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What is the Role of RPA in Healthcare?

From paperwork to patient relations to customer service to ordering supplies, there are a lot of processes involved in running a healthcare business. Are you leaving all of them for just your team to manage or is there a better solution that streamlines processes, improves efficiency, reduces errors, and frees up your staff to handle more rewarding tasks? 

Robotic process automation (RPA) is here to help businesses in healthcare use automation to remove the trouble associated with repetitive, complicated tasks. Read on to learn more about what RPA is and how it can be used within the healthcare industry. 

What is Robotic Process Automation? 

Robotic Process Automation is a form of business process automation that allows programmed bots to take over certain processes—such as data entry, supply management, and customer service.  

The bots remove the need for human workers in these tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks that require critical thinking, creativity, and other things a bot cannot provide. 

RPA also utilizes machine learning to apply more human touches to its processes, especially human-facing tasks like automated customer service emails or chatbots. 

All this technology comes together to give businesses more options when it comes to optimizing and streamlining certain processes to help save money and become more efficient. 

More than 90% of CFOs feel it’s important to have automated tools used in their revenue cycle. 

How Does Robotic Process Automation Help in Healthcare? 

In healthcare, this form of automation can be implemented in many ways to improve and optimize processes. Here are some of the most beneficial ways that RPA can be used in the healthcare industry. 

Appointment Scheduling and Digital Patient Management 

Though scheduling appointments is digital nearly everywhere in healthcare these days, it remains a mostly manual process for most businesses. Even when done digitally, it falls on a person to process, organize, enter, update, and cancel appointments as they occur. 

Instead, RPA can streamline this process for patients, doctors, and administrators by automating calendar management, appointment scheduling, cancellations, appointment updates, and reminders to patients for upcoming appointments and confirmations.  

Billing, Accounting, and Finance 

Billing, payments, and insurance claims in the medical field are complex processes with a lot of moving parts involving a lot of different people and systems. When left to a few people to manage, it can get messy with small numerical errors or communication delays that bog down the entire process, making providers wait even longer for checks from patients or insurance companies. 

The US healthcare system could save $16.3 billion by implementing workflow automation. 

With RPA, bots can streamline these processes by collecting and logging payment information into a unified accounting system, sending reminders to patients, and communicating with insurance companies to  

Customer Service 

With so many inquiries, questions, appointments, cancellations, and general comments being communicated to healthcare providers from patients, insurance companies, vendors, and more, it can be a massive task managing and responding to them all.  

Automated customer service using RPA can help businesses manage these inquiries and improve overall customer satisfaction by resolving them quicker thanks to the 24/7 work of a bat.  

Tools like chatbots, automated phone trees, automated emails, and more can handle most simple requests on their own and hand them off to human representatives when necessary. 

Supply Chain Management 

In medicine, supply chains can become extraordinarily complex with so many treatments, devices, equipment, and supplies needed by physicians with unique needs and preferences. 

Related: How Robotic Process Automation is Used in Supply Chains

Streamline ordering and supply management with a more automated supply chain that can manage supply stock, ordering, physician requests, and more, making sure providers always have what they need before they need it. 

HR & Marketing 

Continuing to find new patients is essential for healthcare providers to survive. RPA used in marketing processes can automate manual and repetitive tasks like email marketing and scheduling social media posts to ensure you can maintain consistent communications with current and future patients.  

RPA can also help organize and manage your contact database by automatically segmenting and managing contacts based on certain actions, trends, and other data to ensure you are targeting the right people with the right information at the right time.  

Additionally, RPA can be used in HR to enhance talent acquisition and recruiting and retainment by improving employee experience through stronger onboarding, more organized employee documentation, more effective training, and more. 

Where to Start with RPA in Healthcare 

To get started with RPA, businesses need to know where it would be most useful and how to implement it effectively without overloading their people or systems.  

At Impact, we start with an assessment that examines your business, processes, teams, and takes it all into account in order to form an effective strategy and implementation plan. Our team of specialists knows what to look for and how to solve problems. 

RPA in a business can be a journey. Learn more about the steps businesses need to take to get there successfully and explore more uses for RPA in other aspects of business.