Revolutionizing Healthcare with Robotic process automation: A Comprehensive Overview
“Automation is driving the decline of banal and repetitive tasks.”- Amber Rudd
With effective automation, organizations can reduce staffing costs and manual errors. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) denotes an automation process that uses specific software to perform backend tasks that are usually completed manually, such as extraction of data, file transfer, and completing forms. Top healthcare app development companies provide robotic process automation services that ensure efficient operations and better results.
The robotic component of the process helps enhance quality, speed, and productivity. Repetitive tasks are performed with more accuracy than humans. Hence industries stand to benefit immensely from the use of RPA. As per Statista, the industry registered a growth of 4 billion USD in 2020 and is expected to reach over 10 billion in 2023. RPA is used in various industries like banking, business process outsourcing, healthcare, etc. In healthcare, it helps in appointment scheduling, optimizing regulatory compliances, managing billing and claims processes, and more.
According to Precedence Research, the market size of global RPA was 2.9 billion USD in 2022 but is expected to reach 6.2 billion USD by 2030.
In this article, you will learn the growing significance of robotic process automation in healthcare, which is discussed comprehensively. It will provide an in-depth insight into technology and its impact on the healthcare industry.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a form of automation that uses software robots to automate tasks that humans generally perform. It differs from the traditional automation in many ways.
With the conventional automation process, it is possible to make a machine perform any task or part of an operation. However, it can execute pre-defined programmatic instructions only.
It takes more time, energy, and workforce for successful implementation, while RPA is an efficient option that saves time, money, and effort due to its easy use, simple format, and quick updates. RPA is an automation type that simulates human actions and carries out repetitive tasks.
Benefits businesses accrue with RPA
RPA provides multiple advantages to businesses, of which a few key benefits are listed below:
1. Cost savings
Robotic process automation in healthcare helps to reduce operational costs by nearly 50%. When robotic processes take over manually intensive work, businesses can gain considerably. Further, automation helps to recover costs in a short period.
Robotic processes offer enhanced services with minimal errors, which increases accuracy. Further, the consistency and reliability of robotic process automation in healthcare ensures output quality and optimizes organizational capabilities.
Robotic process automation in healthcare is a non-invasive and safe technology that does not impact fundamental systems. It consistently provides improved performance. Further, the presence of accurate data helps improve the analytic quality resulting in better decision-making and successful execution.
Robotic process automation in healthcare enables easier tallying of information from different systems, which helps in easy information generation resulting in seamless process integration.
4 .Better productivity
Employees are freed from their routine monotonous tasks allowing them to focus on efficient and productive tasks like customer interaction and other related activities that require human skills. With satisfied clients, it is possible to ensure better business outcomes.
Further, due to the capability of RPA processes, a larger amount of work can be completed quickly. Quicker delivery and improved accuracy result in greater productivity and an improved bottom line.
RPA can be used in many industries due to its ability to execute various tasks. Any rule-based process that requires repeated execution is an ideal choice for the application of robotic process automation.
6. Minimal maintenance
The use of Robotic process automation in healthcare enhances the service desk functionality and network monitoring. Companies will be able to handle short-term spikes without the need for additional staff or training.
7. Enhanced security
Due to the functioning of RPA at a granular level, there is no risk of information leakage from one section to another. All data accesses are documented and well-controlled.
RPA in Healthcare: Use Cases
RPA in healthcare industry involves the use of pre-programmed software tools in various departments, including accounting, laboratory information, patient engagements, insurance, and more.
Using RPA in the medical environment helps take care of tedious back-office tasks, which frees healthcare staff. It lets them focus on diagnostic processes and ensures meaningful interactions between patients and healthcare providers.
How RPA is used in the healthcare industry
Protocols, rules, compliance, and standards greatly impact how the healthcare industry functions. Despite all the rules not being linked to the current treatment, they come under management requirements.
With RPA, many of the tedious but necessary repetitive tasks are taken care of effectively. Due to the algorithmic feature in the RPA, it forms a perfect tool in healthcare for performing tedious tasks that can overwhelm the industry otherwise.
