While governments are fully aware of the issues, this always seems to be a controversial topic, often used as a key subject for political campaigns but with little change to the actual system.
One thing that is going to revolutionise the healthcare system is the use of Robotic Process Automation. RPA is a clear example of using modern technology for the general good of people. Within the healthcare system it can simplify many processes and ultimately lead to more satisfied patients and staff.
Deloitte has surveyed consumers around the world to get a general outlook of future RPA trends. Here is what they found:
“86 percent of respondents indicate that their expectations of productivity improvement from RPA were met or exceeded, while the same is true of 61 percent in relation to expectations on cost reduction.”
We are going to focus on 6 of the main benefits that implementing RPA will bring to the healthcare system
1. Patient Care
Difficulties in booking appointments, long waiting times, and inaccurate information are just a few of the common complaints received from patients. When you introduce RPA most of these complaints are solved. Robots will be able to control patient scheduling. Even simple things like the ability to book your appointment online makes our lives a lot easier.
Robots will be able to collect patient details, insurance information and even symptoms. When a patient arrives for their appointment, the medical personnel will have access to all this information, allowing for a faster processing. The end result will mean patients can save time and are overall, more satisfied with the service.
2. Analysis of Data
The healthcare system of each country has to handle millions of sets of medical data, and data is continuously added. This isn’t limited just to a person’s medical history. Data received can include medicines, doses, effects; medical professionals need reports of the patients they are receiving and taking care of. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay on top of the data necessary to provide optimal patient care.
RPA will handle the data in a systematic manner, producing statistics and reports and more importantly, it will do it in real-time. This will reduce the time needed for human analysis. In fact, studies carried out by the American Journal of Infection Control stated that in the ICU, surveillance was reduced by 3.5 workweeks per year by utilising the power of RPA. It may not sound like much, but ask a nurse or a doctor what they could do with almost an extra month per year!
3. Eliminating the Potential for Human Error
In no way are we suggesting that doctors and nurses are constantly making mistakes. Human error is a fact of life in any industry. With the long hours and high levels of stress, human error could be more likely and unlike other industries, have severe effects.
Using RPA greatly reduces possible mistakes made by humans. One might not see the significance, but even misreading a chart can have an impact on patient care. When all of the data and medical information is digitalised, there is much less room for human error, once again, increasing patient care.
4. IT Systems
Many may assume that RPA requires a whole new IT system to be put in place and with that comes increased costs. However, RPA uses the same IT systems that are already in place. Even more, the Robotic Process Automation is completely scalable.
When a medical institution expands, it’s easy to scale up its operations. This is also true for “busy seasons”, for example, the system can be scaled up in winter when more people require more medical assistance.
By using RPA, medical institutions need to define more precise governance structures. In a nutshell, this means that each healthcare system using RPA will have to follow the same rules and standards, bringing more clarity to the system.
5. Increased Revenues
Whether we like it or not, the healthcare industry is a business. Money needs to be made in order for the industry to grow and be innovative. RPA allows for a more effective billing system. According to Rod Dunlop, a director in the RPA at Alsbridge Inc., the process of claims and billing can be improved by up to 80%.
While this process is automated, it frees up time for HR employees to be able to focus on more pressing matters. Costs are reduced in all areas when RPA can take over repetitive tasks such as data entry.
Another study performed by KPMG points out that 30-40% of the total claims made are not compliant with official criteria. RPA would be able to identify those exceptions, thus saving many unnecessary payments.
6. Employee Satisfaction
Medical professionals go into this type of career for the love of helping people. This can be very challenging when they are fighting the system. RPA brings a number of benefits that will improve their jobs.
A reduced amount of paperwork, a more productive workflow, and time-saving processes that will allow employees to do the job they intended to do, that is, care for their patients, rather than filling paperwork.
Robots are never going to take over our healthcare systems. No matter what happens, a human touch is essential in healthcare. What RPA can do is take away the monotonous jobs, analyse huge amounts of data and improve the efficiency of the healthcare system. The results will lead to reduced costs, and more importantly, greater employee and patient satisfaction.