automation, DME providers can greatly lower labor costs for in-house data entry personnel and can avoid the expensive solution of a third-party vendor.


   Expedited revenue cycle

Making processes such as intake and billing more efficient also means medical device companies can accelerate their revenue cycles. Eliminating errors also contributes to this benefit because it allows companies to fulfill orders without any hiccups and get paid on time.


   Higher level of accuracy

Notable Systems’ solution can achieve levels of accuracy that exceed typical human abilities. By eliminating manual data extraction from the process, companies can avoid typos, missing information, and other errors that can otherwise easily occur.


   Greater transparency

With data more accessible and all in a digital format, companies can gain greater visibility into business metrics. Having data more accessible and searchable also means companies are always ready to comply with an audit.

Applications of Automated Document Processing for Medical Equipment Distributors

Medical equipment providers organizing inventory
The potential applications of Notable’s solution are vast. DME providers can save time and money by embracing intelligent automation to help with a variety of data extraction and entry tasks.

For example, in addition to order processing and billing, medical device companies may apply automation to their:

Any task that involves referencing information and feeding that information into another location or business system is an opportunity to leverage intelligent data extraction. While DME companies may still keep a human in the loop for certain tasks, some steps can be fully automated. Notable can even work with companies to develop a bespoke solution for their specific needs and preferences.

Empowering DME Providers Through Intelligent Data Extraction

Smiling DME professional accessing patient data through intelligent data extraction
Notable Systems’ solution is a uniquely valuable tool for DME providers.

Notable Systems can integrate into existing workflows, scale up and down to match the current level of need and budget, deliver immediate results, and continue to improve as it gains experience and feedback.

Want to learn how Notable Systems could help your medical device company enhance the efficiency of your sales process? Schedule a consultation!