Automation and the Future of Healthcare 

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Automation productivity increase concept. Technology Process on a server room background.

Healthcare spending is rising faster in the US than any other country. The aftereffects of the pandemic and the health system’s responses to changes observed during the pandemic have led to a further spending increase in 2022. PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) predicted a 6.5% medical cost trend in 2022, as the return of care deferred by the pandemic, ongoing COVID-19 measures and increased mental health issues stretch healthcare organizations thin. In this environment, healthcare organizations need to develop processes to maintain financial prudence.

Automating RCM for high-quality results 

Automation in Healthcare can help healthcare administrators to lower costs, improve care quality and use data analysis to support decision-making. Among our own customers, we’ve seen a range of meaningful improvements from the automation of digital solution platforms, from 65% reduction in manual processing, to a 30% reduction in cost, to 35% reduction in errors. 

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One of the most effective applications of Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare industry is in the Revenue Cycle Management Value Chain. Efficiency is maximized by automatically crosschecking new inputs into the system, preventing duplication and providing instant verification. In this way, time-consuming manual processes like identifying existing enrolments and claims information are negated. 

Automation brings scalability, with one example of this being Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for patient scheduling and billing. RPA can handle administrative tasks 24 hours a day, allowing staff to focus on high priority tasks that require human input such as leadership and direct patient care. Processes such as indexing, patient registration and billing, are streamlined through automation, improving billing revenue and overhauling patient management. 

Automation for reduced time, effort, and cost

Since the mandated adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) which came into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, automated systems and processes have excelled in managing the enormous quantities of data on EHRs and continues to translate these datasets into usable information. What makes RPA especially effective is their use of AI to identify trends in patient population data which facilitates easier research by medical specialists, facilitating improvements in care.

Automation can also improve the efficiency of patient communications. Medical services continue to buckle under significant strain as patients and prospective patients seek answers to medical questions. One way automation can ease this burden and smooth out communication flows is through AI-fuelled chatbots. As a first point of contact for patients, chatbots can provide a triage service to identify minor medical concerns while prioritizing in-person care for those with more severe conditions. This can reduce the strain on front office staff and decrease the amount of unnecessary consultations with medical professionals who could otherwise be focusing on high priority patients. 

Making automation successful 

When introducing automation, a fusion of efficiency and empathy can only be achieved with an omnichannel approach which includes both humans and AI. Combining automated chatbots with in-person consultation through a ‘High-tech, High-touch’ approach integrates transformation tools with a human understanding of patients who might be anxious or suffering. 

Emerging from the backend of the pandemic, healthcare organizations should embrace the opportunity to modernize their processes. Hospitals may well have capital trapped in legacy IT infrastructure, but if they want to cut down on costs and future-proof their organizations they should look to automation to streamline processes and better tend to patients’ needs.

The key is to make healthcare operations – Simpler, Faster, Safer and more cost-effective. 

Vishal Renake
SVP - Client Operations at Teleperformance India

Vishal Renake, SVP - Client Operations (Healthcare) at Teleperformance India, shares his insights on why US healthcare needs to embrace automation to boost operational efficiency