Think Outside The Box with Healthcare Automation

The average administrative worker in healthcare accomplishes hours of repetitive, routine tasks every day that are better left to machines. Smart automation technology like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) mimics the activity of a human, by carrying out the same tasks and processes far more quickly, accurately, and tirelessly, which makes automation a great digital ally. Many are aware of the benefits of adding automation to revenue cycle tasks, but let’s take a look outside of the box to discover additional areas of return for automation technology.


Pharmacovigilance (PV), includes the detection, assessment, and prevention of adverse effects in medicines and vaccines. The major components of a pharmacovigilance system includes data collection, data analysis, and drug reporting. By automating the detection of adverse events and/or errors, we can improve drug and vaccine quality and reduce patient safety risks. Smart automation technology like Boston WorkStation helps pharma companies bring safe and effective drugs to market in a shorter time and at a lower cost, all without the human burden.

Electronic Batch Reviews

A batch record is a complete history of each product, including the raw materials and equipment used, procedures followed, and quality achieved. Accurate information eliminates the need to send the batch record document back for further remediation. Smart automation tools are specifically designed to meet speed and consistency in data entry, quality control, and audit reporting. Using automation to perform batch record reviews ensures that all the documentation necessary is included, and that the information collected from disparate systems is coherent, compliant, and within operational parameters.

Lab Registrations and Results Reporting

Lab registration is another great area to automate. One of our clients, a large outreach lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, streamlined their registration processes. Previously, the process required staff to pass through several healthcare information system (HIS) modules to complete. With Boston WorkStation, they enter codes into the laboratory module and these automatically populate the abstracting module. This automated workflow saved nearly 60 hours of staff time, or 1.5 FTEs each week. In addition, automation eases the burden of reduced staffing by automating lab results reporting and speeding efficiencies to downstream revenue targets and reporting agencies. During COVID-19, Boston WorkStation automated required result reporting to the HHS, state, and public health facilities, saving human workers hundreds of hours and ensuring accuracy.

Dictionary Updates

Data dictionaries provide structural meta-information about data definitions in health information technology (HIT) systems. A medical dictionary is a tool like a reference repository that tells users how clinical documentation links to administrative codes. Data dictionaries include terminology concepts, LOINC, SNOMED, ICD, and other codes which must be periodically updated to ensure accuracy and regulatory compliance. Industry standards have routine updates. These are tedious, manual tasks to complete, yet perfect for smart automation technology, which allows dictionaries to be constantly refreshed in order to reflect the most recent changes and updates.

Eligibility and Benefits Verification

By using smart automation tools like Boston WorkStation, health systems are able to quickly navigate between multiple payer portals or EHR modules faster and more accurately than human staff, and record the information in the right system, for the right user, at the right time. Boston WorkStation completes verifications for you so that your staff can dedicate their time to where they’re needed most. This speeds eligibility and benefit verification for treatments, procedures, medications, and admissions, improving patient outcomes without overburdening people.

HR Onboarding and Physician Credentialing

An overall staffing shortage continues to plague healthcare organizations, and has added to the burden and burnout employees and staff are feeling. Workloads have and will increase as the data continues to increase, about 50% more with each year. HR functions, updates, upgrades, and system changes can be more efficiently managed with automation. Physician credentialing is a complex process that involves various factors, making it prone to an excessive amount of paperwork, and manual data input. Prevent credentialing mistakes with smart automation. Automation relieves this laborious time-consuming process, saving physicians and administrative staff time, money, and reducing stress.

Compliance and Regulatory Tasks

Healthcare organizations can stay compliant with rules and regulations by incorporating smart automation into their technology stack. Processes that can be automated include audit trail generation, policy adherence checks, and productivity reporting. Smart automation “bots” can work 24/7, performing checks on a scheduled basis or triggered by a specific event, ensuring continuous monitoring of compliance requirements.

Why Boston WorkStation?

Boston WorkStation offers a frictionless process automation experience that has become a competitive advantage in today’s healthcare landscape. We understand the challenges, the barriers, and the workflows better than any other automation vendor. Boston WorkStation allows healthcare workers and administrative staff to focus on clinically relevant tasks rather than tedious, manual ones that often result in delays and distractions. In most situations, clients realize a substantial return on investment (over 300%) in the first year. Our automations are running in hundreds of hospitals, healthcare organizations, and technology partner offerings every day. Give us a call. We look forward to sharing our successes with you.

What Makes an EHR Data Migration So Difficult?

We’ve all read about the latest issues with Electronic Health Record (EHR) data migrations. Serious ones, like patient safety issues, missing appointments, problems, and time delays. The process of EHR implementation is not a new one. Why is it still so difficult to migrate data from a legacy system to a new EHR? Let’s take a look at three of the most common areas of frustration.

Poor Planning

On average, families spend two weeks planning where their pets will stay while going on vacation. Healthcare IT teams may spend as little as half that time planning a small data migration. We depend on the IT department and the vendor to walk us through each step of the process, yet we never look at the time, resources, training, or usability delays closely enough.

There is no cookie-cutter formula for a successful data migration, and unfortunately, most vendors want to repeat the same rote process every time.

