A never-ending demand to provide better healthcare, along with an increase in operational cost and supply chain complexities, has increased the pressure on healthcare systems to look for newer approaches to meet these demands.
Adopting artificial intelligence (AI) in the healthcare industry has been going on for a while now; however, AI does not necessarily mean using only robots.
A survey conducted in 2020 showed that nearly 90% of healthcare organizations use AI and automation strategy, and in comparison, in 2019, the figure was only 54%.
Using innovative digital technologies for automation is critical to meeting the increasing demands for efficient working, productivity, and managing patient records. Healthcare automation involves using various softwares that use modern techniques to promote efficiency in healthcare services.
What Does Automation in Healthcare Really Means?
Automation is transforming the healthcare industry as it can simply work in the background without requiring constant attention by your staff.
- Seamless Appointment Booking
Manual booking is more challenging as your staff must follow various rules before matching the patient with the right medical professional. An automated system helps schedule, reschedule, and cancel appointments.
Appointment booking software can also help send follow-up appointment reminders to your patients to make their appointments on time.
- Customer Support Automation
Different modes of automating customer support, such as chatbots, automated workflows, and automated emails, help reduce customer service costs. They enhance staff interaction at crucial touchpoints, reduce response time, improve efficiency, and allow 24*7 support.
- Virtual check-ins
Virtual check-in helps in increasing accessibility and convenience. Using encrypted technology, the staff do not need to focus on data entry; instead, they can provide digital forms in which the patient can directly enter their data. This process further reduces errors.
- Chatbots for Information collection
Positioning conversational AI using chatbots can help collect, store, and extract patients’ information like name, address, signs and symptoms, current doctor and therapy, and insurance information.
Three Key Areas Where Healthcare Automation Plays a Critical Role
Healthcare automation techniques such as AI can reduce overall costs and improve operational efficiencies. In addition, you can streamline critical processes and increase smart work by using disruptive technologies like digital engagement tools and low-code/no-code development platforms.
Three key areas where automation plays a crucial role while generating an expanded return on investment include:
- Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) and Claims Denial
The key challenges facing providers’ RCM processes are legacy systems and complex workflows, leading to unwanted claim denials.
79% of RCM areas still use outdated technologies in stand-alone applications that are not integrated into the numerous manual processes. Because of this, nearly 20% of claims are denied because of authorization issues or charge capture.
You can automate complex workflows in critical areas, such as:
- Seamless reporting of claim status
- Patient encounter
- Transactions and accounts receivable follow-ups
- Payment posting
Healthcare facilities are now implementing robotic process automation (RPA) and AI to mimic human behavior for rule-based and repetitive processes to reduce the time to complete tasks, streamline operations, improve the patient experience, and lower costs.
- Support Center
For any healthcare industry, patient experience is a key factor for their retention, and contact or support centers are one of the most important sectors to help with patient retention.
The contact center handles nearly 75% of any patient’s life cycle via a virtual interaction. Therefore, automating these services can provide personalized services, multi-channel support, and self-service in a prompt manner.
Places where you can automate contact center operation include:
- Appointment scheduling
- Healthcare automation for omnichannel patient communication
- AI-enabled support automation with chatbots
- Patient data management
- Data migration
- Report generation
You can free your staff from repetitive, manual tasks and focus more on patient-centered initiatives by using healthcare automation in customer support.
- Clinical workflow automaton
Automation in workflow allows repetitive tasks to be managed on their own. Today, you can also automate complex tasks such as inventory management, client billing, and IT with automated healthcare.
Medical healthcare transforms the workflow in ways like:
- Reduces staff burnout
- Improves interoperability
- Overhauls healthcare information management processes
- Increases revenue
- Increase data security
Automation in Healthcare: How Can It Help Patients?
The world of healthcare has massively changed by adopting automating technologies. This technology can help the patients in numerous ways like:
- Enable Disease Detection Ahead of Time
RPA in healthcare helps determine whether a patient has any health problem. Early disease detection offers early treatment, thereby slowing or stopping disease progression.
At times, AI might also detect the disease even before the patient starts showing symptoms. This is achieved by pinpointing any risk alerts your patient may have.
- Better Patient Experience
Automation in healthcare is reshaping the patient experiences in various stages of their healthcare process. When your patients are satisfied, they provide good feedback and recommend your facility to others. Also, satisfied patients are much more likely to return to your facility for future health problems.