Current use cases of RPA in healthcare
Some of the ways that RPA is used in healthcare now are explained below:
1. Enhanced appointment process
Last-minute cancellations of appointments or patients not showing up for a scheduled appointment are situations that cause a big financial drain on healthcare providers. Robotic process automation in healthcare with a proper telemedicine solution will ensure patients are reminded of their appointments. Doctors can ask for follow-ups, too, thus improving appointment turnover, efficiency, and productivity.
2. Scheduling appointments
RPA helps identify and document key factors in a request for an appointment, such as the location, time, date, claim carrier, and physician info. The information is compiled into a report and sent to the system that confirms the appointments.
3. Improved patient compliance
The use of RPA in healthcare automates repetitive and tedious tasks freeing healthcare workers to focus on the actual healthcare. Further, there are additional benefits, such as patient tracking and data digitization.
4. Efficient workflow
Remote monitoring of patients, population wellness, and more are repetitive tasks that consume time. With robotic process automation in healthcare, such tasks are easy and efficiently done.
By eliminating time-consuming and repetitive tasks, healthcare workers can work on high-priority tasks that require creative input. This ensures employee satisfaction resulting in better ROI for the company.
Potential uses cases of RPA in healthcare
The potential applications of robotic process automation in healthcare are enormous as the process helps to improve and streamline the organizational and operational processes. Some of the important use cases are given below:
Patient remote monitoring
RPA ensures better accuracy and quicker processes. It can prove indispensable in remote monitoring. Automation helps in the better management of patient records. Healthcare providers can use the process to create a standardized prognosis plan for achieving patients' health objectives.
Remote monitoring helps generate information that medical personnel can use to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Robotic process automation in healthcare helps to maintain and manage crucial but tedious tasks. It helps healthcare professionals to deliver better treatment for patients.
All tasks, including tracing, tracking, documents, and more, are logged and stored systematically with RPA. This makes it easy to conform to regulatory compliance during a healthcare audit. Using systematic records, a facility can ensure accountability. In case of sudden or unprepared audits, it is easier for the establishments to deal with.
Ensuring a seamless appointment and follow-up requires the completion of many complicated tasks, such as:
- Collection of basic information about the patient
- Medical history
- Verifying the valid insurance details
- Ensure the patient’s appointments align with the schedule of the doctor
- Notify the patient or doctor in the event of any changes
The above tasks are quickly done and without any errors by the use of RPA. This helps in reducing operational costs and enhances efficiency.
Crucial benefits of robotic process automation in healthcare
Healthcare establishments find RPA a viable solution as it helps them serve more patients and ensure better outcomes. The expenditure is minimized, and workflow is made efficient. Some of the key benefits include
- Medical institutions can enable processes without spending on labor costs which account for a major part of operating expenses in a hospital.
- Manual entry of data is prone to errors which are eliminated when RPA is used for tedious and repetitive tasks.
- The cost of RPA implementation is low, and implementation is easier, so there is no need for extensive customization processes.
- Tasks that are labor intensive can be done quicker and with less cost with the use of robotic automation.
Challenges and Limitations
While integrating robotic automation comes with many benefits, there are some limitations and challenges.
Security of patient data and confidentiality are big challenges the industry faces now. The ginormous amount of data present in the industry, including patient records and more, are prone to theft. Many security issues comprise IT incidents with human involvement.
Segregating and limiting access to specific team members will help in controlling fraudulent or erroneous activities. Data encryption helps add an additional security layer protecting the information from malicious attacks.
Finding the right fit
Not all processes require automation of the RPA level. While the process can improve specific processes like repetitive tasks, it cannot be included in all healthcare operations. A solution to this limitation is ensuring that the process to be automated is clearly defined.
Time is a crucial factor in healthcare, and failure to take a proper history and arrive at a diagnosis can result in poor patient outcomes. Hospitals can minimize errors and make precise diagnoses using robotic process automation in healthcare. For patients undergoing treatment, appropriate monitoring and identification of deviation from the prescribed health plans are easier with RPA.
Robotic automation is ideal for processes that are predictable and rules-based. However, if there is an anomaly or suspicious data in the process, the robotic component can identify it only if anomaly detection is integrated into it. This is not an easy task and requires meticulous consideration.
