We were invited to participate in a LinkedIn live event this week called, “RPA Master Stories.” Hosted by Derek Gerber, SVP, at Explainify, RPA Master Stories is a collection of inspiring interviews with the leading experts in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA) technology. Guests share their automation experience, talk about the state-of-the-art RPA and IA technology, and discuss the future of RPA.
Over 500 automation enthusiasts gathered together on Wednesday, to hear Matt Hawkins, global EVP at Boston Software Systems, in a lively discussion about healthcare RPA. Here are a few highlights:
How Does Automation Support Healthcare Workers
As healthcare organizations move forward into a post-pandemic world, they are exploring strategies and solutions to transform the way we work. They realize that a strategy is needed to support healthcare’s human workforce. COVID-19 forced many health care organizations to revisit traditional ways of work. In the year of increased resignations, work from home, and COVID-19, nothing is more important than supporting your human workforce and building resilience for the future of work. What we’ve found with most organizations is that while they might have a core EHR, there are hundreds of additional applications that people are responsible for, and getting the data to and from these applications expediently is a problem for most hospitals and health systems, who are challenged with far more important issues, like saving lives.
The 2022 Healthcare Staffing Issue
Matt noted, “every day in healthcare there is more work, and only so many people to do it. You can’t hire quality people fast enough in 2022. Having a digital workforce allows you to bridge the gaps between people, process, and systems, without placing an additional strain on people.” Hospitals continue to be overloaded with a large number of symptomatic COVID-19 patients. There are staff shortages and hospitals are running low on supplies yet again. Reimbursement continues to be an issue while the amount of paperwork necessary to be reimbursed escalates. Efficiency has to be found, and this means getting through the mountain of work faster, with fewer errors. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) brings this efficiency to the healthcare enterprise.
Don’t Try and Tackle Mount Everest
In a large healthcare enterprise, with a few hundred people working in the IT department, we needed to find a way to automate some of the many tasks across multiple business units, because IT could not field all of the data requirements they had internally and externally for reporting agencies. As good as their EHR systems were, their communication with secondary and tertiary systems had to be improved. They needed something that was lightweight, scalable, flexible, and didn’t have to go through the HL7 interface side of things. We began by looking at the “low hanging fruit” tasks that could be automated within 60 days, without interfering with existing workflows. The revenue savings generated within these 60 days was then used to onboard additional automation projects. That’s the way large healthcare organizations were able to “self-fund” their automations, without capital expenditures.
How Fast is Boston WorkStation Implemented?
90% of our projects are complete in less than 30 days. Having 2,800 clients in the global healthcare segment allows us to be really good at what we do. Because of our domain expertise, we can bring the same value to any organization. We know the systems, we understand how to work with any EHR, and we can point out where to achieve the maximum benefit for the least cost to the healthcare organization. We implemented 30,000 automations in one organization. This project required only two people for oversight support roles moving forward. Having a healthcare-only focus allows Boston Software Systems to be more accurate and cost-efficient, because we know exactly where to apply digital employees for the greatest return on investment.
Get Started, Realize Success, Then Tackle Additional Projects
In our initial meeting, everyone was skeptical. Then, once we came back in 30-days with the initial automations, and everyone saw the success, we quickly had 17 other automation projects in the queue. By allowing them to start small and realize success, they now have a documented process in place to evaluate additional automation projects. We didn’t start by boiling the ocean. We identified one area in which automation could bring a fast ROI. After that, it was easy to uncover additional projects based on the same methodology.
What’s Next for Healthcare?
The pandemic caused an entirely new set of challenges for healthcare. Organizations have found that they need to be ready to pivot, and pivot quickly. The only way to do this is to have an automated workforce standing by and ready to pitch in whenever needed. We’ve increased the speed to build and deploy automations faster, with our latest release of Boston WorkStation. The reuse of content objects lets us speed deployment times, eliminating the need for highly-skilled developers to onboard automations. We’ve brought the technology to a place where it can be managed by analysts, not programmers.
Thank you to Explainify, and to Derek Gerber, for allowing us to participate in RPA Master Stories on LinkedIn. You can access the full interview here.