May 21, 2024
Robotic Process Automation In Healthcare

How Robotic Process Automation In Healthcare Is Transforming Industry: Introduction To Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to the use of software with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that previously required humans to perform. RPA automates processes by mimicking how a human would perform certain actions virtually and allows workers to focus on more critical and analytical tasks that require human thinking and judgment. It utilizes software “robots” or “virtual workers” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process.

Automating Healthcare Administration with RPA

One major area Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare is being applied within healthcare is to automate administrative tasks and back-office operations. There are countless repetitive data entry, form processing, and transactional tasks that healthcare staff spend an inordinate amount of time on that can be automated through robotic process automation in healthcare. For example, insurance verification and eligibility checks that involve querying different administrative databases can be automated. RPA bots can gather patient information, check insurance coverage details across multiple provider databases, and return eligibility results in real-time. This frees up valuable healthcare provider time to focus on direct patient care instead of administrative paperwork.

RPA is also being used to streamline medical billings and payments processing. Bots can retrieve patient records, pull diagnosis and procedure codes, generate invoices, submit bills to insurers for payment and automatically track receivables. They can match payments received to outstanding invoices and update accounts accordingly. This eliminates time-consuming and error-prone manual data entry involved in billing processes. RPA improves turnaround times, collection rates and cash flow for healthcare organizations while reducing billing labor costs.

Implementing Virtual Assistants in Healthcare Facilities

Another promising application of RPA being explored is the use of virtual assistants within hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities. Virtual assistants powered by RPA can handle front desk operations, scheduling appointments, checking patients in and out, answering basic inquiries, and performing general administrative support work. They improve service levels by reducing wait times and acting as a constant point of contact for patients while lowering staffing costs at the same time.

Increased adoption of virtual assistants is helping clinics provide better care, especially in underserved communities. For example, a number of rural clinics are utilizing RPA to extend their service hours beyond normal operations. Patients can check scheduling availability, book appointments, and get basic health information from virtual assistants outside regular clinic timings through websites, phone apps or messaging platforms. This addresses accessibility issues and ensures care is available to patients even when physical facilities may be closed.

Streamlining Clinical Workflows with RPA

Robotic process automation is also being applied to directly impact clinical workflows and operations within hospitals. Processes such as medical documentation, result management, and order tracking have high potential for automation using RPA. Bots can accurately capture clinicians’ notes, codes, and other patient details during consultations and update electronic records in real-time. They can systematically extract insights from diagnosis images, lab reports and other unstructured medical data to populate databases for easier record keeping and analytics.

RPA streamlines order management from prescription to fulfillment. Virtual workers centrally manage test requests, interact with embedded systems to schedule procedures, track order status, alert respective departments, retrieve results and update patient charts. This brings much needed efficiency to workflows that often involve sifting through separate applications and manual data entry. Automating such repetitive documentation and coordination tasks ensures all activities have appropriate follow up and handoffs between departments occur seamlessly. Clinicians benefit from accelerated process turnaround times and simplified completion of ancillary tasks.

Benefits of RPA for Healthcare Organizations

The implementation of robotic process automation in healthcare is bringing widespread benefits to all stakeholders. Some of the major advantages include:

Improved Accuracy – RPA eliminates human errors from repetitive processes by ensuring rules-based tasks are done perfectly every single time without any lapses in quality or compliance.

Increased Productivity – By automating routine workflows, healthcare staff save countless hours to devote to more complex duties which require human skills. This boosts overall organizational effectiveness.

Reduced Costs – The operational efficiencies and reduced labor needs of RPA lower costs for healthcare providers over the long run. Automation delivers significant return on investments.

Enhanced Compliance – Following digitized processes and internal controls closely ensures regulatory guidelines are adhered to and risks of non-compliance are mitigated.

Scalable Operations – The scalability of RPA allows organizations to handle rising workloads during peak season or expansion smoothly through the addition of virtual bots.

Better Customer Service – By responding faster to customer/patient needs through digital self-service options, overall satisfaction increases.

Facilitating Data-Driven Transformations

Beyond automating individual tasks, RPA is playing an instrumental role in powering larger digital transformations across the healthcare space. By capturing and structuring high volumes of disparate data from various systems into centralized repositories, it is enabling advanced analytics use cases. Predictive modeling for population health management, personalized medicine, clinical research becomes more viable with the data processing might of robotic automation. The curated databases also support AI and cognitive applications to deliver newer, diagnosis, treatment, drug discovery and service delivery models. RPA lays crucial digital foundations on which cutting edge technologies can be built to revolutionize the future of healthcare.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.