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Paper form digitization

Paper form digitization is a method to upgrade manual data input methods into digital data input methods.

Reasons for paper form digitization

Paper forms are still used to capture customer data and signatures. Collecting customer data via paper forms has many drawbacks, including transcription errors, delayed data, and the amount of manual work that results. Paper forms are also difficult to store, maintain, access quickly for analysis, and share across geographic locations.

Paper forms are still used extensively throughout businesses despite their drawbacks. Paper forms are still often used in insurance claims, where manual data entry by employees introduces errors into the process. Employing paper form digitization systems offers insurance companies the accuracy they need to run their business effectively.

Paper form digitization is also essential in hospitals where medical professionals use paper forms for writing prescriptions, administering treatments, completing patient intake forms, and more.

Some of the most common reasons why businesses continue to rely on paper forms are because digital transformation is not always an option, the cost of digitizing paper forms is higher than the financial benefits, and many businesses have been using paper-based processes for so long that it is difficult to transition from those business practices.

Accessing data from paper forms

Converting data from paper forms to a digital format can be done in several ways:

Converting data via an OCR Scanner

A scanner uses a CCD (charge-coupled device) and light source to illuminate the original form and then captures an image of it. For example, scanners that are equipped with optical character recognition technology can convert scanned images into editable formats such as PDFs.

This process is also known as optical character recognition (OCR), which converts data into structured, machine-readable form via software that reads text based on an image or a scan of the original paper document.

Using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, data from paper forms can be digitized and converted into a computer-readable format. This type of scanner is commonly used in the insurance industry because claims forms involve detailed medical information that must be scanned with meticulous attention to detail.

Converting data via manual data entry

In this method, a person manually enters the information into a digital format.

Manual data entry is not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. If an employee enters even one incorrect piece of data, it could affect the output of future analytics projects using this data. Using manual data entry can be integral in some industries, however, such as hospitals

Converting data via an Automatic Document Feeder

Automated paper form digitization systems can be used to scan data from paper forms. Automatic paper feeders quickly collect information on many forms at once, and the resulting digital files can then be forwarded to a computer processing system for storage or further analysis.

Digitizing paper forms

In order to provide a better user experience as well as reduce costs associated with data entry, businesses are increasingly turning to paper form digitization.

Paper form digitization involves a process of transforming paper forms into digital formats for digital data capture. There are several ways this can be achieved: PDF forms, web forms or digital journeys.

PDF forms

PDF (Portable Data Format) forms are paper or digital documents that adapt to the user or device viewing it. PDFs are used for security and easier distribution of form data. PDF still have many drawbacks when it comes to customer experience, especially on mobile.

Web forms

A webform is a digital version of a paper form that can be filled out online. Web forms are best for capturing critical customer data because they allow businesses to gather information in real-time, reducing the error rate caused by manual data entry. Web forms have many benefits when it comes to ease of use, accessibility and capture of customer data.

Digital journeys

A digital journey is an automated, personalized customer experience that guides users through a series of touchpoints that provide the user with the right information at each stage of their interaction with a business. For example, if you have several paper forms for different services offered by your business, you tailor the user journeys to specific customers. You can use dynamic data to make web forms simpler for your customers to complete.

Advantages of digitizing paper forms

Digitization of paper forms offers many benefits:

  • Quick and easy data storage and access: Digitizing data creates a new source from which business data can be collected, organized, stored, analyzed, and shared. Industries such as healthcare have been
  • Increased data accuracy: Digitizing paper forms ensure that critical information is captured accurately.
  • Increased productivity: Digitizing data reduces human error and increases workforce efficiency. For example, employees will no longer have to manually enter this data into a digital format.
  • Better customer service: Customers who use web-based forms receive prompts and relevant content based on previous interactions with the company.
  • Reduced costs: Converting data from paper forms to digital formats is less expensive than manual data entry and is more accurate as well. Once data is digitized, it can be easily shared with different devices such as scanners, printers, and computers.
  • Increased efficiency: Conversion of paper forms into digital formats allows employees to focus on more important tasks rather than having them spend time
  • Improved security: Digitizing data over manual entry makes it much less likely that errors will occur. Once the information is digitized, companies can ensure that all of their paper forms are secure and protected from physical damage.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: When customers fill out paper forms, it is a more personal experience that leads to a better relationship with the company.
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