Vendors have a pre-defined training curriculum and a fixed number of days on site, and anything outside of what’s offered requires additional resources. The problem with this model is that every organization’s data landscape is unique. It can include decades of old mainframes or homegrown databases, each with its own set of unique challenges. We underestimate the testing timeframes, the training timeframes, and the integration timeframes.

We are told, “Yes, we can bring that over,” when in reality the statement should read, “Yes, we can bring this over in 6-12 months, and until then you will need to manually input hundreds of data points into each patient’s chart, taking up copious amounts of time and resources. And oh, just to be clear, your operating costs are going to take a nosedive (as in millions of dollars nosedive).”

The latter would make us sit up and take notice, right? But most often the lack of communication and due diligence on the part of the organization leads to frustrations, losses, and unexpected costs, like the number of FTEs required for data input, and the staffers who just decide it’s too much and quit or retire early.

Technical Compatibility Challenges

The lack of compatibility between the data formats of the legacy system and the new EHR can present many issues like data accessibility, database integrity, new system readability, lack of data standards, sharing, and conversion to the new system. Patient demographic clean-up is a long and arduous process. The legacy system (or the transfer to the new system) may have duplicates. Another issue is the way the data is brought over from the legacy system.

An HL7 pipe will bring over all of the data, but it “dumps” it into an area, it does not organize it, and it does not do a good job of cleaning it up.

This is one reason that demographics, labs, histories, medications, and problem lists have to be verified. This means verifying with each patient on their first visit, and manually inputting the data into the new system. The transfer will take 6-12 months if the vendor does it, and healthcare cannot be placed on hold while this happens. The result is an overdue burden on the administrative staff as well as the clinicians. At each step of the patient process verifications must be made for demographics, past medical histories, and medications. Duplicates must also be removed, and updated. It becomes what seems like a never-ending nightmare.

Patient Safety Can be Compromised

When information is missing, unavailable, or not in the right system for the right user, it requires months of manual clean-up. Meanwhile, staff, clinicians, and patients are delayed. These delays and the lack of critical information can compromise patient outcomes. Issues with medications, allergies, and adverse events are commonplace. Not having the right information in the right system at the right time can have fatal consequences on patient safety. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported significant problems in its effort to implement a new EHR. Thousands of clinical orders disappeared to an unmonitored inbox, causing patients to miss scheduled appointments.

In addition, the EHR failed to deliver over 11,000 orders for specialty care, lab work, and other services without alerting providers the orders had been lost.

The lost referrals resulted in care delays and were categorized by the VA safety team as “dozens of cases of moderate harm” and one case of “major harm.” This is the unacceptable result of a botched data migration effort.

How Can Boston WorkStation Help?

Aligning technology to existing healthcare workflows has historically been a difficult task for vendors. They want to create a “new” workflow, bringing over only partial information to a new EHR, which limits the integrity of the patient record. This impedes care coordination efforts, adding complexity rather than accelerating a culture of quality, performance, and value. What seems like a simple fix of manually entering demographics or legacy appointment data, literally turns into months of manual data entry and an overwhelming burden.

Automating the transfer of legacy information like appointments, schedules, past histories, and labs ensures information comes over correctly, with no duplicates, and is organized in the new system, for the right user, without manual intervention.

It is in the right chart, at the right time, ensuring compliance protocols, and saving time and resources. A strategic attribute of Boston Software Systems is that there’s no reliance on a particular system configuration. We have worked with every EHR vendor. If a person can sit in front of a computer and search, compare, and manually input data, we can accomplish the same thing thousands of times faster, more accurately, with less cost.

Give us a call. We can help at any point of the data migration process. Work smarter, not harder. Add Boston WorkStation to the team!

Uncovering the Potential of Generative AI with ChatGPT

Digital automation and predictive technology have been maturing for decades, but their potential was often seen as a futuristic fantasy. OpenAI, a research company backed by Microsoft, launched ChatGPT on November 30, 2022, and it brought futuristic fantasy into reality. ChatGPT (or Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer), is a Chatbot that provides answers to a variety of questions using a large language model (LLM), which is capable of generating text on a seemingly endless range of topics. It is considered the most robust Generative AI application in the global technology market. An LLM uses deep learning techniques and massively large data sets to understand, summarize, generate, and predict new content.

The Vision and Mission of OpenAI and ChatGPT

The vision and mission behind OpenAI and ChatGPT was to “ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity, primarily by attempting to build safe AGI and share the benefits with the world.” OpenAI LP was founded in 2015 and is a “capped-profit” research company. Capped profit means the company increased the ability to raise capital, allowing investors and employees to receive a capped return if the companies succeed. Sam Altman, OpenAI’s chief, said on Twitter that ChatGPT had more than one million users in the first five days after it launched. According to analysis by Swiss bank UBS, ChatGPT is the fastest-growing app of all time. The vision so far has proven accurate, with 1 billion visits in February 2023, and 1.6 billion (yes, billion) visits in March 2023. As a comparison, TikTok took nine months to hit the 1M number; and Instagram took two and a half years. It’s pretty safe to say the future is now.

