It’s truly been a year in healthcare, and with it came many changes as a result of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology quickly accelerated the adoption of digital health services and solutions like telehealth and RPA, because organizations were in need of tools that could be deployed quickly and easily, without interruption to the larger IT infrastructure. We thought less about “perfect” and more about “progress” in the last year, by simplifying onboarding requirements, like short-term reimbursement models that encourage provider participation.
Now that we’ve been through the first (and second) phase of the pandemic, and are involved in the vaccine rollout, we’re again witnessing the need for a more efficient way to balance the health of patient populations with the continuity of healthcare operations. Will the lessons we learned over the last year fortify us if we are faced with a new pandemic in the future?
As discussed during the recent #HITsm chat, digital health tools were readily available pre-pandemic, but COVID-19 proved the use case for many organizations. As hospitals and health systems were required to pivot to meet the needs of patients, they became willing to embrace tools to make this connection easier.
In short, COVID-19 showcased the value of digital health. But, it also pointed out the pitfalls. Patient portals, integration issues, disparate data silos, and lack of EHR integration made things difficult for many workflow scenarios. Automation solutions stepped up, to decrease the physical and logistical constraints of connectivity.
Automation allowed the providers at Telescope Health to reduce the need for 24-hour shifts to register patients and enter lab orders at drive-through testing sites. Telescope Health went from employing 5 FTEs in three shifts around the clock to employing one FTE in an oversight role. Boston WorkStation simplified the order entry process in the lab portal, thereby reducing the hours of manual data entry necessary to complete each patient registration.
Automation allowed other organizations to make the registration process more fluid, by simplifying the registration process and creating second dose encounters. This improved workflows and ensured accuracy in scheduling. Automation provided a better flow for web portals, syncing patient data from the portal with registration and scheduling systems, creating new medical record numbers (MRNs), and/or reducing the number of duplicate patient profiles (and errors) in the system.
Clients have used automation to aid with check-ins, validate rules in multiple systems, complete audits, monitor supply chain inventories, and record vaccine lot numbers. They have automated the regulatory load of reporting, by speeding reports to state and federal agencies. Now that healthcare has witnessed the benefit of adding a “digital workforce,” our hope is that it will be hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Improving care at the human level is the outcome we’re striving for. Reducing the paperwork jungle, improving clinical and administrative workflows, and reducing burnout. That’s where a digital workforce shines.
Why Boston Software Systems?
Spend 15 minutes to learn more about how automation can help your organization thrive during the vaccine rollout and beyond. We’ll help you define the best areas for a digital transformation strategy. With most solutions implemented in <45 days, savings in time and efficiencies are right around the corner.