For proper detection of abnormal findings, it is important to identify repeatable processes that typically do not end in large amounts of variation or questions when performed manually. The inclusion of anomaly detection features appropriately in the automation should be done by IT professionals to ensure accurate data processing.
A major limitation faced in robotic process automation in healthcare implementation is the need for constant tweaking of the process to meet the organization's changing needs. Including adaptive changes is a complicated process in organizations that handle multiple systems.
Since RPA lacks cognitive skills like humans, organizations need to be aware of the lack and use a suitable RPA foundation. The use of machine learning and AI can help in addressing the limitations in this aspect.
Proper planning and implementation
Using a robust infrastructure and a qualified team to implement Robotic process automation in healthcare will help overcome the limitations. While the long-term costs are less, the initial setup is expensive as it involves the use of experts or training existing employees.
Since the process needs the use of advanced technology, it is difficult to adapt it to the ever-changing demands of a healthcare establishment. Improvement in technology and easier adaptation are future changes that can help in better integration of the RPA process. Our Boston-based software development company ensures seamless integration, resulting in successful outcomes.
Future of RPA in Healthcare
Although many healthcare establishments have adopted RPA, many have not. More and more providers will start using robotic process automation in healthcare in the coming years as the benefits and ROI are clearly established. The financial and operational losses incurred by not using RPA will act as a driving force for the change.
Some of the potential future developments in the sector include
- The use of AI and machine learning has the potential to change the way people approach healthcare. Patients can get 24/7 assistance for their health checks and diagnosis. Artificial intelligence can be used to create a customized experience for patients. It can help bridge the gap between technology and healthcare provision.
- Apps using machine learning and NLP (Natural Language Processing) will help bolster human activity. They assist in gathering insights that result in improved home care, patient care, and virtual care.
- The use of RPA ensures enhanced management of patient health records electronically. It enables seamless sharing of data with providers, patients, and suppliers.
- Real-time operations monitoring is possible with the Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled wireless trackers.
Application of RPA in various emerging healthcare technologies
The use of RPA helps to overcome challenges faced by the healthcare industry, like service delivery due to lack of staff, distance, time, and rough terrain. Some of the healthcare technologies that benefit from RPA are:
- Telehealth and telemedicine can be made more efficient by the use of robotic automation. Virtual assistants can handle basic tasks like talking with people, answering questions, educating patients on health issues, scheduling appointments, and more.
- The use of AI chatbots is another technology that has the potential to work quickly and efficiently when compared to manual labor.
- RPA empowers clinicians to make better diagnoses. Remote analysis of patients is easier, with RPA reducing hospital visits, wait times, and medications via telemedicine. Further, RPA with artificial intelligence can help spot high-risk illnesses and alert the patient and healthcare provider in imparting timely treatment.
- Remote monitoring of patients is another aspect that RPA and artificial intelligence can help. Screening the diagnostic patient needs, automated generation of medication prescriptions, and more help in providing virtual health care effectively. Remote monitoring ensures better patient outcomes and improved compliance and motivates patients to take care of their health.
- Besides health aspects, RPA can play a crucial role in the revenue cycle of a healthcare institution. Insurance verification, prior authorization, follow-ups, account segmentation, and claims administration are some areas that benefit from the error-free automation process.
An efficient healthcare sector ensures patients get the needed care on time and without much hassle. Both the providers and the patients are satisfied with the care using robotic process automation.
Robotic process automation in healthcare enhances efficiency, saves time, minimizes the risk of human error, and enables providers to focus on providing the best treatment for patients. Patient scheduling, data analytics, automation of medical data, and more enable doctors to get access to comprehensive patient information.
The functionality improves the chances of precise diagnosis and improved treatment processes. Our Boston-based software development company provides a comprehensive robotic process automation in healthcare that is specifically tailored to the industry.
Enhanced accuracy, reduced labor costs, and better patient handling result in clearer diagnosis and proper and effective treatment planning. Our Boston-based software development company helps business boost their online presence. It offers customized robotic process automation software that will prove indispensable to any healthcare establishment.