What is The Connection Between ChatGPT and RPA, AI, & ML?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) all solve the same business use cases, which is automating the tasks and processes that humans do in order to remove excess resources, and improve efficiencies. ChatGPT can answer properly phrased questions and assist with tasks such as composing emails, letters, essays, and code. In healthcare, ChatGPT can work with RPA to streamline some of the processes, reduce errors, and improve efficiencies. Think of ChatGPT as the thought or idea, and RPA as the action. Our Senior Solutions Developer, Rhonda Feldbauer, gave it a spin. “I asked ChatGPT to show me VBA code that returns the name of the oldest file in a folder. Here’s the prompt and ChatGPT’s response:”

Give me VBA code that will return the name of the oldest file in a given folder.

“This is what it returned, and it was right on the money!” Here’s an example code that demonstrates this:

Function GetOldestFileNameInFolder(FolderPath As String) As String
    Dim OldestFile As String
    Dim OldestDate As Date
    Dim FileName As String
    Dim FileDate As Date

    ‘ Initialize the oldest file and date
    OldestFile = “”
    OldestDate = Date

    ‘ Check if the folder path ends with a backslash, if not, add one
    If Right(FolderPath, 1) <> “\” Then
        FolderPath = FolderPath & “\”
    End If

    ‘ Loop through each file in the folder
    FileName = Dir(FolderPath & “*.*”)
    Do While FileName <> “”
        ‘ Check if the current file is older than the current oldest file
        FileDate = FileDateTime(FolderPath & FileName)
        If FileDate < OldestDate Then
            OldestFile = FileName
            OldestDate = FileDate
        End If

        ‘ Get the next file
        FileName = Dir

    ‘ Return the name of the oldest file
    GetOldestFileNameInFolder = OldestFile
End Function

In the months ahead, Microsoft is bringing ChatGPT to its Microsoft 365 suite of products. Microsoft “Copilot” will be integrated into Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. Here are a few of the things it can do:

  • Write, edit, and summarize text in Word
  • Create PowerPoints using natural language commands
  • Uncover insights, analyze trends, and create data in Excel
  • Manage your inbox in Outlook
  • Generate real-time summaries and create actionable tasks during Teams meetings

It is not available yet, and pricing is unclear, but availability is scheduled for sometime this summer.

Vendors Will Leverage GPT Models to Simplify Tech Adoption

Our VP of Technical Services, Thom C. Blackwell, states, “If you have specific VBA code scenarios in mind, it makes sense to try ChatGPT. It does require setting up an account. Boston Software Systems is providing no warranty regarding the accuracy, availability, or security related to ChatGPT. It’s something we’ve played around with and found that it can provide good code IF you are specific about what you want. Be sure to say VBA or Visual Basic for Applications in your question.”

Here’s an example:

  • VBA example to format date 12/1/22 to 12/01/2022
  • List files in a directory VBA
  • Write to SQLServer VBA

Although OpenAI has made vast improvements to its latest model, GPT-4 still has quite a few limitations. Microsoft acknowledged that it can still make “simple reasoning errors” or be “overly gullible in accepting obvious false statements from a user,” because it does not fact check. OpenAI’s CEO acknowledged “it’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now.”

The Bottom Line

ChatGPT is only 5 months old. It is powerful and quick to impress, but it is currently in its infancy. It was trained on all types of internet text like Wikipedia, blog posts, books, and academic articles. In addition to responding to you in a human-like way, it can recall present information from today’s world or go back to the archives and pull up historical information. There are quite a few limitations in its understanding. It cannot understand sarcasm or humor, or subtle nuances in the human language. ChatGPT arrives at an answer by making a series of guesses, which is part of the reason it can argue wrong answers as if they were completely true.

ChatGPT isn’t always correct—at least, not yet. It has provided some terrible answers that discriminate against things like gender, race, and minority groups.

We may be able to integrate ChatGPT into an electronic health record (EHR) system to optimize the data entry process, or to write narratives, but because of the biases that are baked into the current model (and the room for error), healthcare will always need oversight and clinical validation. The newest model, GPT-4, has exhibited human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks. OpenAI is releasing GPT-4’s text input capability via ChatGPT and the API. There is a waitlist if you’re interested.

Boston Software Systems

Boston Software Systems has been in the healthcare RPA business for 35 years. We’ve seen a lot of “cool” technology come with challenges and barriers. This is merely the start of our conversations around this new and exciting technology. ChatGPT and RPA have the potential to improve the delivery of care, and the ease of patient communication and engagement. Automation represents the proven first step. As an industry, we will all work on the next steps, which includes how to operationalize, regulate, and secure tools like ChatGPT so that they can continue to help humans save time and improve efficiencies with value, consistency, and additional governance.

Your Quick Access Toolkit for a Successful HIMSS23

The HIMSS23 Global Health Conference & Exhibition is a health information technology event unlike any other, and begins on Monday April 17th. Chicago will once again host over 40,000 like-minded professionals as they confront the challenges and barriers to Health IT, learn from experts in their field, network with friends, and attend world class education and information sessions and panels, in the hope of transforming care delivery and accelerating healthcare innovation.

So, how do you plan for the week? Here are a few tips and strategies for a great conference.

