How Automation Is Shaking Up The Healthcare Sector

Sensors Insights by Puneet Goyal

The healthcare sector is benefitting from developments in next-gen technology.  Administrators and clinicians alike are finding their lives being made easier through the assistance of robotic helpers. In this article, I will look at some processes that are currently being transformed by automation.

Smart scheduling tools are facilitating appointments with nurses based on their proximity to the patient, matching their medical speciality to the patient’s need, the technology then schedules the best-matched nurse to visit the patient at home. Technology provides nurses with comprehensive real-time patient information using a single interface to offer the best possible care to patients. An additional advantage is that using a mobile workforce cuts down on the number of hospital visits, which is highly beneficial to patient recovery.

Health officials say patients recover more quickly if they are cared for in their own homes by GPs, district nurses, and care givers. At the same time, it also provides for value-based care, by optimizing utilization of resources.

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Medical coders are seeing their work simplified by automation too. Coders take diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment information and convert it into alphanumeric codes. It is one of the most complex administrative tasks in the field and mistakes can be costly and time consuming. Fortunately, we are seeing a wave of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technology enter the market, which means that medical documents and even physician comments can be converted easily. This results in coding being streamlined. Through the use of automation we are seeing up to 25% savings in cost and 24/7 up-time in coding operations.

Over the past few years we have seen that payer collections have been sped up significantly thanks to automation. Previously, a complex process involving contacting the payer contact center, IVR agent, and claims agent was required to process collections. A new, more intuitive, system is being adopted by healthcare providers who are leveraging technology to speed up the claims resolution process.

This does not make the advisor redundant, it simply allows him to process up to 15% more claims. In revenue management, the pre-collection process is also being expedited - intelligent robotic tools are cutting revenue management tasks by up to 75%. Internet bot or web crawler technology is working wonders in reducing the human intervention in checking status of claims and thereby providing a smarter follow-up strategy.

The amount of data produced daily in health care is extensive. Unlike many other industries, almost all stages of the patient journey are logged and processed. Whilst this means that a lot of pressure is placed on IT systems, it also means that healthcare processes are ripe for automation, as routine and predictable procedures are most easily replicated by robotic helpers.

Doctors are capitalizing on having more data at their fingertips. They can now be in the emergency room and have a plethora of data at their disposal, which provides them with a full picture of the patient. In the past, practitioners have relied upon disparate sources of data from various departments to piece together records which is far less efficient, as it takes more time to be in a position to judge the best course of action.

An example of automated healthcare services.
An example of automated healthcare services.

 

We are going to see more digital healthcare solutions play an important role in the switch from volume-centric to value based care. For example, the Uber-like tools which are scheduling nurse visits allow patients to benefit from faster and more attentive care. The optimized utilization of existing staff, rather than staff replacements, will be a result of increased automation, where the technological barriers between care givers and patients will be removed.

 

About the author

Puneet is Intelenet Global Services’ Director - Business Development and Transformation. He heads the transformation and business development section in the US. He has an extremely successful professional track record spanning more than 17 years across multiple industries, focused primarily in the US health care space. He has proven expertise in various facets of business including operations management and consulting.

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