6 Use Cases for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the Healthcare
The efficiency-driver robotic process automation has the potential to make a big impact on the healthcare sector. This article discusses six RPA applications in the healthcare sector that will save the sector time, money, and resources while also enhancing the standard of care for many patients. To encourage the adoption of RPA in this sector, telcos should strive to leverage their expertise in data and automation.
What is the Value of Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare?
Robotic process automation (RPA) aims to imitate and surpass human capabilities to do various jobs more effectively and reliably, many of which are mission-critical. According to a McKinsey estimate, 30% of tasks in most occupations may be automated. KPMG predicts that the worldwide RPA market will be valued at about $5 billion, which supports this.
The healthcare sector continues to underutilize RPA to a significant degree. This is because of a complex web of issues, including difficult logistics, high start-up costs, and uncertainty as a result of the failure of hurried pilot deployments. RPA may, however, become more used in the healthcare industry. Patients will benefit from improved access to and quality of care, healthcare professionals will reallocate time and resources from unimportant to more important duties, and healthcare services will experience a decrease in expenses and transfer funds to other purposes.
Although not all-inclusive, the six significant RPA use cases listed below demonstrate areas in the healthcare industry where there is clearly space for further automation and efficiency. Therefore, these are the areas where potential solutions ought to be focused.
RPA Use Cases in Healthcare
1. Sharing of Data and Electronic Records
More and more sources are being used to collect health data, including insurance companies, doctors’ offices, health record databases, appointment scheduling software, and third-party portals. Because health data is not centralized in many countries, compiling all available sources into one would require significant resources. RPA can greatly minimize the resources needed for administratively time-consuming procedures in the healthcare sector by efficiently analyzing patient records. Healthcare organizations spend an estimated $2.1 billion annually on negligent, error-prone manual data handling. RPA is a great choice to enhance the effectiveness and precision of data management in the healthcare sector.
RPA can also contribute to ensuring that the sharing of electronic health data conforms with privacy laws by managing, for example, permission and access rights. RPA also speeds up cyberattack detection and response times, reducing the risk of data loss or corruption. This improved cyber security made available by RPA may be enticing to healthcare institutions, especially those who have previously been the target of security breaches like the NHS, which lost an estimated £92 million after becoming the target of the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2018.
2. Scheduling Appointments
Appointment scheduling, which is closely related to electronic records, is a time-consuming operation that RPA might handle. By scanning incoming data and scheduling appointments based on pertinent information, such as a suspected diagnosis or symptoms, a doctor’s availability, and the most convenient time or location, RPA, for instance, might significantly boost efficiency. This would not only free healthcare personnel from time-consuming scheduling duties but also probably result in higher patient satisfaction.
For example, by using RPA to handle appointment scheduling for the normal 15,000 referrals they receive each month, the East Lancashire NHS trust in the UK currently saves more than 83,600 sheets of paper. This allows for the reallocation of essential resources because it frees up the time of 2.5 full-time employees.
3. Management of Claims, Payments, and Billing
RPA can be used to speed health payment settlement by combining different charges, including testing, medications, food, and doctor fees, into a single, easier payment. Health care practitioners can save time and avoid billing errors with this efficient and precise bill processing. Furthermore, if there is a problem with payment or a delay, RPA can be set up to email patients customized reminders.
Processing time-consuming medical claims can be done with RPA. An RPA system can accurately do the work of nine full-time employees by determining the status of a health insurance claim in 12 seconds as opposed to 85 seconds for a person. Additionally, since each claim costs roughly $118 and administrative errors like registrations and eligibility problems contribute to about 25% of claim denials, an RPA solution can aid in minimizing this needless financial loss. RPA was used by a hospital in the US to verify the eligibility of payors and to identify any incomplete information that was impeding the payment and processing of claims.
4. Tracking of Assets
Hospitals worldwide are struggling to find enough resources; thus, tracking resources like defibrillators, medical pumps, and ventilators have become an increasingly important component for hospitals during COVID-19. According to reports, nurses waste up to 6,000 hours per month looking for misplaced equipment. Ineffective asset management may also impact medical care by delaying wait times for urgent care.
RPA may make sure that assets are simple for employees to identify, verify that equipment inventories are accurate and current, and keep an eye on the condition of assets to ensure that they are replaced when they break.
5. Data Analysis and Diagnostics
Every day, healthcare professionals are needed to gather a sizable amount of patient data, the majority of which is unchanged. RPA can be used to analyze this data and produce pertinent findings that are personalized for each patient. By making it possible for more precise treatment and diagnosis, these insights can help healthcare providers and enhance the patient’s care experience. In Dublin, for instance, a hospital has invested RPA to input and assess test findings and patient disease codes. Automating this process could give the hospital useful information about the patients and save 3 hours of effort each day.
6. Post-Treatment Treatment
Additionally, RPA can be used to manage post-discharge care, allowing patients to recover safely at home after leaving a hospital. RPA could be used, for example, to remind patients to take their medications, eat their meals according to plan, or absorb their nourishment. RPA may also prompt people to take crucial readings, such as their blood pressure, and then notify medical professionals if something seems off or worrying. In this sense, the RPA acts as a communication link between the hospital and the home. This can improve the patient experience in addition to helping patients recuperate at home and alleviating pressure on hospital beds for healthcare providers.
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