Plan Your Schedule

This one tip cannot be stressed enough. There will be variations and spontaneous meetups, but you need to arrive with a plan. McCormick Place is made up of four buildings spread over 2.6 million square feet. With three- five days and only so much time, it is imperative to have even a “loose” schedule so you can fit in the best of the conference. Here are a few lists to help you plan your schedule.

Opening Keynotes:

  • Opening Tuesday Morning Keynote | April 18 | 8:30 AM – 10 AM.
    Responsible AI: Prioritizing Patient Safety, Privacy, and Ethical
  • Wednesday Morning Keynote | April 19 | 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM.
    Healthcare Disruption: Accelerated Opportunities for Care Delivery Alternatives.
  • Thursday Morning Keynote | April 20 | 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM.
    Digital Transformation and Health Equity: A Global Discussion on the Journey Ahead.
  • Friday Morning Keynote | April 21 | 8:30 AM – 10:15 AM.
    Are More Turbulent Times Ahead for Healthcare? An Economic Outlook.

The HIMSS23 Experiences

HIMSS23 offers curated programming paths, each one is designed to help you address your biggest healthcare challenges. Here’s the list:

  • CXO Experience
  • Cybersecurity Experience
  • Innovation Experience
  • Interoperability Experience
  • Legislation and Policy Experience
  • Machine Learning and AI Experience
  • First Time Attendee Experience

Know beforehand that the CXO Experience is reserved for Executive Pass holders and C-level executives. If you’re attending the conference for the first time, it’s highly recommended to attend the First Time Attendee sessions. You’ll receive an orientation session, tips on navigating the conference, lists of topic-driven pavilions, and great educational sessions to choose from for learning as well as networking opportunities.

Networking Opportunities

This is where the fun begins! As they say, “Business is never closed on the exhibit floor.”

HIMSS23 offers an opportunity to meet new connections and reunite with old friends. That’s the best part of the conference. You’ll make a ton of connections, so bring along business cards if you like, but we find it easier to snap a photo of the business card instead. This ensures you come home with it, and don’t lose any important contact information. In the end, it’s not about closing business. It’s all about connecting, learning, and growing your network.

Here are the main Receptions:

  • The Opening Reception kicks off on Monday, April 17, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. West Building in the Skyline Ballroom W375
  • The Awards Recipient Reception is for HIMSS Award winners, and also takes place Monday, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the Skyline Ballroom W375 VIP section.
  • IGNITE THE NIGHT: This is by invitation only, and takes place on Monday, April 17th, 7:30 – 9:00 pm, hosted by Glen Tullman and Sumit Nagpal. It’s located at Ignite Glass Studios, 401 N. Armour Street.
  • The Emerging Healthcare Leaders Reception is open to everyone. Registration fee is $55.00, and it takes place on Tuesday, April 18th from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, in the Prairie Room (2nd Floor).
  • The Exhibit Hall Social Hour is on Wednesday, April April 19th from 4:30 – 6:00 pm, in the North & South Building Exhibit Halls. This is a great opportunity to network with fellow exhibitors.
  • Laugh N’ Roll, the Thursday night special event, takes place April 20th from 7:00 – 10:30 pm, in the Wintrust Arena (Located on the McCormick Place campus). There is a $95.00 fee, $99.00 on site.

Meetups You Won’t Want to Miss!

  • Medigy HITMC Awards Ceremony. Sunday, April 16th from 3:00 – 4:30pm at 2301 S Martin Luther King Dr.
  • Healthcare IT Community Celebration, on Monday April 17th from 7:30 – 9:30 pm, at Gino’s East – 3rd Floor 162 E. Superior St. Don’t miss this unique celebration of the Healthcare IT Today community.
  • Women in Health IT Networking Reception. This is hands down my favorite event every year! Come to listen to your peers and your she-roes, share their experience, strength, and courage, and prepare to meet many of your favorite women in person. There is a fee – $55.00, but it’s worth it. Held on Wednesday, April 19th from 6:00 – 7:30 pm, in the Marriott Marquis Chicago | Level 4 | Grand Horizon Ballroom E.
  • The #HITsm, #HCLDR, #HITMC Annual Social Media Picture at #HIMSS23. Takes place on Tuesday, April 18th at 12:15pm at the @hcittoday Booth #248. You won’t want to miss this!
  • You can find more meetups from the Healthcare IT Today community at this link.

A Few Closing Words of Wisdom

Pack for Chicago weather. April offers mild days with an average high of 59°F, but nights can drop to 41°F.

  • Bring your dress shoes/heels, but don’t forget comfortable shoes.
  • Include liquid hand sanitizer, or wipes – they come in handy.
  • Pack a mask. You might need one.
  • Bring gum and a water bottle. These are necessities.
  • Don’t forget Advil or Tylenol.

About Boston Software Systems

If you’re checking out Machine Learning or Smart Automation systems, you’ll want to compare the offerings to Boston WorkStation.

We won’t be at HIMSS23. But, we’d love to chat with you. Schedule time to chat with us before, during, or after the conference. With 30 years of experience and a singular focus in healthcare, we understand the challenges and barriers in Health IT. We’ll provide you with competitive pricing, fixed cost structure, flexible technology options, and 5-Star support. Improve organizational efficiency, reduce pain-points, and maximize productivity in 2023!

