Business Process Automation in Healthcare

Alex Tarasenko
Alex Tarasenko

The global healthcare industry is transforming.

Challenges of the modern world push medical institutions worldwide to adapt and evolve at a quicker pace, stepping up their enterprise game digital-wise. In this regard, automation of business processes is an essential tool helping the industry approach its goals and take the care services to the next level.

What are some of the main areas of business process automation in healthcare right now? And what does the future look like for the industry?

Let’s find out!

Administration and Management

Perhaps the most vividly affected part of the healthcare activities fueled by business process automation is administration and management within institutions.

Workflow

At nearly a billion doctor visits a year in the US alone, effectively managing medical operations is difficult to overestimate.

Things like staff scheduling, patient flow, rooms and procedures, stock supplies, billing, claims processing, etc are a daily challenge. And given the level of automation technologies available today, along with the overall pressure on the global healthcare systems – wasting the precious staff time on such routine processes is close to criminal negligence.

Utilizing ERPs can lift a great deal of pressure from the employee’s shoulders, allowing them to focus on more human-dependent tasks and direct patient care.

Documentation and reporting

Documentation makes up a big chunk of healthcare activities within medical institutions. It occupies a lot of the admin time and as much as a quarter of the doctors’ active working hours.

While paperwork is becoming obsolete, electronic documentation is a practical way to manage vital legal and medical information. Accessible 24/7 from anywhere, e-papers are extremely handy and can be securely protected from both intentional and unintentional harm.

Considering all that, having a convenient and reliable digital solution for daily documentation and reporting is essential. 

Claims processing

Insurance is a big deal in the healthcare sector. With up to 400 million insurance fraud cases a year in the US – accurately accessing insurance claims is extremely important.

At that, effectively processing such a scope of information by hand is barely realistic. Meanwhile, AI algorithms can easily perform such tasks, enabling instant claims evaluation and automated response should it not apply or contain mistakes.

Billing

Another finance-related healthcare activity to improve through automation is billing.

Medical services imply a lot of bills, money transfers, insurance claims, etc. Manually processing it takes time and involves frequent human errors that make the whole process even more burdensome. Like that, a recent study found that nearly half of all medical claims have billing mistakes.

This causes substantial losses in the form of false client charges and reimbursements. Automated billing solutions can drastically reduce such issues and save tons of money for medical institutions and their clients.

Care Cycle

Apart from administrative and finance-related tasks, the very healthcare cycle can be radically improved using automation and advanced data-processing algorithms.

Online appointments

Primary doctor visits account for over half of all doctor consultations in the US. At that, manually arranging appointments takes a lot of time and effort from both medical staff and their patients.

This is where automated scheduling can be extremely useful for medical institutions. Apart from saving everyone’s time, it enables developing efficient timetables and lowers the staff load by optimizing the patient flow.

Electronic medical records

Another area of care services where tech automation can yield positive results is the unification of Electronic Medical Records.

EMRs are already rather widely applied across the industry. However, medical institutions use different solutions that often suffer integration and usability issues. Unsurprisingly, a recent study found that most EMR users consider their solution an F-grade in terms of usability. That is, pretty much, as bad as it gets.  

Automated software can boost the EMR user experience and improve interoperability between departments and institutions by effectively gathering medical information from multiple sources and displaying it all in one place, clearly and conveniently.

Science and research

Modern healthcare practices are developing and diversifying exponentially. Consequently, it is increasingly challenging for clinicians to keep track of all the latest research and discoveries in the medical world, let alone systemize them into a practical treatment approach. This causes a substantial gap between current scientific progress and actual implementation of the knowledge on-sight.  

BigData analysis can help in systemizing lab data to effectively apply these findings in the real world, potentially saving countless lives.   

Diagnosis and predictive care

Using AI to analyze health records allows to increase diagnosis accuracy and develop an effective treatment approach.

More so, algorithms can foresee potential health risks for groups and individuals and prevent them by suggesting predictive care strategies.  

Finally, monitoring patients through the Internet of Medical Things can help to gather accurate real-time data on their well-being, detect medical hazards, and assist in emergencies.  

Confidentiality

Another significant concern in the healthcare world where process automation can be of great help is data privacy.

Medical institutions keep a lot of sensitive personal information like medical records, contacts, addresses, and financial data protected by HIPAA, GDPR, and other similar laws worldwide.

Automated software can help to effectively manage this data while ensuring it’s not misused through introducing role-based access and registering all data-related activities. Like that, a doctor will be able to access a client’s medical record, while the administrator will only see relevant billing information, etc.


Final word

Business process automation is a vital topic in healthcare. The global pandemic is pushing medical institutions to explore the digital realm, and businesses are looking for a wide range of IT solutions to improve their operation and meet the challenges of the new world. 

Algorithms are already helping to improve business processes within the industry, and there is no doubt that the trend will only pick up speed with time.