Automation in Healthcare: Providing the Missing Piece of Usability

Automation in healthcare is being hailed as the “missing piece of usability,” with multiple use cases for data migration, greater efficiency, and revenue cycle management tasks. Yet, many aren’t aware of the additional benefits of adding automation to a digital health strategy. Many processes can benefit from the increased efficiency, reduced manual data input, and 24/7 staffing. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known areas “ripe” for automation success in your hospital or health system.

Performance and Analytics

An automated productivity dashboard delivers drill-down capabilities for exploring the data behind performance metrics. This brings value to health systems, teams, or role-based users looking to run productivity reports, metrics, KPI’s, or any type of reporting. With a totally customizable view, a productivity dashboard can be implemented within days, without vendor involvement. In addition, automation can pull reports from multiple applications, departments, or systems, load the data to compare contractual adjustments, run calculations and comparisons, then format to meet your organizational needs, delivering to the system of choice. This style of reporting can be completed with or without a dashboard, providing a savings in time and productivity, from the hours spent organizing data and generating reports. Analytics, updates, and any type of reporting can be improved using automation. Results can be delivered to Excel, sharepoint, spreadsheets, individuals, or ancillary software solutions.

Lab Integration

Labs offer a quantitative way of evaluating patient populations across a variety of criteria; demography, provider, disease state, and test values. The “timing” in the lab is critical for up-to-date analysis. When applications require users to sync data between handhelds or submit batches of information, workflow is encumbered. Automation provides a timely intervention, evaluating, matching, syncing processes and values, with 100% accuracy and within faster timeframes. Information is sent to the user/provider/patient without the need to sync from multiple sources. Results are obtained and physicians can provide patients with critical information that takes a fraction of the time to complete. A digital workforce is available 24/7/365, to improve lab processes.

Registration and Patient Access

Interfaces are often used for registration. Automation improves the process, by registering patients across system constraints, and moving the associated documentation. This isn’t easily accomplished by interfaces. Hospital administrative staff spend a significant amount of time completing manual workflows to update patient accounts and perform tasks that EHR vendors are unable or unwilling to accomplish for complex workflows. Automation frees staff from the mundane data entry process, saving dozens of hours per week to speed patient movement and billing. Quality assurance to locate and correct errors is also a manual process, taking up more of the administrative team’s time. Automation benefits include; speed of implementation, greater capabilities compared to an interface, and eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance or monitoring of interfaces.

Patient Portal Integration

Patient portal updates are often done manually, with the integration from portal or kiosk to EHR, a bulky one. Maybe handhelds are used, or other applications are needed to speed information from the patient to the portal or kiosk. Automation aggregates data inputs from multiple sources, contextualizes information checking against all sources, and can even run analytics, before delivering it to the physician in an actionable format needed for patient care. Whether patient kiosk, portal, or telehealth solution, automation allows efficient data transfer to another system, in the format, feature, and functionality needed for care delivery. Notes and additional information can be included, speeding the time from messaging to contact. Optimizing the user experience allows for faster adoption of portal and telehealth technology. Providers have a vehicle to connect with patients, and patients can participate in their care by powering navigation from patient portal, kiosk, and telehealth solution to the EHR.

Population Health

Most population health tools require information to be in the EHR. This is problematic because population health initiatives begin with gathering demographic, clinical, and financial information across a wide variety of sources. Automation enables the ability to accurately and quickly perform calculations, organize, and process volumes of data in disparate systems, presenting a more complete view to the provider or health system. Automation and RPA tools expediently locate, identify, extract, and organize volumes of precise details involving open or discrete data from single or numerous sources, and distribute it as needed for development, implementation, or maintenance of population health programs. The pushing or pulling of data from multiple sources is easily completed without ongoing human monitoring and manual data manipulation.

Why Add Boston WorkStation

Advancements in automation are extending beyond the boundaries of what is possible, both in the realm of automating process tasks, and increasingly, in tasks that require cognitive skills, a two-way interaction, or information gathered from a variety of sources. Proof of concept quickly shows how significant the impact of automation is on back-office processes. Today, we see the same automation benefit on front-end communications. Having an ally like Boston WorkStation, a healthcare automation platform, allows a myriad of possibilities to improve efficiency, accuracy, and organizational productivity – a digital workforce that allows administrative staff to optimize 30% of repetitive tasking, and have more time for higher touch tasks that require a “human” component.

Why Boston Software Systems?
A reputable healthcare automation partner can help you identify processes that will benefit most from increased automation and allow you to scale with ease. Finding a partner with an exclusive healthcare focus ensures the solution will be aligned with workflows, reduce pain-points associated with process implementation, and speed alignment to future health goals.

Boston Software Systems’ experience has been ensuring automation projects remain on track since 1985. Working across a wide-range of vendors and applications, we are experts on streamlining workflows, reducing costs, and improving usability for hospitals, health systems, provider organizations, and technology partners. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, optimizing usability and role-based user satisfaction.

Give us one hour, we will tell you what can be up in running in days or weeks. With over 95% of our healthcare automation projects being completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner.

Be sure to follow our hashtag #bridgethegaps on Twitter to join the conversation!

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