A modern optical character recognition system in a real world clinical setting: some accuracy and feasibility observations

Proc AMIA Symp. 2002;56-60.


Advances in optical character recognition (OCR) software and computer hardware have stimulated a reevaluation of the technology and its ability to capture structured clinical data from preexisting paper forms. In our pilot evaluation, we measured the accuracy and feasibility of capturing vitals data from a pediatric encounter form that has been in use for over twenty years. We found that the software had a digit recognition rate of 92.4% (95% confidence interval: 91.6 to 93.2) overall. More importantly, this system was approximately three times as fast as our existing method of data entry. These preliminary results suggest that with further refinements in the approach and additional development, we may be able to incorporate OCR as another method for capturing structured clinical data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Electronic Data Processing* / standards
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Software
  • User-Computer Interface*