How Smart Automation Can Solve The Workforce Challenges in Healthcare

The following interview is abbreviated and can be read in its entirety at Future of Health Tech.

Can You Tell Our Audience About Yourself?

Hi, I’m Matt Hawkins, Executive VP of Global Sales and Strategy at Boston Software Systems. I love helping healthcare organizations improve inefficiencies and “gaps” in patient care and administrative processes.

“As the Dad to three children under five, this is personal for me.”

My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a very rare cancer in September of 2021. Truly the toughest year of my life. While sitting in the room seeing all the amazing folks caring for our daughter, I saw how every dollar in these hospitals is needed to deliver the best care. In so many ways, what we do with Boston WorkStation by automating tasks, saves organizations millions of dollars that can be used for that higher purpose, delivering the best care.

Can You Tell Our Audience About Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Our founders, Sara and Rich McNeil, were familiar with the challenges in healthcare, having worked both in healthcare and the pharmaceutical industries. The McNeils’ mission was to “make things easier for healthcare professionals.”

RPA technology is a form of business process automation. The technology makes it easy to deploy software “bots” that can emulate any task a human can do at a computer. It is used to perform process tasks that weigh down individuals, but are perfect for machines.

Boston Software Systems is the only Robotic Process Automation (RPA) company with a singular, 35 year focus in healthcare.

Boston WorkStation was initiated to tackle the high-volume, repetitive, and manual tasks healthcare workers do every day. Many of these tasks were in administrative areas like claims management, invoice processing, revenue cycle management, and the multitude of interoperability challenges that came with having separate systems for legacy billing and clinical health records. Their goal was to provide a “toolkit” of sorts, for healthcare’s pain points. Boston WorkStation helped to “bridge the gaps” left by system vendors who didn’t deliver on interoperability claims, leaving providers and staff struggling to complete time-consuming manual workflows.

While their journey has been about adapting and growing, their core values have remained consistent. Boston WorkStation tackles many unique issues common to healthcare, but here are a few of the most requested ones:

  • Revenue Cycle Management
  • Claim Denial Management
  • Payment Processing / Collections
  • Supply Chain / Materials / Inventory Management
  • EHR, Kiosk / Portal / Data Migration Tasks
  • Appointments / Scheduling
  • Lab and Telehealth
  • HR Onboarding / Physician Credentialing

What Problem Is Boston Software Systems Solving & How?

It is estimated that one-third of healthcare spending is wasteful, with no benefit to patients.

There is never enough time for people working in healthcare to complete mind-numbing, repetitive tasks. However, this is the perfect atmosphere for machines. Machines, or “bots,” never tire of working 24/7/365. They have a 98% accuracy rate with no sick days or overtime. The addition of a smart “digital workforce” to support a “human workforce” is part of the digital transformation we are seeing in many industries, healthcare included. This is where our automation solution, Boston WorkStation shines.

Let’s take Prior Authorizations for example. This is a largely manual process, and when time is converted to dollars, the staggering cost for providers is between $23-$31 billion each year. According to a 2021 report, providers could save 16+ minutes per authorization with an automated process, which takes less than a minute. That’s a savings of up to two working days, or 16 hours a week. Boston WorkStation automates the prior authorization process which allows patients to receive medicines, treatments, and surgeries faster, and allows providers to be paid for services rendered, eliminating costly delays and improving patient outcomes.

Boston WorkStation provides improvements in efficiency that lead to improvements for humans in healthcare.

Less overtime from practitioners, clinicians, and administrative staff. Healthcare facilities can get more work done within existing timeframes and business constraints and without employing additional people.

Providers have additional time to focus their attention on patient care instead of paperwork. If a person can sit in front of a computer and search, compare, and manually input data, Boston WorkStation, our intelligent automation solution, can accomplish the same thing, thousands of times faster, more accurately, with less cost and complexity.

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Deepak Mirok for requesting this interview. Read the entirety at:

Robotic Process Automation: 4 Key Factors for a Successful Project

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a digital ally to optimize workflows, boost revenue cycle margins, and bridge the gaps between disparate systems in healthcare. If you’re looking to begin an RPA project, be sure to include the following four factors for long-term success.

Involve Key Stakeholders

In a year of workforce shortages, increased staffing and financial concerns, nothing is more important than supporting your human workforce and building resilience for the future of work. Before the project begins, be sure to include key stakeholders from the organization. You’ll want to include IT leaders and financial executives but it’s also extremely important to work alongside department leaders. Form a partnership to ensure that the project stays on track and works well for everyone involved. Department leaders understand the workflows, the specific processes to be automated, and the operational performance metrics that will define success. Be sure everyone is on the same page as to benefit. Whether cost reduction, repetitive process improvement, or operational efficiency, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the metrics that define project success.

