The current buzz word across most industries is Robotic Process Automation. After the success in many sectors, RPA is a much sought after technology that is being rapidly adopted across industries because of the multiple benefits it offers.
Whenever we hear the word Robotic Process Automation, most people picture robots replacing humans. However, this is not completely true.
Robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence are next-generation technologies that are being implemented in the workplace much to the advantage of organizations that want to achieve their goals and keep pace with their competitors.
Automation is widely visible in our daily lives. For instance, if you wish to withdraw money, you will probably avail the services of an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). For our rooms, we have cell phone controlled thermostats. When we go shopping for essentials, we use self-checkout at grocery stores. At the parking area of buildings, we resort to auto parking assistants in vehicles.RPA as a technology has been slowly gaining acceptance in a variety of industries, including healthcare. Click To Tweet
RPA as a technology has been slowly gaining acceptance in a variety of industries, including healthcare. However, compared to banking and retail which were among the first to adopt these technologies, the healthcare sector took its time to adopt RPA. Recent pressures such as escalating costs have called for the adoption of RPA to drive down costs and reduce wastage in the delivery of healthcare.
Healthcare is indeed one area where this technology is helping to streamline operations. Robotic Process Automation has enabled those in the healthcare sector to shift manual, time consuming and cumbersome work from humans to robots, thereby achieving positive results.
Case for RPA adoption
According to a report by Healthcare Leaders, three out of four hospitals and health systems CEOs cite reduction of overall cost and increasing efficiency as two of their top financial priorities. The healthcare industry is continually looking for improving efficiency, cutting costs and automation of manual tasks can be an important part of the overall strategy for performance improvement.
The benefits of RPA across industries are as follows:
- Decreased operational costs
- Increased cycle times
- Increased regulatory compliance as steps are monitored and documented
- Increased efficiencies as robots work round the clock and are not fatigued
- Better productivity as robots carry out repetitive tasks faster
- Improved accuracy as human errors are reduced
- Improved customer satisfaction as decreased errors build deeper customer relationships, retaining them and helping acquire newer ones by positive word of mouth spread
- IT support and management is better as it is easier to scale robotic software
- Logistical upside which minimizes or eliminates complications with offshore labor
- RPA and business processors – presentation layer automation software which mimics the steps of rule based non subjective processes
Application of RPA in the Healthcare Sector
- Manpower Savings
Machines can save a lot of time. Using automation can substitute manually intensive and repetitive tasks that were performed by humans. It will not expel employees completely but would promote them into advanced roles that they are more suitable for.
- Elimination of Waste / Save Environment
In maintaining the records at a hospital, there may be manual entries that are made into registers, sheets as well as entries made in the electronically maintained databases. RPA adoption will help to cut down the usage of stationery and help organizations rely less on paper. This will cut down the wastage and save the environment
- Higher Throughput
With the help of automation, healthcare personnel will be better equipped to deal with the growing volume of patients that are difficult to deal with when managed entirely by humans. A larger number of patients will be looked after by a smaller number of medical personnel thereby allowing the hospital staff to cater to other important areas. This will allow them to scale up.With the help of automation, healthcare personnel will be better equipped to deal with the growing volume of patients that are difficult to deal with when managed entirely by humans. Click To Tweet
- Improved Quality and Consistency
Robots are not fatigued or bored of doing laborious repetitive work round the clock. They can provide consistency in care activities. A hospital in Texas discovered that greater automation in the areas of medical records, order entry, claim processing and decision support was linked with a reduction in complications and costs.
- Membership Management
Another area where time can be saved is that of managing memberships of a hospital. For example, setting up accounts, verifying eligibility, processing enrollments, managing benefits, billing and customer service are all a part of the daily processes. These can take a lot of time if performed manually leading to huge waiting time for patients leading to irritation and declining customer satisfaction. If these processes are automated, work will be swifter, waiting time will be reduced and there will be plenty of pleased clients.
- Claims Administration
A good amount of time is spent daily in dealing with the claims of patients, be it inputting and processing, adjusting or dealing with appeals. If all these time consuming tasks were shifted to machines, you would surely notice that your team is accomplishing a lot more. One of the biggest areas where robotic process automation is taking over is the healthcare industry.One of the biggest areas where robotic process automation is taking over is the healthcare industry. Click To Tweet
- Care Management
Last but not the least there are important workflows involved in managing care, coordinating that care, promoting wellness, case and utilization management and remote monitoring. Here again, RPA will help in centralizing and streamlining these workflows effortlessly.
Besides all of the above mentioned areas, another one that healthcare has applied Robotic Process Automation in is presenting data driven insights. Technology that is deployed to automate processes will give you chunks of data to deal with. This comes out of a feedback loop. The data when processed and analyzed can be used to improve performance.
After the completion of every cycle, the installed systems can gather data on the progress of the process and this information can help in improving the process. Over time, gradual improvement can be noticed and the process can be made more efficient, accurate and can ease the workload of the team.
When identifying the areas where automation can be applied, you should start with a repetitive rule based high volume process. The result of shifting these routine and repetitive tasks from humans to software robots is much more than just cost savings. Healthcare leaders are increasingly realizing the value-added proposition that RPA has to offer. Freeing up workers from boring, laborious daily tasks can allow them to devote their energy to more critical activities thereby transforming business activities and improving customer experience.