RPA in Healthcare Is Improving Patient Care and Aiding Practice Efficiency

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Robotic process automation (also known as RPA) in healthcare is revolutionizing the industry, from improving patient care to reducing operational costs .

Patients rely on the expert skill, compassionate care, and commitment of all kinds of healthcare professionals, and the essential work of these medical experts becomes easier when they automate repetitive tasks that might otherwise take hours.

Your medical practice also relies on vast administrative infrastructure that requires significant financial and professional resources to maintain.

Administrative work consumes as much as one-sixth of physicians’ working hours and even higher amounts of time in other supporting roles. Healthcare robotic process automation is a way to automate labor-intensive workflows, improving experiences and outcomes for organizations, professionals, and patients alike.

“As more healthcare organizations are moving toward using RPA, we’ve been getting more questions from hospitals to small practices about how it works and how it can help,” said Brian Fenn, VP of Sales. “The good news? Once you’ve deployed RPA, your workflow will never be the same.”

 

What Is RPA in Healthcare?

Robotic process automation in healthcare relies on robots to carry out a wide range of administrative tasks that are vital to the continued operation of healthcare facilities. These same tasks, such as data management, can be relatively simple and repetitive.

The time of skilled healthcare professionals is better spent on more challenging and engaging tasks, so automating these tasks wherever possible can provide many benefits.

Focus On Your Patients—We’ll Improve Your Workflow

Learn more about how RPA improves workflow for healthcare providers.

Today, sophisticated RPA bots make it possible to automate an extensive range of administrative tasks, such as claims processing and scheduling appointments—greatly expanding the value of RPA in healthcare industry applications.

Gartner projected that healthcare spending in RPA was only set to increase, with 50% of healthcare providers in the US to invest in automation. The change is largely driven by cost optimization, freeing up cash for front-end clinical requirements.

A report from Deloitte likewise indicates the power of robotic process automation in the healthcare industry , indicating that organizations can save up to 80% of time on transactional processes with RPA and improve data accuracy by up to 99% in reporting.

And that’s just the start—RPA decreases processing time up to 300%, allowing for work to be finished outside of standard business hours.

What Are the Benefits of Healthcare Robotic Process Automation?

RPA in healthcare reduces operating expenses and improves data accuracy, likewise improving operations across several other key areas. RPA software has an extensive range of uses in healthcare organizations that come together to provide an advantage in these important metrics.

Reduced Operating Expenses

RPA is incredibly cost-effective. Once in use, RPA can reduce the labor costs associated with specific tasks considerably. With the help of an RPA consultant, RPA solution s are deployed seamlessly, delivering substantial cost savings in the long run.

Improved Accuracy

RPA for healthcare focuses on simple, repetitive tasks. Having these tasks handled by humans, even skilled professionals, opens the door to human error. Simple typos and transcription errors can have disastrous consequences in a healthcare environment. RPA bots always deliver the same consistent and accurate performance.

Streamlined Patient Experience

When a patient visits a healthcare facility, they typically have to wait longer for treatment as healthcare professionals collect personal data from them, look up existing records, and perform other administrative tasks. With RPA, these processes are automated, and this streamlining can improve patient experience .

RPA in Healthcare

Improved Professional Productivity

One of the reasons RPA adoption is growing rapidly is that it lets skilled professionals across any industry spend more time on tasks that rely on their unique knowledge and experience. This is of particular benefit in healthcare environments, where expert human resources are often the limiting factor in a facility’s capacities.

Why Are Hospitals Tapping into RPA for Healthcare?

In a snapshot, this is why large healthcare organizations like hospitals are tapping into RPA:

  • Efficiency Boost : RPA, like the solutions offered by 1Rivet, automates repetitive tasks, freeing up healthcare staff to focus on patient care and other critical tasks.
  • Cost-Effective : Healthcare providers can achieve automation without the high costs associated with larger outsource companies.
  • Error Reduction : RPA reduces the risk of human error in data entry and other administrative tasks, improving the accuracy of patient records and billing.
  • Improved Compliance : RPA can help healthcare providers maintain compliance with regulations by ensuring consistent and accurate data handling.
  • Patient Satisfaction : By speeding up administrative processes, RPA can reduce wait times and improve the overall patient experience.
  • Scalability : RPA solutions are easily scalable, allowing healthcare providers to adjust the level of automation as their needs change.

 

Process Description Benefits
Pre-Registration Collects patient and insurance information before healthcare services start. – Saves time for administrative staff

– Improves patient experience

Registration and Eligibility Verification Updates records with medical conditions and reviews contact information to meet regulations. – Ensures accuracy and efficiency

– Helps meet regulatory expectations

Claim Submissions Automates claim submissions through forms or a management system. – Reduces the risk of errors

– Speeds up the claim submission process

Remittance Processing Automates verification of payments made toward medical bills. – Improves efficiency in remittance processing

 

How RPA in Healthcare Works

RPA in healthcare uses software robots, or “bots”, to mimic human actions and interact with digital systems just as a human would. The goal of RPA for healthcare is to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and free up staff to focus on more complex, patient-centered tasks.

