Techniques similar to those used for background encoding can be applied to previously entered text or to text entered by voice recognition or optical character recognition. Where such methods are used there is likely to be a need for manual intervention to resolve uncertain encoding. The requirement for manual intervention will depend on the sophistication of the matching techniques and the extent to which accuracy is safety-critical. If encoded data is to be used by clinical decision support protocols, which may influence the treatment of a patient, extreme care is needed when using automatic encoding and tools that allow manual review are essential. A less rigorous approach may be acceptable where the purpose of encoding is for aggregation and analysis of large volumes of population data.


Anyone implementing this approach should take care to undertake appropriate quality assurance of the results. Mention of this approach to data entry does not imply that it is considered safe for a given use-case. Formal professional assessment of the risks and benefits of any type of automated encoding is essential.