Getting Started With RPA: Have a Plan

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the best tools for automating repetitive tasks, but in order to gain the greatest benefit from an RPA initiative you must plan thoroughly, deploy correctly, and know exactly how to align the project with your existing infrastructure.

It’s All About The Change

Change management is one of the most important aspects of a successful RPA deployment. Aligning people, product, and process is a crucial ingredient for ongoing success. One of the most important factors is executive buy-in. You can’t expect others to rally behind an RPA initiative without a shared vision for what can be achieved. Communicate, listen, and respond to questions about the process and create realistic expectations about timelines, project success, and scalability. According to CIO magazine, “skilled change management teams embrace the organization’s emotional energy. They use company stories, language, and behavior to emphasize those parts of the current culture that are aligned with the planned change.” A successful RPA initiative depends on a “people first” mindset.

Identify and Qualify RPA Opportunities

When undertaking an RPA initiative, it’s easy to want to “boil the ocean,” but if you use RPA as a broader strategic tool you’ll realize a faster and greater ROI, which can then be applied to additional areas in the organization. Begin with one manageable area in which to apply automation. While a cost and resource-based use case is always the number one priority, there are a number of questions that should be addressed before beginning. These include:

  • Who are the key stakeholders and what are their expectations?
  • Which processes are best suited for automation?
  • What resources will be needed for the project?
  • How do we measure success?
  • What does maintenance include?
  • When should we scale to additional areas?

By building the best business case before deployment, the right processes will be automated, guaranteeing a quick win and ongoing success. Choose areas with well-documented, well-defined workflows. Many teams look for the “low hanging fruit” in areas that require a great deal of manual data input, like EHR data migrations, revenue cycle management tasks, laboratory processes, and vaccine testing and distribution.

Choose the Right RPA Vendor

The relationship between people and technology will increase in the future and RPA is one of the best tools to support this change. In preparing for the best outcomes, it’s imperative to include the right RPA vendor. There are a lot of choices in the market today. Key considerations when choosing an RPA vendor include:

  • The vendor’s key area of focus (we are solely focused on healthcare).
  • The number of successful RPA projects in the focus area.
  • The flexibility of the company in allowing customers to manage their own automations, including flexible licensing agreements.
  • On-premise and cloud or a hybrid implementation approach.
  • Customer insights on support and maintenance queues, level of support, and time needed to resolve potential roadblocks.

Choose an RPA vendor with a platform that focuses on the business processes you are attempting to automate. There are many RPA vendors who apply a “broad swath” of experience to many verticals, like manufacturing, finance, banking, and healthcare. In healthcare RPA projects, it is important to choose a healthcare-centric vendor. They have encountered every possible situation and workflow, and understand the critical alignment between people, process, and product. There are unique challenges faced by clinicians and staff who have the burden of managing healthcare financials across all applications. Most importantly, read their customer insights. Customer experience is a key indicator of future success.

Why Boston Software Systems?

The benefits that come with the integration of RPA within the healthcare sector cannot be overemphasized. Boston Software Systems has a singular focus, healthcare, and has remained true to that focus for over 30 years. Our project managers have healthcare backgrounds and experience, which allows us to improve outcomes and accelerate results. We’ve worked with every EHR vendor, which means we are familiar with every nuance or integration issue, and can quickly assess any roadblocks.

Digital transformation is a team sport and all of our project leads are immersed in healthcare workflows. That makes a difference to our customers, who give us “straight A’s” in terms of people, process, and product. Our implementations are fast, usually in < 30 days, and all of our support is US-based. You have a lot of choices in RPA vendors and solutions. When the path is unclear, you’ll want a team you can count on to lead the way.

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