Technology Stack

The technology stack for healthcare robotic process automation typically includes a combination of RPA tools, AI capabilities, and other software applications. At the heart of this stack is the RPA software, like UIPath, which 1Rivet exclusively uses for all its RPA implementations.

This software interacts with other applications in the stack, such as EHR systems, billing software, and scheduling tools, to automate tasks across these platforms.

Business Logic

The business logic behind robotic process automation in the healthcare industry is straightforward: by automating routine tasks, healthcare providers can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize errors.

RPA can automate the process of entering patient data into an EHR system, ensuring that the data is entered accurately and consistently every time. This not only saves time but also improves the quality of the data, leading to better patient care and more accurate billing.

Components

The main components of robotic process automation for healthcare include:

  • RPA Software : This is the core component that drives the automation. It’s responsible for executing the tasks that have been programmed into it.
  • User Interface (UI) : This is where the RPA software interacts with other software applications, mimicking the actions that a human would take.
  • Task Rules : These are the instructions that tell the RPA software what tasks to perform and how to perform them. They can be simple (like copying data from one field to another) or complex (like processing a claim based on a set of criteria).
  • AI and Machine Learning : These technologies can be integrated with RPA to enable more complex automation, such as understanding unstructured data or making decisions based on patterns in the data.

A Guide to How RPA is Used in Healthcare

How RPA is Used in Healthcare

Take a look at some of the typical ways RPA is used in the industry , helping save time and maintain data integrity at every touchpoint.

Pre-Registration
One key healthcare robotic process automation process is pre-registration.

Here, information about the patient and their insurance is collected before they start healthcare services. This step ensures the smooth running of downstream patient interactions and can be automated using RPA, reducing the burden on administrative staff and improving the patient experience.

Registration and Eligibility Verification
Another process is registration and eligibility verification. Records are updated with information on pre-existing medical conditions. Contact information is reviewed to meet regulations, from clinical to regulation expectations. RPA can automate verification and much more, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

Claim Submissions
With robotic process automation for healthcare , you can automate claim submissions. Claims can be submitted when information is provided in a form on the portal. Multiple claims can also be submitted through a management system.

Using automations in claim submission reduces the risk of errors and speeds up the entire process.

Remittance Processing
Another role of RPA in the healthcare process is remittance processing. Payments made toward a medical bill need to be verified. RPA can automate the majority of points of remittance processing, improving efficiency.

RPA Trends in Healthcare

The use of RPA in healthcare is on the rise, with several key trends emerging:

  • Increased Adoption: More healthcare providers are recognizing the benefits of RPA and are investing in this technology.
  • Integration with AI and ML: RPA is increasingly being integrated with AI and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to enable more complex automation, such as understanding unstructured data or making decisions based on patterns in the data.
  • Focus on Patient Experience: Healthcare providers are using RPA to improve the patient experience, automating tasks like appointment scheduling, medical billing, and claims processing to reduce wait times and improve service.

Rapidly Evolving Patient Requirements

With the rise of telemedicine, RPA is being used to automate the process of scheduling virtual appointments and managing electronic health records. RPA is also being used to automate the process of verifying insurance eligibility for a wider range of services, including virtual consultations.

AI-Driven Healthcare

RPA Trends in Healthcare

 

AI-driven healthcare is a growing trend, with RPA playing a key role. AI can be integrated with RPA to enable more complex automation, such as analyzing patient data to identify patterns and trends, predicting patient health outcomes, and personalizing patient care.

For example, AI and RPA could be used together to analyze a patient’s medical history, predict their risk of developing certain conditions, and recommend personalized treatment plans.

Bridging Technology Gaps in Healthcare

By automating repetitive, rule-based tasks, RPA allows healthcare providers to focus more on patient care and less on administrative tasks.

RPA can automate the process of entering patient data into an EHR system, ensuring that the data is entered accurately and consistently every time. This not only saves time but also improves the quality of the data, leading to better patient care and more accurate billing.

Intelligent Apps

Intelligent apps are a growing trend in healthcare, with RPA playing a key role. These apps use AI and RPA to automate complex tasks, such as analyzing patient data to identify patterns and trends, predicting patient health outcomes, and personalizing patient care.

For example, an intelligent app could use AI and RPA to analyze a patient’s medical history, predict their risk of developing certain conditions, and recommend personalized treatment plans. These are just a few examples of RPA in healthcare, and the possibilities are expanding as the technology evolves.

Better Data Management

By automating data entry and data processing tasks, RPA reduces the risk of human error and ensures that data is handled consistently and accurately. This leads to better data quality, which in turn leads to better decision-making and improved patient care.