Ease of Implementation

RPA is one of the most accessible solutions to implement, helping hospitals and healthcare systems bridge the gaps left by system vendors, repetitive processes, or staffing. It’s a flexible, client-to-client implementation, designed to work the way you do, aligning to existing workflows and business constraints. The ease of implementation depends on the vendor’s flexibility and capability to work within legacy systems, scale the project accordingly, and create strategic improvements that can easily be supported and maintained. It can be implemented with no changes to existing architectures or security protocols. To avoid delays and risks, you might want this process done completely by the vendor, with mentoring at every step, or via a hybrid combination. Be sure that the vendor is flexible enough to accommodate your specific implementation needs, so there are no surprises. There is no one-size-fits-all implementation. And no need to create a network of excellence centers. You need a vendor who listens to your needs and your technical constraints, and works alongside your team with guidance at every juncture.


Don’t begin by expecting to boil the ocean with a hundred project ideas and opportunities for an RPA project. Have a clear understanding of one initial area to roll out these improvements, optimize the project, then scale to additional areas. Flexibility is key to scaling up or down when demand calls for increased output. An RPA company needs to be able to adapt to the applications, the way the application is deployed, and the environment it is deployed in. The challenge is building the connection to an application that will reliably work yet is agile enough to manage. Ensure that your RPA solution is agile enough to accommodate growth and rapid change. That’s why vendor selection is paramount to scalability and sustainability. Look for a vendor who has successfully done this hundreds of times in the same environment. The one thing you want to avoid when implementing an RPA project is delays due to vendor capabilities.

Ongoing Support

The most important factor to include in an RPA project is support after the sale. The focus of onsite support as well as vendor support is to proactively identify any adverse scenarios, provide expert help for any issues that come up, and handle incidents caused by network errors and updates. If there’s an issue, you don’t want to be placed in a two-day support queue. You want a real person who can help to identify the issue, provide complete resolution, and teach you how not to encounter the same issue again. Support after the sale cannot be stressed enough. In an IBM research study in 2021, the top attributes to look for when selecting an RPA vendor were technical support, integration support, and deployment support. A whopping 30% of clients are willing to change vendors for a better support package. Do your due diligence. Check reference sites, like KLAS or G2. Check customer support scores or ask for a personal support reference. Support is a key factor in usability as well as long-term sustainability.

Why Boston Software Systems?

For the past 30+ years, our focus has been on healthcare RPA solutions. From the initial call with our team, we will provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed choice. Within two days of our call, we will provide an SOW that includes project timelines and goals, along with a fixed pricing model, one that includes the flexibility of implementation in a way that serves your specific needs. And our support after the sale is unparalleled. We also offer ongoing support in terms of “Lunch and Learn” sessions. Boston WorkStation is the preferred automation partner for hundreds of hospitals, healthcare organizations, and technology partner solutions. Give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you.

In The Midst of Layoffs, Labor Shortages, and a Possible Recession, Automation Allows You to Emerge Stronger

With so much talk about an upcoming recession, it’s important for healthcare organizations to keep a close eye on cost, often delaying some projects to see how financial areas stabilize. Yet, embracing automation during difficult times can actually allow your organization to do more with less, and become more resilient than ever. Let’s take a look at how automation technology can help.

Automation is a Digital Worker

Automation doesn’t need to be hired, onboarded, promoted, or fired. It requires no sick days and costs substantially less for the amount of work being performed than the cost of a benefit and salary package for additional employees. In addition, automation allows healthcare workers to focus on clinically relevant tasks rather than administrative ones that often take more time and fall outside an area of expertise. Because automation increases the efficiency and productivity of the human workforce, it is referred to as “recession proof.” With a resilient, scalable approach, automation helps weather the storms, by removing redundancies and delivering a consistent approach to process improvement and operational stability.

Automation Reduces Cost

Automation allows healthcare organizations to accomplish more within timeframes, reducing stress and burnout. Increased efficiency means less need for overtime, sick days, and time off. This allows staff to focus on patient care while automation works in the background. Bottlenecks often cause data delays in clinical workflow and treatment plans, many times resulting in duplications of time and effort. Automation can comb through vast amounts of data in electronic health records (EHR), to identify issues and enable every user on any device to be connected, making information at the point of care easier and faster.

Automation Adjusts to Need

As we saw with the COVID-19 pandemic, automation stepped in to adjust to the needs of healthcare facilities in physician offices, labs, telehealth, patient outreach, and with population health goals like the vaccine rollout. It connected lab orders to rapid response teams and cut through the chaos to file HRSA claims within time constraints. This characteristic of automation could also improve seasonal wait times in healthcare facilities. By evaluating historical data from numerous sources, organizations can better estimate when they may need to ramp up again for the next flu season, or the next emergency. Automation updates information in reports effortlessly and quickly, without a human burden.

Automation Powers Revenue Cycle Tasks

With as many as 18 different portals for insurance verification, it’s easy to see how human teams can become overwhelmed. A 2021 healthcare research study showed that 59% of health systems use RPA for eligibility verification, making this one of the most common processes CFOs are automating. And it doesn’t stop there. According to a 2021 CAQH report, providers could save 16+ minutes per authorization with an automated process, which takes a little less than a minute. That’s a savings of two working days a week. Automation is used in every area of the revenue cycle, from invoice processing to claims status checks, denial management, and collections. The average ROI from an automation project is over 300% in the first year, making this the perfect digital worker for revenue cycle teams.

