If you work in healthcare, you’re familiar with inefficiencies. They exist in all corners of our practices. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in healthcare allows professionals to file cleaner claims and generate reimbursement faster. This post will explore use cases for RPA in the Healthcare Market from our latest ebook, available for free download. Let’s get started!
- Why Use RPA for Healthcare?
- So Why Isn’t Everyone in Healthcare Using RPA?
- Why Have Use Cases for Robotic Automation in Healthcare?
- What Makes a Good Use Case for RPA in Healthcare
- The Benefits of RPA in Healthcare
Of the many industries identified as ripe for robotic process automation, healthcare frequently reaches the top for many reasons, some obvious and others less so. Let’s examine them.
- Healthcare is Process-Intensive
Healing a person is personal, but healing the masses requires repeatable processes to ensure maximum, effective throughput, and not just in the exam room. Scheduling, billing and yes – even treatment – require adherence to established procedures. And when processes have been established, the environment is ripe for process refinement.
- Healthcare is Compliance-Driven
The sensitive nature of healthcare requires consistent adherence to standards and laws, some at the national level and others at the state. Compliance-heavy industries don’t just have to do things a certain way; they’re also required to document that they’ve done them a certain way. With robotic process automation, lost documents and bungled processes are no more, ensuring organizations stay in the good graces of compliance professionals.
- Healthcare is Integrated
Like many industries, modern healthcare is transforming digitally, with new tools constantly added. But the ability for each of these technologies to speak with one another is tricky at best and cumbersome as well. For the employees responsible for moving data from one place to another, the work involves task-switching, which has been proven to increase the likelihood of error while limiting productivity. Here is where RPA is at its best: serving as the bridge between two disparate technologies.
- Healthcare is Overwhelmed
Even before Covid, healthcare was feeling the strain of an aging population. This surge in demand and a shortage of professionals meant that everyone within the industry was being asked to do more. Where demand exceeds supply, innovation is required to close the gap.
Despite healthcare displaying the hallmarks of an industry ripe with potential, many organizations have yet to start RPA. Let’s examine some of the reasons why.
- RPA Technology Can be Intimidating
Few new technologies can be deployed easily, and optimism bias often means that solutions that don’t fulfill their users’ vision appear. But here’s the reality: RPA generally automates the processes you’ve already established. With RPA, ideally, you’re not seeking new processes but simply automating the ones you have. The fact is RPA projects are generally much similar than custom software development.
- Give my Job to a Robot? No Thanks.
Maybe it’s because it’s called “robotic” process automation. Or it’s because some positions in the healthcare market do require extensive administration work. Either way, healthcare professionals sometimes turn a wary eye to RPA, thinking it’s there to replace positions in the same way that cashier jobs are being eliminated in grocery stores. But as we’ve already mentioned, the healthcare industry has far more positions than it can currently fill. Moreover, that shortage is expected to only increase in the coming years. In healthcare, RPA is being used not to replace humans but to reallocate them to other roles that only humans can fulfill.
- We Have No Idea Where to Start
And here we come to the meat of this article. While it’s all fine and good to identify why healthcare is ideal for RPA and to point out the existing barriers, the truth is that in most cases, RPA succeeds when the proper use cases are identified. Without a strong first use case, most organizations will spend months (or longer) considering RPA and its implications. But when the first example is selected and deployed, things change quickly! The right RPA use case introduces the technology in a way that users can understand and sets the stage for rapid improvement.
Finding the right use cases for your first RPA healthcare initiative is vital. Choose the right one and you’ll build momentum for your organization and the initiative. But choose the wrong one, and you might find your team frustrated with the results. Let’s examine how to find the right RPA use cases.
As previously mentioned, good use cases for RPA in the Healthcare market spawn from well-defined systematized processes. Still, other considerations apply. Here are some of the commonalities you’ll uncover:
- Multiple Software Platforms
Many RPA solutions are designed to seamlessly move data from one solution into another. Without RPA, these tasks may appear like copying from one application and pasting to another. While bots can and do operate within single platforms, many candidates are best proven by transposing data between them. Today, UX/UI designers try to keep actions with a single platform efficient (though bots running inside a single platform are still common), but you’ll find plenty of use cases in cases where the data moves from one location to another.
- Clear & Obvious Business Benefit
RPA investments have a more rapid payback period than other custom software solutions, but in part this is because they are most successfully deployed where pain points are obvious. For each of the Use Cases in our ebook, we have identified how RPA improves revenue cycle management. If you’re looking to build enthusiasm, make sure your use case is tied to a clear and measurable result. And if you’re looking to quantify your own RPA efforts, be sure to start with our RPA ROI Calculator, designed for robotic process automation in the healthcare market!
- Always-On Benefits
Employees tasked with revenue cycle management spend inordinate amounts of time “checking” to see if necessary information has been communicated to them. However, employees can’t work twenty-four hours per day and many of these “check-ins” are simply answered with, “Nothing, yet.” The best Use Cases allow for bots to continuously check for information, saving valuable time, and then instantly relaying when the information has been provided.
RPA in the healthcare market is frequently promoted as a tool for revenue cycle management. For a good reason: RCM professionals are at the center of bulging inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Still, consider all the potential ways your practice fails to optimize healthcare delivery.
Within our ebook, you’ll learn how RPA in the healthcare market can increase the likelihood of a successful procedure and swiftly fill unutilized appointment slots. While these two bots have nothing to do with insurance companies, they address other issues within a practice that directly impact revenue.
In the ebook, you’ll find five highly specialized healthcare RPA bots. These use cases are proven to make a meaningful impact quickly and include:
Optimize Patient Scheduling
When patients call in for an appointment, they (understandably) have a single issue on their mind: getting their current needs met. In stark comparison, the person on the other end of the line must ensure the correct physician is available when the patient desires and the insurance coverages are all set. At the same time, the practice is trying to optimize for efficiency; an unfilled appointment slot means lost revenue to the practice. Given these variables, RPA is an ideal “co-pilot” for appointment schedulers, swiftly finding available slots that match the desired criteria.
Sample View of the 1sst Page of the Use Case
All businesses suffer from unexpected inefficiencies, things that shouldn’t create roadblocks and yet, do. In healthcare, one of these is referrals. On paper, a referral looks simple: one practitioner hands a patient to another. And yet, the quantity of referrals that get lost is staggering, leading to even more reduced income for the office. Healthcare organizations that develop a Referral Bot can process these requests faster and without lost opportunities falling through the cracks. Referrals should easily convert to revenue in your practice. Make sure they do.
If your practice doesn’t swiftly convert a high percentage of referrals into clients, our Referral Bot can help. Fill out the form for immediate access to see how it works.
In healthcare, reimbursement requires the correct documentation. And missing clinical results are a key reason for claims to be rejected, resulting in lost revenue. But RPA can fix that problem. Our clinical clean-up bot monitors claims at submission for the proper documentation, but just as important, it captures when a rejection comes back requesting updated clinicals. Why spend your time checking for updates when RPA can tell you when they’ve been submitted?