Many of the healthcare industry’s most critical tasks lend themselves to automation. These processes include minimizing product expiration waste, streamlining referral management and improving billing and revenue.
Automating these repeatable tasks allows physicians to focus on giving patients empathetic care. Healthcare automation benefits include faster delivery of test results, reducing the risk of error in diagnosis and improved patient engagement.
Improved Patient Care
Healthcare automation improves patient care by freeing staff to focus on more human-facing tasks. For example, a physician might be able to spend less time completing administrative processes and more time talking to patients.
Automation also reduces the risk of mistakes by eliminating the human element. This can mean fewer medical malpractice payouts and more reliable scheduling and appointment reminders.
Automated systems that monitor a patient’s health can limit the risk of treatment error and ensure that patients receive the right dosage. For example, an automated insulin delivery system monitors a diabetic patient’s glucose levels to ensure that they are receiving the proper dose of medication.
Automating administrative processes can also help to fill gaps in staff coverage during a healthcare emergency. For example, software company UiPath used robotic process automation during the Covid-19 pandemic to expedite test results and speed up workflows. In turn, this reduced pressure on staff and helped hospitals and healthcare facilities respond faster and more effectively.
Reduced Error Rates
Many of the tasks that healthcare professionals do are highly time-sensitive. When a procedure or diagnosis takes longer than necessary, it can lead to patient dissatisfaction and even more serious complications for high-risk patients.
Automated processes can improve productivity and efficiency while reducing error rates in the healthcare industry. While some people worry that automation will replace workers in a field already short on staff, a true automation solution allows employees to focus more on clinically relevant work and less on administrative tasks that don’t involve their area of expertise.
For example, automated appointment confirmations and reminders allow practices to boost customer satisfaction without increasing staff workload. Meanwhile, intelligent automation tools that manage cases and collate notes can improve patient outcomes while reducing the likelihood of errors that could cost the organization large payouts. In fact, cost reduction is the primary reason that most healthcare executives implement automation solutions. These savings come from reduced overtime, improved productivity, and fewer misdiagnosis reimbursements.
In a high-risk environment where mistakes are costly and patient satisfaction is essential, healthcare automation increases productivity. Freeing staff from time-consuming manual tasks enables them to support more patients and deliver a better experience for both the staff and the client.
For example, allowing patients to check-in online reduces front-desk workload and allows them to complete their forms on their own. This process is more efficient than traditional paper forms and eliminates the possibility of error.
Diagnosis is also often time-sensitive in the case of serious illnesses that need to be treated quickly before they become worse. Automation can help reduce diagnosis times and ensure that the right treatment is delivered to the right patients at the right time.
Other healthcare automation benefits include streamlined referral management, which improves the speed and accuracy of the process while cutting down on the number of faxes and calls made by nurses and administrative staff. This also enables healthcare professionals to focus more on connecting with and educating their patients.
The primary reason healthcare organizations opt for automation is to save money. By minimizing manual work and reducing human error rates, automation helps minimize staff expenses. Moreover, robotic process automation software can perform the tasks that require human-level decision-making and leadership skills, leaving staff free to focus on patient management.
For example, automated systems can verify insurance coverage and calculate bills incurred from tests and medications, which helps reduce claim denials, improve cash flow, and eliminate the need to send unpaid accounts to collections later on. This also improves the speed of payments processing, which in turn, increases revenue.
Additionally, automation solutions that integrate with EHRs and other provider tools can capture data at the point of care to reduce inventory waste through better supply chain management. They can also enable efficient scheduling for patients, thereby reducing no-shows and cancellations. This leads to a higher number of patients treated, which in turn, generates more revenue for the organization.