It is projected the RPA industry will boast a valuation of USD $2.9 billion by the end of this year (AIMultiple). A growing number of businesses across a wide array of industries have recognized the value and potential for application or robotic process automation. 53% (AIMultiple) of organizations are currently on the journey of creating value through RPA introduction into their business. Especially in industries that value precision and high volume data processing, an RPA system can significantly help create better and faster results.
Healthcare is one such industry. Reliant on accurate information exchanges that are often heavily time-based, maintaining a dependency on human resources alone leaves room for errors and concerns. For the best possible methods vis a vis adoption, corporations should look to professionals well versed in RPA services. This helps find a solid middle ground between desired results and the right tools to be implemented to achieve the same. RPA services have changed the way businesses are able to automate themselves. The process is no longer foreign, tedious or exclusive to large organizations. RPA can easily be implemented across organizations of any size, making it a highly sought after tool for business development.
What is RPA?
RPA or Robotic Process Automation is a technology application method centered around business logic and structured inputs. By understanding the rules required to execute a command, RPA systems are able to automate activities based on the organizations needs and goals. RPA tools are able to configure software and/or introduce a robot (also referred to as a bot) in order to execute actions. Bots are able to not only capture and interpret applications but also process transactions, manipulate data, trigger responses and communicate with other virtual systems to create a cohesive end to end response chain.
Due to the nature of RPA systems, the processes can be scaled up or down as needed. This means the systems are able to execute actions as small as sending automated responses in the thousands to performing integral jobs and processes to completing the sales cycle. As of 2018, when surveyed organizations were asked about IA (intelligent automation), almost 100% (CIO) of interviewed businesses mentioned intelligent automation was high up on their agenda. The importance of lowering reliance on manual labour and switching to digital tools and assistants is critical to effective and impactful process execution.
RPA application in Healthcare
The healthcare industry collectively spends over USD $2.1 billion annually on data management and poorly performed manual tasks. In a similar cause for concern, insurance organizations spend between USD $6 to $24 million addressing the same concern. The healthcare process has seen very little change or improvement since the systems were implemented. A vast majority of the work is conducted manually and is often riddled with errors and time lags. It can safely be deduced, almost every department within healthcare organizations could benefit from some degree of automation involvement.
The financial department, in particular, could strongly benefit from RPA intervention. Healthcare businesses are liable for hundreds and thousands of dollars based on the prospective errors generated by small errors in data recording or during the transition from department to department. It is expected over 50% of interactions within medical environments will be conducted through RPA. This also means businesses within the field that do not keep up with industry trends, such as RPA incorporation, are likely to lag behind and face financial challenges.
For a more practical understanding of RPA in healthcare, use cases include;
1. Appointment Scheduling
The transition from phone calls to online bookings has made the introduction of RPA systems significantly easier within healthcare environments. When conducted manually, the process of collecting personal patient information can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Additionally, streamlining appointment availability along with doctor preferences can be strenuous. The hospital staff are required to conduct large scale coordination work that could simply be automated with the assistance of RPA systems.
The process can begin with automatic data collection around pertinent queries, including preferred time, preferred doctor, concerns and other such information. RPA bots are able to cross-reference availability and make appointment bookings based on the same. There is no need to run back and forth; if an appointment slot is booked, it immediately notifies the patient when the attempt to book a slot is made.
2. Claims Management
Insurance claims are a larger scale strenuous process that requires pinpoint information input and exchange. It is unfortunate that between 30-40% of all health insurance claims made are not processed due to the non-compliance of regulations patients may not even be aware of. Gathering this information, storing it within the system and conducting error-free processing is definitely tedious. Creating seamless flows between legacy systems and traditional management can create data errors, duplications and other information related concerns.
Intelligent automation in this setting can definitely help reduce errors and increase the speed with which processes are conducted. When bots are recruited to gather information, they are able to ask for the required data to meet compliance requirements and process the same error-free. This makes it significantly easier for healthcare providers to process claims and offer patients a desirable output.
3. Account Settlement
Hospital finance departments are tasked with processing hundreds of bills, expenses and incomes on a daily basis. Fees are meticulously structured, factoring everything from test fees to wardroom costing. Compiling this information is simple enough for one patient, but when dealing with multiple patients simultaneously all day everyday it becomes easy to create errors.
Introducing automation into healthcare environments helps put all patient-related information into one consolidated location where the information can be accessed based on convenience and necessity. Additionally, special privileges can be coded into the bots to ensure only a select number of professionals have access to the information and are able to transmit the same. By reducing the likelihood of errors within account settlement systems patients are able to move through the process seamlessly without worrying about incorrect information.
RPA has the potential to revolutionize the way hospitals are able to carry out load-bearing activities. Data processing becomes faster, more secure and significantly easier with automation applications. The hospital systems stay static in terms of; a patient appears with a concern, a doctor offers treatment, the treatment is paid for, and the patient is discharged. Gathering information from the same process conducted hundreds of times a day is significantly simpler with an RPA tool at the helm.
For healthcare businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve, implementing RPA services with a professional who understands the scope of application for the same is non-negotiable.
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