RPA Addresses Staffing Shortages in a Post-COVID Era

Many healthcare organizations are currently experiencing talent shortages as a new wave of the pandemic continues to unfold. This crisis makes it extremely difficult to staff while continuing to maintain normal business practices. According to a recent report by McKinsey, 22% of nurses indicated they may leave their current position within the next year. In fact, this critical nursing shortage is expected to last until 2030.

It’s understandable that healthcare organizations are concerned. The ‘Great Resignation’ stated that 55% of Americans are likely to look for a new job within the next 12 months. Hospitals and health systems that once mapped digital strategies in one to three-year phases may have to scale their initiatives in a matter of days or weeks. For many, the answer is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA reduces the mundane, repetitive tasks that normally take weeks or months, and supports an already overextended human workforce. RPA makes sense for a number of reasons:

Integrating Information Across Systems

According to Glassdoor, onboarding requires a lot of paperwork — benefits enrollment, tax forms, employee handbooks, NDAs, HIPAA forms, arbitration agreements, and so on. Another hidden cost of onboarding comes from the reduced productivity that is typical of ramp-up periods. An immense amount of resources, time, and money are often devoted to onboarding. Complicating the process is the necessity to merge information from disparate systems, forms, and websites. RPA can expedite the process by updating thousands of records in a matter of minutes, logging into web applications, filling in forms, and pulling information from multiple vendor systems. RPA provides a rapid return on investment (ROI), improving the quality and accuracy of information across systems which also improves the overall experience of the new hire, a critical aspect in creating a positive onboarding experience.

Automating the Credentialing Process

The hospital credentialing process, or tracing, tracking, and verifying the credentials of physicians and nurses, is an arduous one, and involves capturing information from a large variety of media sources, and extracting data points from a number of files. It is bulky and time-consuming and must be repeated every two years. Manual credentialing verification requires the support of a dedicated credentialing team. Boston WorkStation customers have streamlined the process, through the use of automation. The benefits include faster turnaround times, decreased costs, and improved accuracy. With the healthcare landscape rapidly changing in a post-COVID-19 era, automating the credentialing process drives agility and quality assurance while mitigating possible risks.

Automating The Onboarding Process

The actual onboarding process is often a coordinated dance between the finance department and the IT department. There is a ton of paperwork involved, from the cross-verification of demographic details for each candidate to issuing a welcoming letter, setting up passwords, scheduling training, and inputting information in multiple databases. RPA can automate the entire process, making it easier to accomplish more with a reduced staff. When the decision is made to hire a candidate, the “bot” can send a welcome message along with policy documents, passwords, and forms.

Adaptability

We have witnessed a year of risk and instability. The most successful CIOs have unlocked scalable, adaptable resources such as RPA, enabling them to move forward despite rapidly changing environmental factors. This was most notable during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during the many recent weather challenges, which included hurricanes, storms, and fires. Adaptive technologies such as RPA allows organizations to better manage and scale efficiency by offloading many of the tasks that normally require hours or weeks of “people time” to ”bots.” This digital workforce can expedite information for decision-making in human resources, decreasing the administrative burden. Beyond the current state of crisis in healthcare, it is imperative that healthcare leaders embrace a culture of adaptability, which is required for hospital and health system survival.

Why Boston Software Systems?

The ability to adapt is not just about volume, it’s about viability. At Boston Software Systems, we are helping healthcare organizations learn new ways to support fluctuating volumes and improve the onboarding process. This reduces the effects of burnout and eliminates additional chaos during this time of crisis. Our RPA initiatives optimize healthcare efficiencies and reduce the barriers to productivity, supporting people over paperwork. Give us 30 minutes. We’ll let you know what can “go live” in < 30 days.

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