Automation Allows You To Hire Experts

Automation means less overtime, improved efficiency, and fewer errors. Because the need to hire entry-level workers for manual tasks is reduced, there’s more budget to hire resources, innovators, and leaders, focusing on people who add value to the team, rather than merely plugging holes. Boston WorkStation is the preferred automation partner for hundreds of hospitals, healthcare organizations, and technology partner solutions. The difference lies in our flexible approach, fixed pricing, adaptable business model, and 5-star customer support. Give us a call. We’ve been providing healthcare-centric automation solutions for over 30 years. We look forward to speaking with you.

The Scalability and Flexibility of RPA

The scalability of software services is measured by how easy or how difficult it is to increase or decrease the digital footprint. It refers to the service offerings’ ability to handle increased workloads while adding or removing users, with minimal impact to cost and infrastructure. The following points are important ones to consider when looking at both the scalability and flexibility of a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) model:

  • How easy is it to expand the service offering?
  • Does it impact other systems? (Units, security parameters, or users)
  • What is the business model? (Licensed, fixed pricing, or subscription)
  • How is it deployed? (Cloud, on-premise, or as a hybrid offering)

Scalability Allows Easy Expansion to Additional Projects

Automation is a large part of the digital transformation going on in healthcare. Small wins are seen as stepping stones to larger projects. For example: A healthcare organization may need immediate help to stop the bleeding from inefficiency, or inter-departmental challenges, but may not be ready to implement on a larger scale without first realizing a win for stakeholders. A “big bang” approach just doesn’t work for healthcare. But, by starting small, recognizing wins in one department, then rolling out to additional areas, users can determine what works best, and if necessary, change which business process each of your robots is executing, letting them work on different processes at different times. That’s the process most of our healthcare organizations take when implementing Boston WorkStation. Starting in one department or area, realizing the ROI, and establishing best practice guidelines for future projects. The success of the initial project has everything to do with the customer experience and usability in the long term.

Being Flexible Technically and as a Business Model

RPA mimics human actions, it does not involve coding changes to your applications, or infrastructure changes that cause disruption to other systems. This makes it a flexible, adaptive technology for healthcare. It mimics the decision-making processes humans use every day. Our VP of Technical Services, Thom Blackwell, says it best: “Boston WorkStation is flexible from a technical approach as well as a business model. Technically, the software doesn’t impose a rigid structure on how automations are developed and deployed. We provide simple higher level features and the low level technologies that implement them. The result is, problems can always be solved in the field.” In terms of the business model, “We provide a flexible licensing structure and deployment model. Boston WorkStation can be 100% delivered to customers, or we can mentor existing customer teams. Either way, we always offer world class tech support.” Our goal is to ensure your success.

Boston WorkStation Offers the Tools for RPA Project Success

RPA project success is determined by vendor, process, training, and support. Your people are key to your success with RPA automation. Deploying an automation pilot can bring quick results, but it’s best to determine a strategy that can also support future automation efforts. By thinking you can rely on citizen developers, many organizations get stuck on critical processes better left to a seasoned team. There are a lot of RPA vendors out there, and more entering this competitive market on a daily basis. No other global vendor has had a healthcare-only focus for 35 years. Our demonstrated leadership, outstanding performance, and successful technology partnerships are unparalleled. Give us a call. We’re happy to discuss your RPA ideas and lead you on a path to success.

Transforming Healthcare with Simplicity

Most of us read (and love) the Dilbert cartoons. Scott Adams captures classic workplace inefficiency so masterfully. There’s one that comes to mind, about keeping things simple. It goes like this:

Dilbert: “The secret to success is to keep things simple.”
Alice: “Do you mean simple in the absolute sense or relative to the alternatives?”
Dilbert: “It depends on the situation.”
Alice: “That sounds complicated.”

Like Dilbert and Alice, we tend to make things more complicated than they need to be in healthcare and HealthIT. We create workarounds, we release software with bugs to be “fixed in a later iteration,” we make EHR systems proprietary and difficult to interact with and then we don’t provide adequate training. Subsequently, people spend copious amounts of time inputting data only to be corrected later, unable to connect critical information, or trying to correct duplications of time and effort, over and over, expecting different results each time. If you work in healthcare, you understand the quandary.

Automation Simplifies Technology Hurdles

Automation can fix a lot of healthcare’s pain points. Automation tools like Boston WorkStation fit into existing IT architectures, without the need to disrupt things. Boston WorkStation makes it easier to connect, compare, and contrast information in multiple disparate systems, while removing the burden from people. As the only company with a pure focus in healthcare automation for over 30 years, we can lessen claims challenges, speed “dollars in the door,” and reduce denial rates by ensuring accuracy. We can speed processes in Human Resources by onboarding employees and clinicians faster, without a human burden. Healthcare teams are tired and resources are tight. Automation technology can simplify tasks in the following areas:

  • Claims Processing
  • Human Resources Tasks
  • Scheduling and Follow-up
  • Data Transfer
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Invoice Processing

And so much more…

We Have The Tools To Simplify Healthcare

Information is power, but sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Information overload affects healthcare workers in a major way, increasing burnout rates and dissatisfaction scores. There’s still an inordinate amount of manual work that goes into accessing data that is siloed and unstructured. Too much information is still on paper, even when it has been migrated to the EHR, lab systems, practice management, and so on. By automating tasks, healthcare teams are free to spend time on higher value work that requires human skills. The beauty of healthcare automation is in the ability to empower humans, by improving digital access, reducing workloads, and seamlessly maximizing revenue. A survey by the research company Black Book, showed that 86% of CFOs and senior finance leaders who automated key financial processes at their hospital or health system reported a “substantial” return on investment (ROI). Automation just makes it easier for healthcare to get things done.

