Mending the Healthcare industry with RPA
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process.
RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses, and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only substantially better: an RPA software robot never sleeps and makes zero mistakes.
How is RPA different from other enterprise automation tools?
In contrast to other, traditional IT solutions, RPA allows organizations to automate at a fraction of the cost and time previously encountered.
RPA is also non-intrusive in nature and leverages the existing infrastructure without causing disruption to underlying systems, which would be difficult and costly to replace.
With RPA, cost efficiency and compliance are no longer an operating cost but a byproduct of the automation.
- Minimal upfront investment
- No disruption to underlying systems
- Led by the business, with support from IT
- Highly scalable, adapts to changing business environment
How does Robotic Process Automation work?
RPA robots are capable of mimicking many–if not all–human user actions. They log into applications, move files and folders, copy and paste data, fill in forms, extract structured and semi-structured data from documents, scrape browsers, and more.
Healthcare meets RPA
Healthcare providers across the globe carry out multiple procedures and tasks such as billing and claims management, patient onboarding, delegating medical professionals, collecting patient reports and data, and providing prescriptions.
Traditionally, these tasks are managed or monitored manually or with the help of off-the-shelf software. With this approach, executing and tracking these procedures along with core tasks can be tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone.
Additionally, healthcare institutions must ensure compliance for various rules and regulations. Also, healthcare regulations are constantly changing. Hence, healthcare institutions have to be updated with the latest changes and take suitable measures for regulatory compliance. Non-compliance of regulations can result in hefty fines or in some cases, the shutdown of hospitals. Such incidents affect the reputation of healthcare institutions.
The advent of robotic process automation (RPA) has transformed various industry sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and telecommunication. Likewise, the introduction of RPA in healthcare will revolutionize the healthcare sector. Leveraging RPA in healthcare will present a feasible solution for several concerns related to healthcare. RPA bots will automate rule-based tasks in high volumes. Such bots can store and manipulate data, processes transactions, communicate with other digital systems, and trigger responses. RPA bots have the ability to generate accurate results and avoid errors.
Use cases of RPA in healthcare
- Simplifying patient appointment scheduling
- Speeding up account settlements
- Streamlining claims management
- Implementing discharge instructions
- Recording audit procedures
- Improving the healthcare cycle
- Managing healthcare workflows
As patient numbers grow, healthcare providers are challenged with managing levels of inventory, supporting digitization of patient files, optimizing appointment scheduling, and executing billing and claims processing. To help overcome these operational pain points, more and more healthcare providers are embracing RPA to alleviate these challenges and drive enhanced efficiency and growth. Healthcare is predicted to have a 36% automation potential.
This means more than a third of healthcare tasks—especially managerial, back-office functions—could be automated, allowing healthcare providers to offer more direct, value-based patient care at lower costs and increased efficiency.
RPA helps alleviate healthcare customer pain points
Let’s take a look at a general care hospital in Europe with nearly 2,000 employees, 70,000 emergency visits and 300,000 outpatient annually. This healthcare provider had an increasing client base and struggled to maintain a supportive operational infrastructure. Of course, it was essential to keep up the same standard of patient care it previously delivered. The hospital faced numerous labor-intensive challenges, many of which stemmed from inefficient macros and a reliance on the manual labor of employees.
Like many other healthcare providers, the hospital was still highly dependent on paper records such as patient medical files and financial documents. Transferring these paper files into a digital database by hand was time-intensive and involved significant human error. Even more so, keeping digital records up-to-date manually for every change in medical or financial information was nearly impossible to maintain because this prevented employees from spending the necessary face-time with patients.
Another pain point was inventory management. The hospital monitored the supply levels of every inventory item, right down to syringes, gloves, and needles, based on anticipated demand and previous use. Yet, an inefficient inventory tracking system meant that 20-30% of its supplies went unused. The hospital was also faced with significant proportions of appointment cancellations, which were especially costly if the empty space could not be filled. Due to these no-shows, many other patients were unable to access services in the time-frame needed.
RPA increases control of operations:
The hospital turned to RPA in order to regain control of its operational processes and significantly improve the patient experience. Through RPA, the hospital was able to eliminate a significant number of internal functional silos and provided its patients with increased transparency. Automation streamlined the supply chain by determining optimal inventory levels based on previous needs and patterns in the demand, especially through the use of real-time reporting.
At this point, the hospital was using software robots for roughly 80% of claims and billing, thereby reducing processing costs from $4 to $1 per claim. Patients welcomed the change.
More than 75% of them (across all age groups) wanted to use innovative and functional digital services. The increasingly digitized infrastructure supported by RPA was a success. Patients were able to access their medical histories, billing information, and appointment scheduling and reminders from a unified online platform, which resulted in optimized appointment turnout and more timely payments.
While RPA provided operational improvements for the hospital, the patients were the ones who most significantly benefited.
What Processes Are Relevant to RPA?
Implement Fast, Achieve ROI Fast
An HR Service Provider from Europe was processing 2,500 sick leave certificates per month with an average handling time of four minutes per item, within three weeks they implemented an RPA solution and achieved 90% process automation.
The RPA robot extracts data from a transaction in sap, inserts the information into the customer’s systems, and prints it. the HR Service Provider achieved a return-on-investment within six months, with error rates reduced to 0%, manual effort reduced to 5%, and processing time reduced by 80%.
Reduce Effort in the Back Office
A global retailer was using its store closing reports to validate closing information for each of its registers across hundreds of stores. the store’s employees used a manual and sluggish process to pull up these reports. by automating the process the store freed up its employees to now focus on more customer-centric activities.
The RPA robots now move the closing reports to one server, then read and consolidate the needed information for the store’s closing reports.
Improve Customer Service in the Front Office
A trade credit insurance company with over 50,000 clients worldwide automated the credit limit request underwriting process. underwriters were previously gathering information manually, from internal (risk & policy) to external (customer site, google news) sources. with RPA they saved 2,440 hours of human work a month. employees now use that time to work directly with customers.
What are the business benefits of RPA?
Robots are here to stay. The faster you harvest their potential, the faster you create a competitive edge for your business. Robotic Process Automation delivers direct profitability while improving accuracy across organizations and industries. Enabling RPA to handle any processes will not only transform and streamline your organization’s workflow. It will allow for superior scalability and flexibility within the enterprise, doubled by the fast, tailored response to specific needs.
Software robots are easy to train and they integrate seamlessly into any system. Multiply them, and instantly deploy more as you go. They constantly report on their progress so you can go even bigger and better by using operational and business predictability while improving strategically.
Robotic Process Automation software robots are programmed to follow rules. They never get tired and never make mistakes. They are compliant and consistent.
Once instructed, RPA robots execute reliably, reducing risk. Everything they do is monitored. You have the full control to operate in accordance with existing regulations and standards.
Fast cost savings
RPA can reduce processing costs by up to 80%. In less than 12 months, most enterprises already have a positive return on investment, and potential further accumulative cost reductions can reach 20% in time.
Across business units and geographies, RPA performs a massive amount of operations in parallel, from desktop to cloud environments. Additional robots can be deployed quickly with minimal costs, according to work flux and seasonality.
Increased speed and productivity
Employees are the first to appreciate the benefits of RPA as it removes non-value-add activities and relieves them from the rising pressure of work.
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