Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is playing a significant role in healthcare and creating a profound impact across processes at different stages of patient care. Omega Healthcare’s strategic acquisitions to fortify its tech-enabled service portfolio stands testimony to the indomitable place automation holds in healthcare today. These acquisitions will help Omega scale its AI and data-analytics-based solutions to curtail costs and augment revenue.
We will likely see a spike in such collaborations in the coming years, with new healthcare technologies unlocking massive revenue prospects for the healthcare industry. These technologies are paving the path for cost-effective and efficient patient care while reducing the cost burden of hospitalization. The healthcare automation market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 8.4%1 from 2021-2028, with a global valuation surpassing US$ 88.9 billion by the end of 2028.
Robotic process automation, AI, and machine learning are helping healthcare organizations manage vast amounts of data and optimize routine tasks. It is believed that robotic process automation can help the healthcare sector curtail costs by 50%. But to use these technologies efficiently, it is crucial to understand their impact on healthcare and the myriad benefits they offer.
1. Digital assistants for improved patient experience
The healthcare industry is trying its best to humanize technology to provide personalized care to patients. WELL Health, the winner of the ‘Best in KLAS’ award for patient outreach, has divulged its plans to invest $32 million in research and development. The investment will be used for product development and to increase the number of people working on patient communication solutions.
From providing the required language support for translating text messages into over 100 languages to improving workflows for scheduling appointments and follow-up visits, WELL will enhance communication and customer service in a big way. Artificial intelligence or AI-aided documentation is now used for regulatory compliance and reimbursement, while chatbots are increasingly deployed to communicate with patients.
The right patient experience is the key to improving the patient-provider relationship. Patients today want a seamless experience, and 62% of healthcare consumers2 are inclined to switch providers after the pandemic. They want the power to compare quotes, choose healthcare providers, and have greater control over their wellbeing. Providers now allow patients access to health portals for greater visibility and transparency into health records, medical histories, and possible treatments.
2. Predictive resource planning for timely delivery of care
COVID-19 had put the healthcare industry in limbo as patient health continued to deteriorate, and no amount of resource planning could bridge the gap. Patients suffered from increased waiting times and delayed diagnoses pointing toward an acute shortage of resources. Hexarad, a teleradiology firm, has stepped forward to support healthcare services when demand outstrips supply. It provides hospitals and healthcare services with an intelligent way to manage their resources. It steps in every time a radiologist in its network reaches capacity and provides a report on scans that their teams do not have the time to process.
Interestingly, AI is also helping radiologists improve classification accuracy 80% of the time. Healthcare professionals are now using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to navigate the increasing challenges of care logistics with real-time insight into current and future staffing needs. In tandem with big data, RPA is helping them distribute resources efficiently to address the gaps in workforce supply.
3. Automate routine tasks, so staff have more time for patients
Healthcare providers use patient management automation with advanced digital features to offer value and convenience while dealing with multiple tasks, including billing, claims, and scheduling routine checkups. Submitting claims is often stressful as the slightest error can slow down payments.
Custom healthcare automation software comes to the rescue as it handles even the most complex primary and secondary claims processes by allowing seamless data transfer between billing and claims. AI advancements like machine learning (ML) and optical character recognition (OCR) enable efficient data processing and accurate information retrieval.
Though we cannot eliminate analog data completely. Even when the pandemic was at its peak, an estimated 2.8 trillion pages were printed. As per the data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US companies spent $5.3 billion on wages annually in 2021 for data-entry keyers indicating the prevalence of analog data even during times of social distancing.
4. EHR data analytics for effective clinical decision support
EHRs have been instrumental in providing healthcare leaders with tons of actionable data to improve the quality of care. While automated processes assist in sifting vast amounts of data, AI helps make sense of it. It makes the data useful for research to understand patients and their requirements better.
Healthcare dashboards play a significant role here as they help improve operational efficiencies and empower healthcare providers to visualize data correctly. They aid in reviewing key performance indicators (KPIs) for decision-making and tracking resources. Electronic health record vendor Azalea Health recently acquired dashboardMD to harness the powerful analytics capabilities to have insights and enhanced visibility.
Healthcare practitioners blend research and clinical practice to enhance clinical decisions, support evidence-based practice, and speed up diagnoses.
5. Continuous care with remote patient monitoring
Remote monitoring has become easier and more efficient with the Internet of Things (IoT). It keeps patients safe in their homes and helps physicians deliver excellent care while increasing patient engagement and satisfaction. IoT reduces the length of hospital stay and prevents readmissions, reducing healthcare costs and enabling better treatment outcomes.
IoT helps physicians keep a tab on different health aspects of patients, such as blood pressure variations, exercise regime, and calorie intake. Connected devices with sensors help track the real-time location of medical equipment like wheelchairs, oxygen pumps, and nebulizers. It supports healthcare companies in asset management and the deployment of medical staff.
IoT has also been helping insurance companies reduce claims and validate them based on data captured by connected devices. No wonder IoT in the global healthcare market was growing at a CAGR of 18%3 and is predicted to reach US$ 181.4 Billion in 2022 and US$ 952.3 Billion by 2032.
6. Ensure regulatory compliance with data privacy and protection
Data privacy is crucial in healthcare, given the sensitive nature of personal medical records. As digitalization continues, healthcare data breaches have increased considerably, from 34 million individuals being impacted in 2020 to a whopping 45 million in 2021. Data security is now a strategic agenda item for the healthcare industry eager to modernize IT infrastructure to protect patients’ health and safety.
Healthcare data encryption is becoming the norm while a complete security incident response plan to identify, evaluate, and stop a cyberattack is being implemented by top healthcare facilities.
It has become imperative for healthcare providers to protect data regardless of where it resides. A Canadian healthcare entity, Arnprior Regional Health, became the victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that compromised patient records dating back to 1996. Many are now using blockchain-based systems that allow patients to approve changes to their EHRs, authorize access to their records, and oversee the data sharing between providers. Blockchain increases trust and transparency by requiring all parties to agree on how data is verified and recorded.
Embrace healthcare automation with Trigent
The healthcare industry is using automation to reduce costs, increase revenue, and enhance the patient experience. The benefits of technology are far too many for those who set realistic expectations about automation and acknowledge its role in improving efficiency and quality.
Our industry-leading expertise has helped several healthcare companies adjust their digital posture and offer excellent care.
- https://nrchealth.com/how-covid-19-reshaped-healthcare-consumerism-4-key-trends-to-know-for 2021/#:~:text=Consumer%20loyalty%20is%20a%20major,2018%20to%2036%25%20in%202020.