Pitfalls of Manual Data Entry
September 17, 2018
With the various data entry options surrounding the NEMT industry, whether manual or through software, it’s hard to know which option is best for your organization. By switching to a software that streamlines your data entry, the time and money you save can be reallocated to places that could benefit from more attention. There are various reasons to switch from manual data entry to a software that can streamline the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering a software solution:
- Manual Data Entry Is Time Consuming
Companies can spend countless hours every day manually entering data from their NEMT trips. Transferring information from the trip sheets you gave to your drivers into manually typed information can waste vital time that your organization may not have. If manual data entry is not one of the designated core tasks of the business, it can divert your employees focus from completing more valuable tasks. Data entry forces employees to allocate their time towards a short-term goal, instead of the greater, long-term goal.
- Data Entry Can Be Expensive
Some organizations choose to hire companies to enter their data for them or may even hire an employee solely dedicated to data entry. Both options are very costly and can impact the organization negatively.
Here’s an example of the financial stress that manual data entry can cause your organization:
Let’s say a mid-sized company hires a data entry employee who works on manually entering data for 8 hours every day. If it takes about 4 minutes to enter all the data for one NEMT trip into the system, and there are roughly 4,000 trips each month, this employee is spending 16,000 minutes, or, about 267 hours each month doing manual data entry. They’re not only paying this employee for their time, but the amount of time wasted is costing countless dollars by not being able to allocate this employee to more important things. This seems like a waste of time and money since this process can easily be replaced by a software designed for data entry.
- Higher Data Inaccuracy Rate
Errors such as: illegible handwriting, inadequate training of data entry professionals, copy and paste errors, misinterpretation of wording, and misspellings. The repercussions for any of these errors occurring can be debilitating for the company. Hopefully the organization can identify the error and make the necessary changes to recover the integrity of the data.
- Software Validation and Industry Compliance
Without data validation, significant errors can be made. Focusing on the NEMT industry, one of the main repercussions for bad data is not getting accurately paid for completed trips. This consequence along with many others, prove why it’s important to implement best practices when capturing and entering data.
Compliance with the regulations for any industry is a crucial part to a company’s success. Failure to comply with state and federal procedures can have a very serious impact. For these reasons, you will want to make sure all your data is validated and compliant. Using software to assist with validating your data will in turn assist with compliance.
- Reporting Becomes More Valuable
Reporting becomes more extensive, useful and readily available. With the amount of time it takes to manually enter data, there’s hardly any time left to analyze, strategize and plan to improve your current processes. With manual data entry, reporting takes the back seat in your organizations procedures. It takes a good amount of time to enter the data which will be used to generate reports.
Come audit time, you do not want to have poor or missing data. Reports are a good way to discover or confirm suspected issues. Many times, you may not know a problem exists. Reporting can provide insight into what is working and what needs to be improved on. It’s circumstances like this where reports prove their value. They can easily show you where the error exists. For the purposes of protecting a company and maintaining compliance within its industry, it’s recommended that companies use software to provide data validation. If your driver accidentally marked the pickup and drop off times as the same time, you’re not going to get paid for that trip since no mileage was used. Software could have easily identified this problem and calculated the bill amount based on the mileage it tracked using geocoding. If these companies were to manually create reports based off the data that was manually entered, this would not be a good use of time. If any data was entered incorrectly, the reports would be generated based off incorrect data. It’s best to avoid these possibilities and use a software that provides and supports data validation and industry compliance.
- On-The-Go Driver Needs
When on the road, drivers need a quick and efficient system to assist with their trip data entry. A mobile app with designated software will remove the possibility of error from manual data entry and eases the process of capturing and entering data into the system. There will no longer be human error such as: illegible writing, inaccurate data, and “typos”. As an NEMT provider, you need accurate information for a variety of reasons such as: audit trails, maintaining compliance and driver/ rider integrity. Data including automatic geocoding and time stamps, eliminates any possibilities for false information.
Manual data entry is one of the most inefficient ways to keep track of your organization’s data. When searching for a software solution for data entry, it’s important to find one that gives your company it’s time and data validation assurance back. Instead of piecing together your manually entered data, invest in a system that’s built to create a higher efficiency and productivity working environment. Protect your organization from any possible human error or inaccurate data by implementing a software that validates your data to ensure you’re compliant within your given industry.
It’s time to use data to your advantage and stop allowing it to sit in forgotten or overlooked folders where it’s unusable. With a software that assists with data entry, you can improve your process and creating a better business.
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