Automation is gaining popularity in every industry because of the fact that it allows businesses to focus on the tasks that hold primary business value by automating repetitive or manual tasks and processes. Think about the time and resources we devoted to tasks such as billing, claims processing, record keeping, and information transfer which are now automated partly or entirely, optimizing resource utilization markedly.
The initial acceptance and adoption of medical automation services in healthcare was narrow yet slow, but things have shifted the other way over the past few years, especially after covid-19. Doctors, hospitals, healthcare organizations, and researchers are utilizing automation in healthcare to improve care delivery time, quality, and costs.
Understanding the impact of automation on workforce and organization
Over the last decades, healthcare is not just expanding vertically but also is spreading horizontally, leveraging new technologies. To achieve the best of patient experience, healthcare is going through some aggressive digital transformation. Starting from IoT to data analytics, a lot of cutting-edge technologies have been adopted to improve the process of healthcare operations, with multiple departments, from patient registry to diagnosis, every department has onboarded numerous technologies to improve patient experience. With this there entered a need of organised and automated system that could optimize the process and reduce human errors. This led to the emergence of automation.
Important areas where medical automation services plays a transforming role:
Billing & scheduling
One of the notable challenges faced by hospitals is appointment management. Hospitals are often seen as very crowded because of the limited availability of doctors and overpopulated patients visiting them. An adequate appointment system in place would be an optimal solution for this problem. An automated appointment system is not just capable of arranging appointments without conflicts but also has the capabilities to schedule reminders about the appointment or options to even reschedule to all the parties involved without any other human intervention.
With multiple patients checking in and out of the facility every hour, it is imperative to have a competent billing system that could automatically track all the logs tracked to the patient and bill them accurately. Billing automation, in addition to optimizing the process, also opens up a huge pathway to scale up the operations without any additional infrastructure changes.
Data extraction & management
The most sensitive and essential aspect of healthcare management is patient data. Ensuring the security and accuracy of this data as the treatment is paramount, and patients' future depend on these files. With one patient touching across multiple departments during the course of the treatment, it is absolutely necessary for all these departments to have the right and updated data of the patient. This is where automation comes into play, to ensure automatic data updating in all the systems so everyone involved can access the latest information.
Revenue management & claims processing
Unlike other service-based businesses, revenue isn't a timely activity; thousands of transactions happen on a daily basis, and there is a very high probability of errors in billing and documentation. Automating the revenue management process will eliminate the possibility of these common errors and will improve the process. Claim process too, like that of revenue management, has a lot of manual entries and activities involved, which again creates room for manual errors. Automation can help optimize the claims process and improve the closing time.
Supply chain activities
Healthcare centers, hospitals etc, always have a high demand for medical supplies, might it be medicines or medical equipment. They must keep track of these supplies and manage their logistics based on demand and availability. The co-existence of multiple factors to manage this supply chain demands a very complex and automated system to optimize operations. Automation of the supply chain activities will manage the logistics in the most efficient way possible, starting from priority allotment to freight management.
Audits & regulatory compliance
Healthcare compliance automation ensures healthcare organizations monitor guidelines and modifies compliance activities based on the updated changes in the regulations. Automation helps improve efficiency, reduce resource involvement and optimize the cost involved in maintaining compliance. On the other hand, audits are prone to a lot of calculation errors when done manually. With automation of the audits, the errors can be minimized to the least, producing high efficiency and low operation time.
Role of analytics is wide in tracking growth and identifying trends in any industry. Healthcare is not much different in that aspect. Healthcare is one industry that has huge amounts of data coming in every minute, starting from patient profiles to revenue trends. Only a fully automated system has the capacity to analyze and synthesize such large amounts of data.
Since healthcare has a collaboration of multiple departments transferring patient data back and forth, there is a high need to have a track on the latest updated version and not to have redundant data. Automating the tracking process of these assets will ensure all the data being transferred is up to date and make sure no duplicates are being made in moving it from one department to another.
Post-treatment monitoring is as significant as the treatment phase in healthcare. With thousands of patient every day, it is challenging for the hospital workforce to keep track of each patient and monitor them individually. Automating the post-treatment care will help the healthcare units to trigger timely reminders for check-ups and surveys to monitor the patient's progress.
Request & grievance management
Like all coins have 2 sides, despite providing the best possible patient experience, there will always be some cases with inconveniences and discomforts with the process. They should be attended to with the utmost care to preserve the patient experience. These grievances and requests could be redundant in many cases, and human intervention will only increase the response time. Automation of such responses and requests can resolve the situation at the earliest. Also, for peculiar requests, the automation system can keep track of the situation and constantly delivers updates on the status.
What's the right time to automate?
In this digital era no time could be a wrong time to accelerate digital transformation through process automation. Especially healthcare industry has a high demand for it, as mentioned above, which are few of many areas where automation can make the process more efficient and optimize the operational cycle. Starting from a small-scale company to a multinational enterprise, automation is the key to achieving high patient experience and a better organized operational system in place.
The deployment of medical automation services in healthcare operations will speed up the process, ensure data accuracy, secure patient confidentiality and provide in-depth analytics of all the involved processes. It is crucial for any entity to adapt to automation to keep up with this rapidly evolving digital terrain.