What is RPA in Healthcare? (Use Cases, Implementation, Cost)

What is RPA in Healthcare? (Use Cases, Implementation, Cost)
5 min read

Managing a patient’s appointments, onboarding, medications, concerns, claims is more exhausting than treating the patient. 

Among the limitless number of tasks, the doctor gets busier with data management rather than patient care. 

To restrict healthcare professionals from spending time and effort on tasks except for patient care, all you need is the robotic process automation (RPA). 

But what is RPA? 

If you enjoy sitting relaxed and watching the car automatically navigating city traffic, you would love RPA in healthcare.

RPA executes processes on computers by itself. It can schedule appointments. It can order prescriptions. It can send invoices. It can manage claims. It can do anything which makes staff less burdened and relaxed. 

Most importantly, It works with accuracy and efficiency. (Medication incident reports will now become part of history!)

Interested to know more about this magical technology that wipes out errors & inefficiency and improves patient outcomes? 

This blog includes, 

  • What to automate 
  • How to automate 
  • Cost to automate 

Let’s bring it on! 

What can you automate with RPA in healthcare?

RPA seems a perfect technology – with no limitations. But there are limitations related to scenarios where we can apply automation. 

If we change the perspective, these limitations are advantages for us to determine what we can automate. 

For example, one of the RPA limitations is that it only works perfectly on a process with fixed input and output. Meaning, we need to find a process with fixed input and output and automate it! 

Let’s find it out. 

Think, which are the processes in your healthcare organization with fixed input and output? One process I know is the appointment booking. 

A patient calls (fixed input), and the phone attendant books the appointment (fixed output). 

Similarly, find other processes that you can automate (or we will do that for you without cost). 

Other scenarios where you can apply automation:

  • More Errors (i.e., Data Entry Process)
  • Multiple Sources of Information (i.e., Patient Medical History Related Process)
  • Labor-intensive processes (i.e., Invoicing Process) 

To help you quickly discover the process that can be automated, I’ve listed the top processes of different healthcare organizations.

Healthcare Organizations
What Can They Automate?
Hospitals & Clinics:
 
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Appointment Reminder  
  • Patient Monitoring
  • Patient Monitoring After Discharge from Hospitals 
  • Insurance Management 
  • Revenue Cycle Management 
  • Claim Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Invoice Processing 
  • Payroll Management
Pharmacy Stores:
  • Prescription Ordering 
  • Prescription Processing 
  • Prescription Delivery 
  • Inventory Management 
  • Medication Incident Reporting
  • Invoice Processing 
  • Reporting 
  • Order Management 
  • Compliance Management
  • Payroll Management
LTC Homes & Retirement Homes:
  • Resident Data Management 
  • Prescription Ordering & Management 
  • Medication Management
  • Invoice Management 
  • Sales & Purchase Order Management
  • Concern Management of Residents’ Family Members 
  • Compliance Management
LTC Pharmacy:
  • Invoice Management
  • Medication Incident Reporting 
  • Payroll Management
  • Prescription Management
  • Inventory Management 
  • Prescription Delivery Management
  • Compliance Management

How to automate a healthcare process with RPA – robotic process automation? 

Your primary concern should be the cost of automation implementation. But it is also essential to know how to automate a process not to overshoot the budget and claim high ROI. 

RPA implementation is the 4-step process. 

Step 1: Pick The Process 

That’s what you will feel while choosing the process to automate as every process looks the same from the shallow view. 

But remember, I have already shared the healthcare processes you can pick to automate. 

To choose the process manually, here is the quick revision, 

  • The process with a fixed input, output
  • The process with high possibilities of errors 
  • The process relies on multiple sources for information 
  • The time-consuming process 

Step 2: Select the Vendor 

Of course, the right vendor or technology partner is the right thing for you. 

Considering the need for cognitive RPA – which leverages Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, select a vendor who is practicing cognitive RPA. 

Also, don’t forget to validate the automation tools your preferred vendor is using. Top automation tools are UIPath, Automation Anywhere, and Winautomation. 

Step 3: Test the Automation 

No, don’t take it wrong. The vendor will surely automate the first process and run it for the first time. That’s your call to evaluate its outcome, measure success, and get feedback from stakeholders.

After all, we know our home furniture better than our neighbours! 

Step 4: Ramp Up the Automation 

Once you test it enough, make a long jump, and adopt automation on a large scale. 

To adopt automation on a large scale, automate a process at a time or repeat from step 1! 

How much does it cost to implement RPA in healthcare? 

Yes, automation is a significant investment. And thus, the money you save with automation matters more than the money you spend on automation. 

Here is the quick calculation, not to make you feel good, but to make you realize the money you are wasting without automation! 

The software bot replaces the human’s repeated tasks, which you can reduce and utilize it for more critical tasks. 

If you pay $40,000 monthly to a team of 10 employees processing invoices but replace the team with invoicing bot that costs you $10,000, you would save $30,000 a month! 

Remember, we haven’t calculated the indirect financial benefits in terms of accuracy, compliance, patient experience, operational efficiency, staff accommodation, training, etc.

Conclusion 

Call it technology, tool, or approach; only robotic process automation can reduce errors & efforts and add up time for healthcare professionals. 

If you are looking to implement it, just follow the 4-step process I shared. 

However, a technology partner plays a crucial role in successful RPA development and implementation.

We accommodate best RPA developers and R & D engineers who practice cognitive RPA and are capable of automating any healthcare process regardless of the working environment.

Healthcare is something where I would like my company to invest energy to make valuable innovations. We are open to investing in RPA development near to no-cost solutions.

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