“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.”
— Bill Gates
Robotic Process Automation, true to its fame, has become the most-used technology for streamlining business processes across industries. The healthcare providers are engaged in a lot of repetitive tasks such as scheduling patient appointments, billing procedures, claims processing, patient discharge processes, and so on. RPA has the ability to mimic human actions to carry out these tedious tasks such as logging in, filling out forms, moving files, monitoring actions, and so on. Leveraging this technology to its fullest potential can free up an employee’s time to do more productive tasks. This non-intrusive technology can effortlessly blend into various verticals of any infrastructure to store, sort, and process the data by communicating with different systems to provide accurate results.
Here are some of the interesting use-cases of RPA in healthcare.
Appointment Scheduling and Claims Management
During challenging times like a health crisis, appointment scheduling and claims management can become overpowering on the healthcare infrastructure. Besides, each of these ‘front door processes’ is not easily scalable for the providers and the payers alike. In situations like these, an RPA bot comes to the rescue that can help a patient to book an appointment using engaging conversational interfaces just like a human officer would use. It could ask the same questions to the patients, perform the same look-ups for matching doctors and appointment slots, book the appointment and follow up to confirm the patient visit on the due date.
In the case of claims management, the scenario hardly differs where the claim form arrives into the hands of an officer, and they review the details by looking it up in various systems and update a few applications to register the claim and then inform the claimant about the status from time to time. An RPA bot can easily handle this diligently, iteratively, and round the clock. Additionally, the privacy of the patients being of utmost importance in healthcare is efficiently maintained with the help of this technology.
Revenue Cycle Management
Certain workflows in revenue cycle management can prove to be ideal candidates for RPA implementation. For instance, calculation of the receivables when the patient is discharged from the hospital involves collation of many transactions with different entities such as consultation, pharma, catering services, therapy, path-labs, rehab/ chiropractic treatments, and so on. Often these different entities have their own digital interface and are tracked separately. From time to time, these entities need to reconcile, even if they work for the same provider or hospital. The complexity increases with the volume of patients or if the provider has a chain of healthcare facilities spread across geography. The implementation of an RPA application to integrate with such separate systems and synchronize the systems can streamline the revenue tracking and management processes efficiently.
Auditing involves rigorous inspection and verification of records to ensure consistency and compliance. In healthcare, record-keeping is humungous and auditing can be a daunting task. Due to the sheer quantity of records to be checked, it is prudent to hand it over to a computer program that can provide accurate results with minimal error rate. An RPA program could look up the records and perform regular audit checks of the system. The audit logs could be maintained by the RPA program. Similarly, any anomaly detected can be immediately notified to human auditors after which they can dive into the details of the irregularity brought to their notice by the RPA bot.
Patient Discharge Process
As mentioned above, nowadays, the patients have to pay for many adjacent charges besides doctor’s fees that need to be collated from different systems. Additionally, the factor of claims processing needs to be sourced from respective payers’ systems. To ensure a seamless patient discharge process, the administration teams at the providers have to walk the tightrope, repeatedly for each patient, each day. However, this manual process can be automated by an RPA bot where the program can comply with the discharge guidelines, notify patients with prescription renewal, detect any irregularities associated with the patient records and provide a hassle-free patient discharge experience, irrespective of the number of patients to be discharged on any given day.
Over half of US healthcare providers will invest in RPA by the end of 2023, according to a Gartner survey. As seen from the above use-cases, RPA has proven beneficial in enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and the cycle of tasks by carrying out mundane, repetitive administrative tasks at a quicker pace. The correct implementation and integration of RPA with other technologies can pave the way for innovation and transformation in the healthcare industry which in turn can enhance the delivery of quality patient care, increase customer satisfaction levels, and provide valuable business outcomes.
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