What every hospital exec should know about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) — 4 insights

In collaboration with Cloudmed -

Back-office operations in healthcare are extremely complicated, with intertwined processes that can negatively affect the bottom line if not executed efficiently.

Robotic process automation changes that, enabling healthcare organizations to streamline operations, decrease costs and improve patient satisfaction.

During a virtual featured session sponsored by Cloudmed as part of Becker's Hospital Review 11th Annual Meeting in May, three experts discussed the benefits of RPA in healthcare and shared examples of how one health system, New York-based Northwell Health, improved efficiency:

  • Kelly Blackmon, Product Manager at Cloudmed
  • Frank Forte, Chief Commercial Officer at Cloudmed
  • Eileen Hirsch, Manager of Application Development for Sorian & EMUE at Northwell Health Information Services

Four insights:
1. RPA solutions provide healthcare organizations with cost-cutting efficiencies. Healthcare providers generate hundreds of billions each year in administrative waste, accumulated through inefficient and complex processes such as the claims process, according to the panelists.

Across the industry, many providers have turned to RPA to decrease waste. These organizations recognize that RPA results in greater speed, more accuracy and more consistency than manual processes. "You're able to tackle applications that you otherwise would not be able to do, even with an army of people," Mr. Forte said.

2. Healthcare organizations need automation that fits their business model. "A lot of hospitals are relying on RPA from an operational standpoint to run their business," Mr. Blackmon said. How this is achieved depends on the organization. Some healthcare organizations want to adopt off-the-shelf RPA solutions that fit their business needs with just a few configuration tweaks. Others, like Northwell Health, want to develop and manage their own automation solutions, looking at their RPA vendor as a partner who offers assistance and support when needed.

3. Northwell Health has saved time by automating the COVID-19 vaccination process. Northwell — New York state's largest healthcare provider — was able to automate the administrative components of the COVID-19 vaccination process by using EMUE, Cloudmed's RPA solution. Automation ranged from collecting patient registration data from the health information exchange system all the way through post-dose billing and automating no-shows. Within the first 30 days of the RPA solution's availability, Northwell processed nearly 123,000 patients, a task that would take a seasoned staff years to complete.

4. Automation improves both the employee and the patient experience. Northwell also used EMUE to simplify the registration process when an orthopedic patient is sent to radiology for x-rays. The automation allows the patient to check in once for both the orthopedic and radiology appointments, decreasing the amount of overtime that front desk staff are putting in by freeing up to three hours per day. Automation also increases the number of patients the site can see on a given day and improves the overall patient experience. "The orthopedists were happier that patients were coming back from the radiology floor on time, and they were able to move through their schedule at a more efficient pace," Ms. Hirsch said.

To learn more about this session, click here.

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