AI technology can reduce frustrations over billing issues. For instance, a patient can set up their account and preferred payment mode and only reach out to the staff during troubleshooting.
An automated system saves time and provides patients with control over their healthcare needs.
- Provide Quick and Accurate Medical Diagnostics
While you are trying to save the patient from worsening symptoms or dying due to a severe illness, time is a crucial factor. In such a scenario, manual work can increase errors and increase the possibility of generating inaccurate results.
AI can process speedy errorless deliveries and also aid your patients in following the recommended treatment plan. By hastening the process via automated services, you can detect any deviations from the standard treatment plan and help you intervene in real-time.
Other than diagnosis, setting up automated systems for dispensing medications, such as automatic dispensing machines, will help your patients avoid long waits and get access to the right medicines.
- Improve the Quality of Care
AI offers you to provide better healthcare facilities to your patients. Automation provides your patients with good quality healthcare facilities as it removes the chances of human fatigue or error.
Patient information, such as medical history, data entry, and patient indexing, is always available to medical professionals. Using automated technologies allows you to access your patients’ information anytime, thereby simplifying care processes.
Automation empowers medical professionals to offer better services, like:
- Increased efficiency
- Better patient management
- Retrieval of patients’ data
Healthcare automation also allows you to monitor your patients closely by reminding them about medications. Nowadays, patients prefer using mobile applications as apps to ease patient care management.
Healthcare chatbots hold immense potential to improve the quality of healthcare. For instance, more than 50% of healthcare professionals believe that chatbots help to improve access and timeline to care.
Automation in Healthcare: How Can It Help Healthcare Organizations?
We all want greater efficiency in the healthcare system by using the most advanced techniques and strategies. Medical automation will not only help the patients but also essentially help your organization.
- Improve Efficiency, Accuracy, and Productivity
Adopting automation in hospitals ahieve higher throughput, maximum accuracy, and reduce critical errors and costs of your organization. Automation in healthcare allows streamlining workflow and helps your employees to work with fewer roadblocks. This assists the employees to help more patients.
AI-based systems also take up all unexciting and monotonous tasks so that medical professionals can spend more time doing patient-centered work.
- Reduced Potential for Medical Errors
RPA in healthcare decreases the human element, thereby reducing the risk of errors in the healthcare process. This will help you to provide more effective treatment to your patients.
Healthcare automation helps in the following ways to reduce errors:
- Creates cases and add notes across multiple systems, thereby reducing manual effort
- Aggregates patient record across multiple systems so that the attending physician can have complete access to all the facts
Healthcare automation for patient care helps process data and reduce administrative errors by facilitating the exchange of information between departments.
- Reduces Staff Burnout
Being exposed to manual, repetitive, and time-consuming workflow situations increases stress. Recurrent stress further contributes to burnout among the staff, affecting their morale and reducing patient satisfaction.
92% of healthcare professionals believe that spending too much time on administrative work contributes to burnout.
Adopting healthcare automation takes off a load of boring and repetitive tasks and helps the staff members focus more on complex or patient demands.
- Effectively Contains Costs
By using automated workflow technology, you can effectively reduce costs without affectng your clinical or administrative workflows. By eliminating human errors, reducing waste caused by operational inefficiencies, and dramatically increasing capacity, RPA in healthcare is beneficial in cost reduction.
- Achieve Interoperability
A lack of interoperability results in an incomplete understanding of your patients’ needs, leading to increased costs and poor outcomes. Using an automation in healthcare system for interoperability supplies added benefits like:
- Easy data accessibility to medical professionals, leading to reduced miscommunication
- Ease in analyzing data trends and past performance, and make data-driven improvements
- Reduces redundant administrative works, leading to increased employee and patients’ satisfaction
- Organizations Experience Higher Employee Satisfaction and Retention
In addition to improving patient experience and satisfaction, it is also essential that your staff are happy and motivated to perform their tasks. Such will help your organization to look out for more patients.
A satisfied employee will ultimately increase your patient’s satisfaction and retention. Adopting automated electronic healthcare forms can relieve the burden on your staff, which, in turn, will focus your employees’ attention in delivering stress-free and friendly care.
- Provide Data Security
Data security is the topmost concern for any healthcare organization. Therefore, maintaining data security remains essential while implementing an RPA in the healthcare system.
Since human involvement is extremely less in medical automation, the chances of data manipulation are less. Therefore, your organizational data remains secured.