Author: Dale Sahlberg -1-
( Optical Character Recognition )
Would you like to reduce the incidents of keying errors?
A registrar with many waiting patients can sometimes key in a street address of 1389 PINE STREET
instead of the correct address of 1839 PINE STREET.
While trying to hurry and provide speedy customer service, a social security number of 265-87-4913
instead of the correct 265-87-4193 could be typed in.
If those errors are not caught right away, the –
• the bill goes to a nonexistent address then gets returned
• the insurance company using the social security # for the policy number will reject the claim.
After a long shift of constant typing, hands get tired and fingers fumble. Is there a way to lessen the
burden of data entry and improve accuracy at the same time? What if the
registrar could swipe a wand over the person’s name, address, city, state, zip and phone number on the
driver’s license … and all that information would appear on the screen – would that be wonderful news?
Below is an example of just one “magic wand” that can help a hospital with data entry …
Author: Dale Sahlberg -2-
Instantly scan text and numbers into your computer Help manage labor-intensive typing and
note taking-discover the IRISPen Express handheld scanner. Simply scan with the IRISPen Express
printed information from books, newspapers, magazines, faxes, letters, spreadsheets, etc. and instantly
see all the words and numbers in your favorite application, wherever your cursor is.
From hundreds of different document types to hundreds of applications, the IRISPen Express captures
the information you need.
Enter up to 1,000 characters per second. The IRISPen works on both Windows and Mac OS, all
needed software is included in the box!
Very Easy-To-Use The IRISPen Express works just like a highlighter. Slide the pen over printed text
and numbers and they are automatically retyped in your application.
Incredibly Accurate Text and numbers (even printed on dynamic or colored backgrounds) will be
accurately retyped in your application with impressive precision (up to 100% accuracy).
Extremely Fast The IRISPen Express instantly enters scanned information wherever your cursor is at
up to 1,000 characters per second!
Smart, Portable, Versatile The IRISPen Express is small, light and portable. Use it with your laptop,
desktop, tablet PC, iBook, PowerBook, iMac, eMac or PowerMac wherever you go!
Programmable Pen Buttons Easily assign keyboard commands to the 2 pen buttons
Extensive language support The IRISPen works with text in 55 different languages.
Convenient USB Connection Directly connect the IRISPen Express to the USB port of your laptop
with easy plug-and-play installation. Powered by the USB port. No batteries required
- A Pentium 166 MHz - 64 MB RAM
- 30 MB free disk space - CD-ROM Drive
- USB Port - Windows XP, ME, 2000 or 98
Author: Dale Sahlberg -4-
Want a faster way to enter pharmacy orders?
Instead of looking through many screens to find the right pharmacy item, each floor could have a
“COMMON ORDER” list that the nurse simply scans to order.
How nice would it be to quickly enter many long comments effortlessly?
Comments like these can now be scanned in quickly from a “Crib Sheet” –
PAYROLL DEDUCTION AUTHORIZATION SENT
BILLED AMOUNT WAS APPLIED TO PATIENT
CHARGES/CLAIM WAS PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED
BENEFITS ON CLAIM WERE PAID TO THE INSURED
RECEIVED ADDITIONAL REQUEST FROM MEDICARE
PAYROLL DEDUCTION AUTHORIZATION ON FILE
COPY OF CHARGES AND LABEL TO MEDICAL RECORDS
Author: Dale Sahlberg -5-
Instead of laboriously typing in information, scan the data. Wherever your cursor is, simply slide the
OCR pen over printed text and numbers and the data is automatically retyped in your application. You
start scanning as soon as you press the pen onto the paper with the scanned text being lit by the scanner.
The OCR pen works just like a highlighter. The pen-sized scanner
functions as a camera that sends an image to the computer. As you scan, an image consisting of intense
points (called “pixels”) is generated and transmitted to the computer. The OCR software moves that data
into the position where your cursor is. Accuracy is nearly 100%. You can also edit the data after
scanning in case the original document had blurry letters.
All this applies to bar codes as well. The one difference with bar codes is in the processing: the image
captured with the pen scanner contains black and white bars, not characters, and the software analyzes
these bars to extract a sequence of symbols. Predefined combinations of bars and
spaces represent specific characters. There are several bar code standards such as Code 39, Code 93, Code
128, Codabar, Interleaved 2 of 5, EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A and MSI.
A hospital ancillary department such as Radiology can scan the barcode on the patient’s wristband to
ensure they have selected the right case to enter XRAY orders for or the tech could scan in the patient’s
name if the bar code lines are smudged. The limitation to just having a
bar code scanner is the scanner is for one use – just reads a patient number – that’s all. Why not have an
OCR pen that can read bar code OR text? Now you have a safety / backup in case the bar code ink gets
wet and the lines blur. Did the patient wash her hands and the bar code lines are smudged? The OCR can
even read blurry text with better accuracy than tightly crammed thin bar code lines. Better than having no
number recorded at all, you can read the patient name, birth date and admission date to confirm the
patient’s identification back at the terminal.
Some pens are battery powered and can be carried around to patient rooms … then returned to the desk to
connect to a USB port for downloading all collected data.
Author: Dale Sahlberg -6-
At each department the patient goes to for treatment, the pen can read the patient name, patient number or
the barcode on the wristband.
Just select what type of inquiry you want and scan the wristband.
The pen will fill in the number on the screen.
There is even a mixed reading mode where the OCR pen software reads bar codes alongside other data.
You can read normal text and bar codes simultaneously. You can scan address labels where the printed
data is complemented by a bar code without ever changing the reading mode.
The pen “auto-detects” which type of data is being read: the recognition software analyses the image to
see if it contains text or bar codes and uses the appropriate recognition routines.
The pen can be used by anyone at the PC for all SMS applications and other programs as well like
Excel, MS Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc … When you begin a line of text, you
merely push down on the pen just as you do when writing and the Windows "bell" sounds as you steadily
move the pen across the page. You can then go to the next line until you have scanned in all the text you
Author: Dale Sahlberg -7-
One advantage of the OCR pen is that you can easily scan non-flat text … bottles and tubes that cannot
Also, small images can be scanned and saved as a .bmp file or saved directly to the clipboard.
Is there a picture of a new needle on the market? Then scan in the image as well as the
descriptive paragraph and email it all to the nursing vice president for review.
Example of an OCR pen being used at a nurse station:
a) the morning lab tech signs on the computer, reads the bar code on the specimen tube he just
collected and enters data for the draw
b) a clerk signs on next, scans the patient number from a chart and places a radiology order
c) the floor nursing manager saw an excellent article about a new type of needle, so she scans in the
picture and the underlying paragraph, then sends the data to her director for review
d) an attending doctor for the patient in room 251A scans her patient’s number and quickly enters
pharmacy orders with the OCR pen using a “crib” sheet she carries
e) the floor supervisor pulls up a patient assignment spreadsheet and scans in the nurses names from
a master list on her clipboard for next weeks schedule
f) a zerox of a zerox telemetry instruction form was hard to read with smudges and ink spots all over
the page … so the clerk scanned the document into WORD and printed a sharp new clean version
Author: Dale Sahlberg -8-
Now hospitals have a versatile tool that can help all staff
members with data entry while ensuring accuracy and improving speed.