The healthcare industry is no stranger to the challenges posed by paperwork, administrative tasks, and manual processes. Hence, with the ever-increasing demands for efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness, healthcare providers are turning to technology for solutions.
We all have seen how automation technologies are being adopted at a higher rate to add up excellence and process efficiency in the healthcare process. As per the latest report in 2023, RPA in the healthcare market is expected to hit around USD 14.18 billion by 2032, with a registered CAGR of 26.1% from 2023 to 2032. And the driving factor behind the growth of RPA in healthcare is managing repetitive workflows in the process and managing the complexity of data.
In this blog, we will talk about healthcare workflow and how automation can play a key role in transforming these processes and offering assistance to patients.
Main Challenges Faced by Healthcare System
The healthcare system faces various challenges, with many of its processes still processed manually, making the tasks time-consuming and leading to higher turnaround time in execution.
The healthcare industry is already under pressure to accomplish more with limited resources, and the inefficiencies and errors associated with these outdated paper-based processes only exacerbate the challenges faced by healthcare professionals.
As per the report, healthcare providers spend 15.6 hours per week on paperwork and other administrative tasks. In an industry where every moment is critical, these wasted hours could be better utilized for direct patient care, significantly improving the overall productivity and quality of healthcare services.
To address these issues, it is essential to replace antiquated healthcare workflows with digital processes that are swift and efficient. Administrative tasks typically do not necessitate complex decision-making or analytical thinking; they mainly require accurate data validation and careful observation.
Fortunately, there is no need to allocate valuable resources to these tasks when we have automated solutions available. Tasks such as admissions, insurance claims processing, discharge procedures, medical billing, appointment scheduling and management, and insurance pre-authorization can all be automated with minimal human intervention. This way, automation not only saves considerable time for healthcare professionals but also enhances the overall efficiency of healthcare delivery.
Why is Workflow Automation Critical for the Healthcare Industry?
Workflow automation involves the creation, implementation, and mechanization of processes guided by workflow rules. These rules determine how human tasks, data, or files move between individuals or systems according to established business rules. However, existing healthcare systems have worked well so far; the lack of accuracy, labor-intensiveness, siloed working model and poor implementation of these systems do not work in their favor.
Automated healthcare workflow is focused on improving process efficiencies and effectiveness, increasing productivity, and easy implementation across organizations. Instead of making changes in the whole system, healthcare providers can easily implement these ready workflows.
Some examples of workflow automation in healthcare include-
- Revenue Cycle Management
- Electronic Health Record Management
- Claims Processing
- Medical Billing
- Patient Scheduling
Benefits of Workflow Automation in Healthcare
Workflow automation has the capacity to revolutionize healthcare information management processes, leading to reduced staff burnout, enhanced revenue generation, and improved interoperability.
Healthcare processes have undergone a profound transformation through the adoption of workflow automation technology. This technology yields various advantages, including mitigating staff burnout, optimizing costs, enhancing interoperability, and bolstering data security. Some of the benefits of workflow automation in healthcare are-
Less Burnout Staff
Working in the healthcare industry, staff are typically exposed to repetitive workflow situations daily. Right from scheduling patients to managing health records, healthcare providers require a number of staff to handle the operation. This everyday stress eventually leads to burnout which increases costs, reduces patient satisfaction, and negatively impacts morale.
Workflow automation in healthcare reduces the time staff spend on manual, repetitive workflows and frees up time for the team to focus on offering valuable patient care. For example, using automation and bots, healthcare providers can schedule patient appointments as per physician availability and free up staff to focus on accelerating patient care.
Better Data Interoperability
Data interoperability across the healthcare system is challenging, especially when data comes from multiple resources and formats. Having data interoperability with workflow automation means efficiently sharing and integrating data between systems and stages of a process. It streamlines workflows, enhances decision-making, improves collaboration, and ensures data security. In healthcare, it enables patient-centric care and compliance with regulations like HIPAA.
Increased Data Security
Data security is a paramount concern within the healthcare sector, mainly when introducing new technology. Adopting workflow automation is pivotal in bolstering data security as it minimizes human involvement.
The most significant vulnerabilities to data privacy often stem from human interaction and manual data handling. Therefore, diminishing or eradicating human involvement and manual data manipulation fortifies data security.
With easy data interoperability, healthcare providers can quickly get data analytics and reporting. Having all the data insights and analytics in one place, healthcare providers can quickly check the areas of improvement and offer better patient care. Also, decision-makers can access comprehensive and real-time information, enabling more informed and timely decisions.
Lower Operational Costs
As automation can take care of repetitive healthcare processes, the requirement for administrative staff for operations is reduced. This helps healthcare providers effectively take control of their costs. Al