Robotic Process Automation Revolutionizing Healthcare Industry during COVID-19

Robotic Process Automation Revolutionizing Healthcare Industry during COVID-19

Ajay Torgal, Managing Director, ATCS (Bengaluru), 0

Holding over 11 years of technical experience, Ajay delivers high-end technical solutions while supporting efforts to develop technical solutions to both internal and external clients.

Mitigating the risks and the impact that has been caused by COVID-19 during 2020 is the biggest challenge for all the sectors and industries. As COVID-19 hits all facets of our lives, it has become imperative to find new ways to avert the spread of this virus and to reduce its impact on businesses and economy. The adoption of new technology is an indispensable part of this change. The pace at which technology has been advancing is unimaginable across all sectors. Automation in is offering solutions to support these sectors like Life Sciences and Healthcare against the unforeseen challenges during this pandemic.

Robotic Process Automation
During COVID-19, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will be one such tool that would transform the automation landscape in the healthcare sector. RPA is a form of business process automation technology that is based on software robots or AI, most commonly known as digital workers or software robotics that reduces human-to-human interactions. RPA utilizes user interface and captures data that manipulates applications to interpret, communicate, and trigger responses with other systems to perform repetitive tasks. RPA robots can copy-paste data, move files, fill-in forms, extract data, etc. It helps organizations to reduce the mundane tasks done by its employees, improves efficiency and accuracy, helps fast cost savings, improvises compliance, and increases scalability.

How RPA can help in Social Distancing
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an innovative technology which automates structured business processes. It works like any other employee who interacts with the user interfaces of the existing applications and carrying out structured processes automatically. RPA can be an effective solution to enterprises and institutions to put their human resource to better use. During these times of social distancing, various sectors such as Healthcare which has enormous human resource investment would need to look at new operative models, shifts and staggered employee presence to avoid crowding. This would undeniably have an impact on work hours and increasing workload. However, RPA can be utilised to be trusted to undertake several mundane jobs, enabling the workforce to utilise its human energy where it is needed. For instance, H-bot technology is a customized for the healthcare industry. Using the technology, an RPA driven kiosk interacts with patients to not only answer queries but redress grievances without additional human resources. RPA is a software robot is a virtual workforce that helps in automating processes and even allows the more experienced staff to tackle the evolving challenges of COVID-19 allowing the staff to automate processes with lesser physical interaction. According to a report by Global Markets Insights Inc. in 2019, the Healthcare sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors. It also highlights that the growth of the RPA market would reach about $5 bn by 2024.

Patient Care & Automation
Healthcare organizations have always been conscious about patients by improving costs as well as the quality of services offered. The sector specifically works on human-centric services where personalized approach lays a significant impact on patient experience and
outcomes. The key challenge that most hospitals face is keeping up with information, processing documents, processing patient information, billings, long queues, claims management, patient enrolments, reports, etc. Integrating this data and processing it becomes a mundane task, where automation pitches in and plays an impactful role. Hospitals, on the other hand, have faced a tremendous setback in terms of manpower during this pandemic. RPA focusing on patient management systems in hospitals can be fruitful in accelerating the digital transformation of hospitals, thereby freeing up medical staff to focus on patient care.

Healthcare organizations have always been conscious about patients by improving costs as well as the quality of services offered

H-Bot Technology
Technologies such as H-Bot have proved beneficial to be used as an interface for effective patient interactions. H-Bot is a customized Chatbot, which interacts and communicates with users and patients over a kiosk to accept and respond to queries. It also allows patients and users to submit in grievances and feedback, thereby allowing hospitals to earn extra goodwill and an added resource.

Automation in Healthcare Insurance
RPA in the Health Insurance industry uses automated software to streamline processes. RPA helps to reduce human labour in processing health insurance paperwork such as claims. Hospitals use applications like Blue Prism to simplify the required work and skill in health insurance processes. RPA in Health Insurance can function without conventional coding that knits together desktop applications like Excel, cloud-based software fields, and mainframe fields into a single, simple, standardized automatic process. RPA does not take decisions, but it simplifies by automating mundane repetitive administrative tasks and clerical actions at keystroke level. Automating these simple, repetitive processes frees up your health insurance claims staff to do more engaging, interesting, and important higher-level tasks, letting the computer do what it does best and with greater speed and accuracy. For instance, Natural Language Processing is helping to improve technical documentation. This can make claim management faster and error free. This includes performing more accurate data entry, improving billing efficiency, and helps in identifying invalid claims. Automation technology such as H-Bot is both NLP and NLU (Natural Language Understanding) enabled. Developed with BluePrism Technology, H-Bot can interact with internal and external applications such as mail servers and insurance provider’s API, respectively, to provide all information to its users.

Inventory Management in Hospitals
Hospitals need to closely monitor a timely supply of inventories to keep their services running well on time to adhere to patient requirements. RPA can also be used by hospitals for efficient inventory tracking system to maintain hospital supplies, avoiding delayed patient care and appointment cancellations. For instance in Australia, its largest healthcare network had challenges with inventory management, with all devices and supplies being RFID tagged but supply chain was managed externally. RPA matched inventory with claims to determine true consumption, and as a result, inventory was halved.

RPA, along with cognitive automation can help accelerate patient support in various channels to speed-up clinical support, monitor medical lapses, and feed with the information sought by patients. Automation through RPA in hospitals improves internal functions, increases transparency in patient care, and determines optimal inventory levels. RPA helps reduce data-related inefficiencies by improving data quality and consistency, enabling standardized data structures that can create a unified view of performance across hospitals.