Closing the Medical Data Gap: Using IT to Close the Gap Between Health Information Systems and External Documents


The Dark Report
21806 Briarcliff Dr.
Spicewood, Texas 78669
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Media Contact: Ron Martin

AUSTIN, Texas (March 5, 2012) – There is a huge push on the part of healthcare in general to adopt various healthcare information technologies, whether it is electronic health records (EHR), laboratory information systems (LIS), health information exchanges (HIE), or other IT tools. The federal government has put in place incentives to encourage adoption of IT, as well as some punitive measures. Laboratories and various healthcare shareholders are bringing on these IT tools, although it is a fairly slow process. If it is even be possible to convert to a totally “paperless” system, that day is a long ways off. Meanwhile, as the healthcare industry moves to digital and electronic records, there is still a great deal of paper being generated. Paper records present unique challenges to the adoption of electronic health records – scanning in paper files and attaching them do not make them “computable” or searchable, which is the ultimate goal of health IT adoption. Some companies are developing cutting-edge scanning and data extraction technologies that can be used to migrate the information on a paper record into a digital record, especially in terms of structured medical data – data that typically appears in tables, grids, or specific forms.

The Dark Report is pleased to offer a recently published FREE White Paper, “Closing The Medical Data Gap: Using IT To Close The Gap Between Health Information Systems And External Documents.” Published by The Dark Report and Dark Daily,  it is available free to laboratory professionals as a PDF download.

Along with other topics, this FREE White Paper specifically addresses:

• The difference between structured data and unstructured data

• The challenges of paper documents, as well as documents that arrive in incompatible formats

• Various technological solutions to dealing with paper records and non-compatible formats

• The reliability of scanning technology, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and data capture algorithms

• An overview of Extract Systems’ LabDE, a solution for automatic data capture of structured laboratory results

The paper’s author, Mark Terry, is a freelance writer and editor specializing in clinical diagnostics, telemedicine, medical practice management, and biotechnology. He worked for 18 years in clinical genetics prior to turning to writing and has published over 600 magazine and trade journal articles, 15 books, and more than two dozen market research reports and white papers related to the clinical lab industry. He is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Association of Genetic Technologists.

The White Paper’s editor, David Rasmussen, is the President of Extract Systems. Mr. Rasmussen has more than fifteen years of experience leading software companies, and is currently chairman of the Board of Directors for Accelerate Madison. He also serves on the greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Business Advisory Council. Mr. Rasmussen earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.

This White Paper, “Closing The Medical Data Gap: Using IT To Close The Gap Between Health Information Systems And External Documents,” is available for free download as a PDF at  It is part of the Dark Daily Resource Center, which has a growing library of White Papers and other information resources tailored specifically for the needs of laboratory administrators, lab managers, pathologists, and lab industry consultants.

For additional information, Contact: Ron Martin, 512-264-7103

About The Dark Report

Established in 1995, The Dark Report is the leading source of exclusive business intelligence for laboratory CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Pathologists and Senior industry executives. It is widely-read by leaders in laboratory medicine and diagnostics. The Dark Report produces the famous Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management every spring, which showcases innovations by the nation’s and globe’s leading laboratory organizations. Dark Daily is an Internet-based e-briefing intelligence service, read worldwide by thought leaders in laboratory and pathology management. Other well-known conferences conducted by The Dark Report are Lab Quality Confab (on the use of Lean and Six Sigma methods in labs and hospitals), Molecular Summit (on the integration of in vivo and in vitro diagnostics). The Dark Report co-produces Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine annually in the United Kingdom; Executive Edge bi-annually in Canada; and The Business of Pathology bi-annually in Australia.