RPA can automate the process of entering patient data into an EHR system, ensuring that the data is entered accurately and consistently every time.

IoT Opportunities 

RPA can automate the process of collecting, processing, and analyzing data from IoT devices. You can use RPA to automatically collect data from a patient’s wearable device, process this data to identify trends and patterns, and then use this information to provide personalized care recommendations.

Furthermore, RPA can help manage the vast network of IoT devices in a healthcare setting. For instance, RPA can automate the process of monitoring the status of devices, updating software, and troubleshooting issues. This can help ensure that IoT devices are always functioning correctly and that any issues are quickly addressed.

You Should Be Saving Hundreds of Labor Hours

…but you don’t know where to start

The Challenges of Deploying RPA in Healthcare 

While the application of RPA in healthcare has numerous benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges:

RPA is Not Applied in a Helpful Context : One of the challenges of implementing RPA in healthcare is ensuring that it is applied in a context where it can provide real value.

Not all tasks are suitable for automation, and applying RPA to tasks that require human judgment or creativity can lead to suboptimal results. It’s crucial to identify the tasks that are repetitive, rule-based, and time-consuming, as these are the tasks where RPA can provide the most benefit.

Siloed Legacy Systems : Many healthcare providers operate with siloed legacy systems that can be difficult to integrate with RPA. These systems often have unique interfaces and protocols, making it challenging for RPA software to interact with them. Overcoming this challenge requires careful planning and potentially significant IT resources.

Lack of Staff Engagement : For RPA to be successful, it’s important that staff are engaged and supportive of the technology. However, there can often be resistance to RPA, as staff may fear that automation will lead to job losses.

Overcoming this challenge requires clear communication about the benefits of RPA and reassurance that it will not lead to job losses, but rather free up staff to focus on more complex and rewarding tasks.

Issues After Deployment : Even after successful deployment, there can be issues with maintaining and updating RPA software.

For example, if an integrated system is updated or changed, it can cause the RPA software to stop functioning correctly. Addressing this challenge requires ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that the RPA software continues to function correctly.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of healthcare robotic process automation often outweigh the difficulties. With careful planning and the right support, healthcare providers can leverage RPA to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance patient care.

Real-World Healthcare RPA Use Cases

These notable benefits arise from the many specific RPA uses in healthcare that can be realized with the right RPA solution and implementation. The advanced technology behind healthcare RPA bots provides solutions for many applications within healthcare. Below are just some of the examples of RPA in healthcare that many facilities already take advantage of today.

Payment Processing

Various accounting tasks are often the most suitable for RPA due to the repeatability of workflows, which is why RPA is used in so many financial applications . Within a healthcare facility, billing and payment processing are business processes that can essentially be entirely automated through RPA.

The advanced artificial intelligence used in RPA services for healthcare has no trouble managing the complex interplay of medical coding systems and the wealth of information required for any specific bill. From data entry to communications, RPA can manage the entire billing process.

Claims Processing

Managing claims as they go through the healthcare revenue cycle requires extracting data from multiple sources accurately, quickly, and consistently. It also entails sending out the right communications at the right time to prevent upsets.

For RPA bots, aggregating data from disparate data sources is no challenge at all. They can draw information from multiple sources in differing formats and compile it correctly into the appropriate claims forms and documentation.

Given many healthcare organizations have a wide variety of technology systems, this can save labor for healthcare organizations and prevent mistakes that could harm patients.

 

Learn how to improve your business efficiency with RPA and check out these blogs:

 

Compliance Management

Ensuring compliance is another area where RPA and healthcare work together. Healthcare organizations of all kinds face the threat of HIPAA violations and the ensuing fines, along with the impact that such a breach has on their patients.

HIPAA fines can reach millions of dollars , so facilities need to know they’re maintaining compliance.

RPA implements a variety of compliance checks for medical records and other confidential patient records . Not only that, but they reduce the manual handling of these records, limiting the number of opportunities for accidental breaches.

Appointment Scheduling

Booking appointments might sound like a trivial task, but it’s one that healthcare organizations need to get right. Miscommunicated appointments lead to patients going without care and wasting the valuable time of skilled healthcare professionals. RPA automation ensures that appointment scheduling always follows prescribed workflows.

One of the ways RPA changes healthcare is by reducing human error. Simply entering a date or time wrong can result in a missed appointment. RPA can also easily cross reference existing schedules and other patient data to ensure there aren’t conflicts at the time the appointment is scheduled.

Medical Records Management

Healthcare facilities rely on a wide range of records, both medical and personal, to provide treatment for their patients and support administrative processes. Managing those records can become a formidable task when dealing with multiple formats across multiple systems.

