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Where is Automation in Healthcare Taking Place to Drive Value?

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Healthcare providers are rethinking how technology can enable a more agile, location agnostic and intelligent way of working across the entire ecosystem.

Healthcare providers are rethinking how technology can enable a more agile, location agnostic and intelligent way of working across the entire ecosystem – from elevating the patient experience to simplifying repetitive or time consuming “back office” functions.

Below are a few real life examples to help you get a better sense of how and where healthcare organizations are automating processes across their organizations and digitally transforming.

Reducing Human Contact While Providing Access to Records Required for Continuity of Care

Like many organizations, healthcare providers are looking to reduce unnecessary human contact to protect their staff from COVID-19 – and that includes contact with outside vendors and third-party staff. By imaging records on demand, healthcare providers are able to electronically request and receive patient records. This immediately reduces their reliance on paper records, which must be handled, while also helping to expand the data set available through their EMR system. All in all, converting paper records to a digital format, if and as needed, enables healthcare providers to better protect their staff and provide the rapid and secure information access required to support continuity of patient care.

Enabling ROI With Reduced and Largely Remote Workforce

Many HIM departments are functioning with reduced staff due to COVID-19, however that does not alleviate them of their release of information (ROI) obligation. In order to process ROI requests with limited onsite staff while also minimizing the risks associated with human contact, healthcare organizations need to think differently. By shifting to a digital mechanism of record retrieval, HIM departments can provide ROI staff access to patient records that had historically been ordered and delivered physically. With this new model, records can be scanned and delivered electronically to eliminate unnecessary human contact and seamlessly downloaded as needed to support the ROI process.

Supporting Remote Employees and Enabling Self Service on Human Resources Requests

Human resources departments in healthcare organizations are in a constant battle to reduce time wasted on tactical and administrative tasks. Having manual processes or information scattered across disparate systems only further inhibits their ability to focus on strategic responsibilities.

To reduce the manual tedium of administrative processes and transform workflows to better support today’s increasingly remote (and digital) workforce needs, HR leaders are increasingly embracing workflow automation. Having employee records housed in a centralized system enables seamless and secure sharing with authorized users anywhere, at any time. In addition, automation provides access to dashboards that enable HR professionals to easily keep track of tasks, monitor the status of critical processes, and gain powerful insights into how and where programs can be optimized.

Digitizing the Mailroom to Enable Continuity of Mission Critical Workflows

With the emergence of COVID-19, healthcare organizations are reducing mailroom employees staffed onsite. With less staff onsite and more people working remotely, manual workflows significantly impact an organization’s ability to distribute and process documents which are foundational to critical business functions and departments such as legal correspondence, claims denial, ROI requests, and grievances. By implementing a digital mailroom solution, or scanning and digitally delivering documents to employees, organizations can ensure the continuity of claims processing and other critical functions. The automation of this process enables healthcare organizations to work with limited onsite staff while meeting needs for urgent and, often, remote access.

Elevating Purchasing Power and Standardizing Contract Terms

Contract management is often riddled with manual processes and spreadsheets that inhibit visibility to agreements across the healthcare organization. As a result, contracts are negotiated at the individual facility or department level, preventing healthcare organizations from leveraging consolidation of purchasing power.

Increasingly, procurement professionals are leveraging automation as a means to gain control and visibility to the entire contract life cycle. Automation enables healthcare organizations to centralize contracts in a single system to increase control of who can access them, track changes, and automate renewal reminders and management. This creates a more streamlined, collaborative process that speeds up turnaround while also ensuring that business owners who initiate new contracts, or work on developing contracts, are using the most current information and terms.

Ensure Automation Success and a Higher Return on Investment

Clearly, digital transformation is proving advantageous – and not just in these chaotic times of COVID. There are benefits to be realized and gains to be had well into the future for healthcare organizations. The key, however, is to remember that technology is an enabler. It will only enforce the requirements, rules and policies you build in. Research, including a recent study by Frost and Sullivan, repeatedly shows digital transformation initiatives have a higher likelihood of success and faster return on investment when paired with a comprehensive information lifecycle management and governance program.

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