Healthcare has been challenging the last six months. We’ve taken on the need for a new model of care delivery to reach a broader patient population with less risk of exposure. According to a report by McKinsey, telehealth providers have rapidly scaled offerings and are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did pre-COVID-19. Telehealth has surged since the start of the pandemic resulting in many healthcare organizations struggling to keep up. The need to connect information silos with the EHR, labs, portals, and financials can be a daunting task hindering the adoption curve.
It’s time to reassess our digital health initiatives. RPA tools help #bridgethegaps between disparate data silos and offerings across multiple vendors and platforms. Those willing to embrace this technology experience a range of benefits, among them increased process efficiencies, cost savings, and an improved patient experience, all of which lead to better outcomes. Here are a few of the areas where our customers have achieved success, fast ROI, and scalability through the use of RPA.
Quality of care is dependent on the entire chain of data collection and processing, and with a capacity of over 400 million ambulatory visits each year, telehealth providers need a way to keep up with increased demands. One telehealth client required 5 FTEs, working on three shifts, to manually enter each patient in their lab order entry system. The tedious manual process was quickly automated, resulting in the need for only 1 floating FTE. Every order was entered accurately and the communication loop was closed. This automation was quickly scaled to over 200 providers, across mobile testing sites throughout Northeast Florida. By automating the lab’s reporting capabilities, they were able to apply more time toward patient care. With the help of RPA software, healthcare organizations can optimize patient data and reporting effortlessly. In communicating with other digital systems, RPA software can offer clinical staff valuable insights with far less “juggling,” helping them make accurate diagnoses. Telehealth is paving the way forward in 2020, and with the addition of RPA, lab orders are processed quickly, and reporting needs complete, regardless of demand and without the need for overtime and additional FTEs.
“Boston WorkStation was instrumental in helping Telescope Health quickly scale our COVID-19 testing operations for the City of Jacksonville. At the height of our initiative, we were screening over 300 people per day. This required a massive amount of manpower to organize the encounters, generate scheduled reports, place orders in two separate lab portals, and schedule their drive-through testing appointments. Boston WorkStation reduced this to a single employee in an oversight role.” – Dr. Mathew Thompson, COO Telescope Health
Patient kiosks are great for check-ins, yet many times data entered in the kiosk still requires staff to manually input or organize it in the EHR, requiring tedious tasks and bottlenecks in efficiency and accessibility. When RPA is applied to the process, data and documents are validated, then securely transferred from the kiosk to specified fields in the EHR. Hundreds of hours of manual data entry are avoided, increasing face time with patients and giving staff and providers back their time. UMass’ first RPA project was to streamline the lab registration process. Their central laboratory had a significant workload; in addition to providing for their own patients, their laboratory also supported healthcare provider organizations in a 3-state region. On a daily basis, the lab processed about 5,000 specimens and on an annual basis conducted over 8.5 million tests. Their goals were straightforward:
- Automate lab data processes for greater accuracy, and care responsiveness
- Reduce data burden on laboratory, pathology, medical, and administrative staff
- Improve user satisfaction and organizational productivity
- Lower expenses and clinical / technical complexity
Previously, the process required staff to pass through several healthcare information systems’ (HIS) modules to complete a single lab registration. Boston WorkStation enters codes into the laboratory module and automatically populates the abstracting module. This saved 35 seconds per registration. That didn’t seem like much until they calculated it over an average of 5,500 registrations per week and found the automated workflow saved nearly 60 hours, translating to 1.5 FTEs each week. A second RPA project created multiple interfaces between the main HIS systems and the clinical platforms. Results were automatically processed, verified, stored, and shared across systems. By automating numerous tasks and functions into a seamless process of aligning patient registration, orders, results, verification, and sharing, accuracy was ensured and process times reduced. This solution freed staff from the need to manually intersect data between systems, reducing paperwork and increasing organizational efficiency.
“Boston WorkStation has been an amazing tool for us. We have saved thousands of work hours, interfaced instruments and systems Meditech couldn’t, improved quality by reducing/eliminating errors, as well as saved our department thousands of dollars to date.” – Scott McAdams, UMass Medical Center
Paving the Way to a Digital First Future
If we are going to remain in a “digital first” future, we must prioritize the way data is collected, managed, and shared. In healthcare, data affects every facet of care and we must ensure that it is secure, accessible across silos, and easily shared throughout the healthcare ecosystem. RPA is a fast, scalable, secure solution that can cut through the complexity of inputting, organizing, and sending data, enabling providers to concentrate on patient care, not paperwork. After all of the hardships and challenges associated with COVID-19, systems and people can use an easy win. RPA can help hospitals remain flexible, competitive, and profitable to ride out this pandemic and whatever else the future may hold.
Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems has been ensuring RPA projects remain on track since 1985. For more information on how we can help your organization with revenue cycle management efficiencies, contact us at: 866-653-5105 or visit us at www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com.
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