RPA disrupt healthcare

RPA can greatly increase efficiency when managing digital records. The protection, consistency, and accuracy of records can be improved, and data can be aggregated no matter what source it’s coming from. This saves considerable administrative time, letting patients receive treatment sooner and letting professionals focus on other tasks.

Administrative Data Entry

Unsurprisingly, data entry is one of the most significant administrative tasks that healthcare facilities handle. It’s also of vital importance in healthcare, as small mistakes can lead to serious consequences.

RPA achieves unprecedented levels of accuracy in data entry. With advanced methods for drawing data from physical forms and countless other formats, research shows that RPA can reduce errors across the process by 80 to 99% .

Automated Communications

Healthcare organizations carry out communications with their staff, suppliers, patients, and a wide range of other parties. Many of these communications are routine and take place in a set sequence of events in a given workflow. RPA can automate these communications.

Not only does this free up more time for professionals, but it also improves the consistency and accuracy of communications. Automating billing, appointment reminders, and other key communications eliminate the chance of those important tasks being overlooked.

Get the Most From Your RPA Solution—Work With Experienced Consultants

A Thought Experiment With RPA in Healthcare

Now that you know all these ways RPA can help in the healthcare space, let’s do a thought experiment to see how some of these uses might translate to a real-world context.

Let’s assume the following:

A large hospital network was struggling with inefficiencies in its administrative processes. The organization was burdened with manual, repetitive tasks such as patient data entry, appointment scheduling, and insurance verification. These tasks were time-consuming, prone to human error, and detracted from the staff’s ability to focus on patient care.

The hospital network needed a solution that could automate these repetitive tasks, improve accuracy, and free up staff to focus on more complex, patient-centered tasks. They also needed a solution that could integrate with their existing IT infrastructure, including their EHR system and billing software.

The hospital integrated RPA with its existing IT infrastructure, allowing it to interact with the EHR system and billing software. This ensured that patient data was entered accurately and consistently, appointment scheduling was streamlined, and insurance verification was automated.

Streamline Your Medical Workflow With RPA for Healthcare 

These healthcare RPA use cases can provide noticeable benefits at any scale, from small clinics to major hospitals. The key is to find the right solutions provider to implement RPA to provide the most advantages for the specific needs of a given healthcare organization.

1Rivet provides comprehensive RPA services across a wide range of industries, including the development and implementation of RPA for healthcare facilities of all sizes.

Our professionals work with your organization to craft a solution that delivers reduced costs, improved accuracy, professional productivity, and better patient experiences.

We’ll analyze your organization’s needs, translate your manual workflows to automated processes, develop custom RPA bots, and implement the solution within your systems. Beyond that, we provide ongoing monitoring and improvements along with our professional support team.

RPA in healthcare is the latest technological solution in the rapidly changing field of medicine. With a comprehensive RPA solution from 1Rivet, you can transform your healthcare organization to take full advantage of all the benefits that modern automation has to offer.

To learn more about our RPA solutions, can contact 1Rivet today to schedule your free consultation.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About RPA in Healthcare

1) Does RPA disrupt healthcare workflows?

RPA in healthcare doesn’t disrupt workflows; instead, it enhances them.

RPA automates repetitive, rule-based tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more complex and rewarding tasks. This can lead to improved efficiency and productivity.

However, successful implementation requires careful planning to ensure that RPA is integrated smoothly into existing workflows.

2) How quickly do I get ROI on my RPA investment?

The timeline for ROI on RPA investments varies, but many organizations see returns within a few months to a year. This is due to reduced labor costs, improved efficiency, and decreased error rates.

However, the exact timeline depends on the complexity of the tasks being automated and the scale of the implementation.

Small projects can be deployed in as few as 60 days—more complex projects will take longer.

3) What are the potential downsides of using RPA in healthcare ? (And how can working with 1Rivet rectify them?)

The potential downsides of RPA in healthcare include integration challenges with legacy systems and resistance from staff.

1Rivet can help overcome these challenges with its expertise in RPA implementation and change management.

We ensure smooth integration with existing systems and work closely with staff to address concerns and ensure successful adoption.

4) Can my employees make RPA bots?

Yes, with the right training, employees can create and manage RPA bots.

However, it’s important to have a clear governance structure in place to manage the development and deployment of bots.

Working with an experienced RPA provider like 1Rivet can provide the necessary training and support to empower your employees to effectively use RPA.

 

 

Lower Costs and Enhance Patient Care with RPA

Automate routine processes–from scheduling to invoicing–and free physicians to see more patients.

Why choose 1Rivet for RPA in your healthcare organization?

  • Manage digital records more accurately and in less time, without compromising security.
  • Create better patient experiences with RPAs designed to enhance patient interactions.
  • Communicate more effectively by leveraging RPA to automate routine communications and notifications.
  • Increase data entry accuracy with technology that can reduce errors by up to 99%
  • Improve billing and insurance claim processes with technology that eliminates tedious data entry tasks.

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