A Guide to Healthcare HR Automation: What, How and How Much?

2 months ago

Human resource management especially in healthcare can be fun, accurate, rapid and efficient if all tedious, paper-based and repetitive tasks are not managed by HR executives. 

What if an HR executive does not have to go through all 100+ resumes for a single nurse practitioner profile to validate if they have relevant previous experience or not? 

What if an HR executive does not have to manually manage all clinical staff data, including their working hours? 

What if an HR executive does not have to manage the excel sheet of hospital expenses by entering every spending detail manually from the bill or receipt? 

All such what if can actually be possible with healthcare HR automation.

So, let’s get a brief idea of what it is, how to achieve it and how much it costs. 

What is healthcare HR automation? 

Human resource management is the most important yet exhausting part of managing a healthcare setting. 

A small data-entry mistake can create havoc and further waste very crucial time which may - in the worst-case scenario - even delay the patient care and affect the patient outcome. 

Things can get worse if there is an unattended mistake and it creates a loop of mistakes. 

Many of the healthcare providers we have been serving as healthcare IT partner told us that they on average experience one severe mistake related to human management, payroll, documents, reporting and interview almost every week and this causes them severe loss in terms of productivity and revenue. 

To avoid such a situation, automation plays a crucial role. (However, it is not industrial automation that automates manufacturing machines. But it automates any computer-based process on the computer.) 

For instance, it can automate the reporting process. It can even automate the data validation process. Or, can automate any part of the hiring process. 

More specifically, it can automate any process which has fixed input and fixed output. 

How to automate healthcare HR processes or how to achieve healthcare HR automation? 

Well, here comes the interesting part. 

But before we discuss how to automate a healthcare HR process, we first need to understand how an automated process works. 

So, when you automate a process, you can either use ready-to-use automation software and create a workflow that the software executes automatically at a set time or after a certain event or you can build your own custom automation program as per needs. 

Let’s have a look at the example of how a ready-to-use automation software automates a process. 

You create a workflow in it. The workflow starts from scanning the personal data of new nurses from their resumes and ends with creating offer letters and sending those offer letters to each new individual nurse who got selected. 

The automation software now follows the same workflow each time you give it the command and automatically achieves the task without human intervention. 

This is how it frees up the human resource executives from preparing and sending offer letters. 

This is a more easy approach but you need to pay huge fees to 3rd party automation software for using their IT product. 

So, there is another approach which is the best alternative as it is more affordable and reliable. 

Here, you use the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology and RPA tools such as UIPath or AutomationAnywhere to build a custom computer program that gets installed on the computer and completes the tasks you’ve built that program for. 

Unlike 3rd party ready-to-use automation software, the custom RPA program can more specifically support your HR processes as it is dedicatedly built for the process you are looking for to automate. 

It can even automate those HR processes which are out of scope for ready-to-use automation software. 

So, now that you know how an automated process works, let’s now dig deeper into it and discuss 4 steps to successfully automate an HR process in healthcare. 

Step 1: Pick a process 

Here, you need to be very clear with which process you want to automate. Because automation isn’t practically feasible and revenue-generating for every HR process. 

To pick the right process, consider the following basic criteria. 

  • The process should have fixed input and output (If it does not have, we have to use cognitive RPA
  • The process with high possibilities of errors 
  • The time-consuming process 
  • The process which deals with lots of data  

Step 2: Select the automation tool 

There are multiple automation tools such as UIPath, AutomationAnywhere, and Winautomation. You need to decide which tool is best suitable for you to build a program for automation. 

If you can’t figure it out, leave it on your tech partner’s shoulder! 

In case you’re wondering, for the custom automation approach, you need to utilize any of these automation tools to build the program that automates tasks. 

Step 3: Test the automated process 

Run the process for the first time, evaluate its outcome, measure success and get feedback from stakeholders. 

Step 4: Ramp up the automation 

Time to identify other HR processes which you can automate. Yes, you need to automate each HR process individually. 

Which healthcare HR processes can you automate?: Top use cases  

Trust us. Possibilities are endless. If you are using a custom RPA-enabled automation approach, you can automate any single HR task and even the entire HR process.

Here are the top and tedious healthcare HR processes you must automate to save time and effort. 

  • Resume screening 
  • Candidate shortlisting 
  • Offer letter management 
  • Onboarding newly hired clinicians  
  • Expense management 
  • Data management 
  • Attendance management 
  • Payroll management 
  • Reporting 
  • Training 
  • Performance management 
  • Background verification 
  • Employee exit management 
  • Claims reimbursement 
  • Leave management
  • Contract management 

How much does it cost to implement healthcare HR automation? 

It is very complicated to estimate the automation cost and it is even more difficult to explain it. So, we’ll attempt to clear your cost-related doubts with an example. 

To automate a process, you need to build a program that gets installed on the computer system and automates the task. 

And to build that program, you need to utilize an automation tool. We are taking an example of the UIPath tool here. 

UIPath charges based on automation program developers develop using UIPath IDE. 

UIPath calls this program a software bot. 

If it is an attended bot that requires human interventions to operate, UIPath charges you around $1300 per year.

And if it is an unattended bot which is a fully automated program, UIPath charges you around $8000 per year. 

Apart from this cost, RPA developers also charge you on an hourly basis to build the UIPath bot. 

So, overall, 

  • If attended bots,

Automation cost = (Number of process to be automated) * ($1300) + (Development cost)

  • If unattended bots,

Automation cost = (Number of process to be automated) * ($8000) + (Development cost)

Though this seems like a costly choice, it enables you to save more than you invest! 

Additionally, we being healthcare-focused IT and automation experts make sure to deliver your requirements within your budget by utilizing our skills and knowledge in the best possible ways. 

We have been investing in the best RPA developers and resources to make automation work best for the entire healthcare industry. 

You can freely have a knowledge gaining session with our lead RPA R&D engineer who has automated many complicated healthcare processes and workflows. 

He will be more than happy to present to you many of his healthcare automated processes in action.