Howdy! Today we are going to talk about achieving automation across healthcare workflows, and how some of the companies are leveraging different technology tools to achieve the same.
Before we start, lets understand some of the common use cases that are present in a healthcare setup.
Patient enrollment and registration
Scheduling patients with doctors or any other service based on availability of slots
Patient Diagnosis and capture of patient conditions
Collecting current medication list and past history of patient visit
Patient Medical prescriptions
Creating different Orders like lab, radiology, or any other clinical order in form of 3D echo, CT Scans, MRI, an alternate therapy etc.
Creation of a treatment plan
Administering medications and required immunizations
Capturing progress while a treatment course is followed
Revenue Cycle Management workflows which deal with pre-authorization, claim generation and submission, collections, denial management and more
While the above use cases depict set of activities and actions, that are apparent in different departments, effective collaborations, need to digitize data and data integrations amongst different departments became some of the first few steps towards adoption of a digital transformation journey. While the needs are apparent, below are some of the pressing challenges-
Healthcare Organizations are sitting on piles of manual paper records that are in scope of tedious digitization process
While records are getting digitized, it doesn’t still provide an easy integration with other health systems like EHRs, Labs, Pharmacy etc.
While integrations are getting streamlined with adoption of health integration engines, and new standardization, continual changes are hard to adapt and requires lot of time
Systems supporting integrations lack solid support as they are not truly self-serviced.
Moreover, as the network grows, the support need grows which demands more technical staff to understand the administrative and IT issues that one may encounter while managing the infrastructure
Keeping the pace with the privacy and security laws demands continuous attention and governance on cloud
With shortage of IT and administrative staff, the burden is shared and requires clinical staff to fulfill those mundane repetitive tasks of appending patient records
Automation Goals for Healthcare:
When it comes to automations in healthcare, each process is unique and provides opportunities to automate mundane repetitive tasks. In last few years the process of automation has been supported with automation tools popularly known as RPA (Robotic Process Automation) software. For example, some of the popular leading RPA software are Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Microsoft Power Automate, Pegasystems, Work fusion, Appian to name a few.
Some of the common goals around healthcare workflow automations are listed below:
Providing seamless patient experience across touchpoints
Streamline operations by automating mundane repetitive task
Empowering positive clinical outcomes by building predictive algorithms for point of care
Manage compliances by building collaboration and automations around managing non compliances
Ensure predictability in financial outcomes
Empowering administrative staffs to gain efficiencies while they deal with revenue cycles
Automate care team coordination workflows for efficient collaboration
Automate digitization of records leveraging simple tools
Integrate data from APIs periodically or on cause of an event to facilitate easy flow of data between systems
Rise of Robotic Process Automation
With RPA tools now in the ecosystem, it became super easy to build, deploy and manage software robots. While the purpose of these software robots is to mimic the human action, it also now leverages cognitive intelligence while enabling the ability to see, hear, speak, search, understand and accelerate advanced decision-making in the digital health apps.
Companies like UI Path estimates almost around 60% of tasks performed by care professionals can be automated, while lot of valuable time can be saved in revenue cycle automation. Right from integrating resources from Health Systems like EPIC, Allscripts, Cerner, it can be configured to integrate into patient portals and bunch of other digital health apps. As healthcare is more event driven and facilitates real time operations, automations like these are considered highly meaningful with accuracy of data and predictability of insights driven from such data.
At the core of it, whether we use a virtual assistant for searching available slots of resources, or we leverage an algorithm to predict resource utilization, the RPA driven tools and assistants are quick in automating the tasks. They often leverage business rules engine to automate the decisions based on some of the predefined conditions.
Some examples that are easily handled with RPA –
Data digitization from unstructured documents
Automated recording of data from patient interactions
Automation around scheduling of appointments
Automating backend customer service calls
Automated tracking of patient care plans and adherence to medications
Automating the claim submission and follow-ups
Automating payment collections and denial management workflows
Front desk appointment reminders or copay collections or simple patient check ins
Medical history collection and review
Below are some of the news that are around automation around healthcare workflows –
GoodRx Announces Agreement with Surescripts to Provide Real-Time Drug Discount Pricing in Electronic Health Records
Heart to Heart Hospice Receives Medalogix Muse Trailblazer Award for Adopting Machine Learning Technology
Zelis Completes Acquisition of Sapphire Digital, the healthcare industry’s leading platform for provider selection, patient access, price transparency, and digital consumer navigation
Pair Team Secures $7.3 Million in Funding to Build Primary Care Infrastructure for Medicaid and Underserved Populations
OpenBots Acquires araZach Healthcare-Salesforce Solutions Provider
HealthEdge Completes Acquisition of Wellframe
If you have a similar story or want to share your initiatives of how you are leveraging digital strategies to automate healthcare workflows for doctors, nurses and other stakeholders, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Team Health Viva