Simply Prevent Burnout

Healthcare is still at a breaking point. Stress levels are at an all-time high for employees and clinicians. Given the challenges of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic for the last three years, staffing challenges, and limited resources, it’s easy to understand why burnout levels are elevated. Most healthcare facilities continue to rely on a patchwork of spreadsheets, manual data entry, and legacy systems that make information sharing difficult, and cause duplication in documentation, increased tasks, and mounting frustrations. Automation is a key enabler of change, redesigning the way people work, for maximum benefit and personal satisfaction.

We’ll leave you with this Dilbert cartoon, because many times it feels like no one is acting fast enough to change the paradigm:

Dilbert: “When will we upgrade our internal networks?”
Mordac: “We were just having a conversation about that.”
Dilbert: “That doesn’t help me at all.”
Mordac: “Note the pattern.” (lots of talk but no action)

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems understands healthcare. For over 30 years, and with consistent, 5-star support rankings, Boston Software Systems has been creating efficiencies in hundreds of hospitals, healthcare organizations, and technology partner offerings. Schedule a call today to discuss the best projects with the greatest ROI. Take your automation ideas to the next level with Boston WorkStation.

Automation Provides a Rapid ROI to Common Healthcare Finance Processes

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) empowers healthcare organizations by enabling them to scale common finance initiatives with a proven ROI and minimum investment. There’s no wonder that growing numbers of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are automating financial processes. This allows finance teams to refocus time and energy on tasks that require human intervention, while offloading mind-numbing, tedious ones to machines. What are the majority of CFOs automating? Let’s take a look:

Invoice Processing

Invoicing and payments are one of the top four challenges facing healthcare today. In addition to providing greater efficiency, healthcare departments that automate invoice processing tasks reduce errors by 90%, using only 10% of human effort to review or handle the exceptions. By offloading invoice processing to a digital workforce, or machines, employees stop wasting time on repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and can focus on communicative ones that require people skills. Unlike human data entry clerks, machines never get bored, tired, or distracted. They work 24/7/365 without breaks and can process hundreds of invoices in just minutes for pennies per transaction. By automating invoice processing, CFOs can quickly see real-time snapshots of account payables to aid in faster decision-making. Data breaches and compliance risks, which are magnified by humans, are minimized by machines, while employee productivity and satisfaction scores are boosted by 85%.

Insurance Verification and Benefits Eligibility

With hospital margins waning, it has become more important than ever to avoid the cost of working (and re-working) denied claims. It’s important to know if a patient is covered by insurance before services are rendered. Eligibility describes whether the patient is eligible for services and if those services are covered by the payer and plan. Verification of benefits allows you to go deeper and find out exactly to what extent services are covered for the patient. Both largely manual processes are very labor intensive, with revenue cycle teams manually checking and rechecking numerous payer portals and websites for each patient. With as many as 18 different portals for insurance verification, it’s easy to see how human teams can become overwhelmed. A 2021 healthcare research study showed that 59% of health systems use RPA for eligibility verification, making this one of the most common processes CFOs are automating.

Prior Authorization

This largely manual process prohibits timely patient care, delays needed medications and treatments, and when time is converted to dollars, costs providers between $23-$31 billion each year (yes, billions).

Pre-authorization is required for most non-emergency medical procedures, treatment plans, medications, and services. According to a 2021 CAQH report, providers could save 16+ minutes per authorization with an automated process, which takes a little less than a minute. That’s a savings of two working days a week. RPA-enabled prior authorization has proven results. Not only can the task move faster, automation eliminates up to 98% of errors, which improves re-work queues, denial, and collection rates. And at a time when staffing shortages are high, and hospitals are struggling to meet financial burdens, automating this process addresses time, efficiency, and financial burden with a clear solution.

Claims Status Checks

Claims status checks, or manual inquiries from a provider to a health plan to check the status of an impending claim, is complicated and tedious. When a provider contacts a payer to check a claim status, it takes an average of 14 minutes and costs the provider roughly $7.00. By the time a claim reaches a denied status, the provider has lost at least two weeks of valuable time. Considering that the time between claims submission and payment can be as long as four weeks, processing delays are costly. Do the math on an average employee working a 40-hour work week and it’s easy to understand that humans can only perform so many claims status checks each week. By automating the manual process, one “bot” or machine can check claims statuses in one-fourth of the time, eliminating 98% of errors. By automating this manual, tedious process, our customers have realized an average ROI of 330% within the first 6 months.

Why Boston Software Systems?

There are a lot of RPA vendors out there, and more entering this competitive market on a daily basis. No other vendor has a healthcare-only focus with 35 years of proven success in the field. Boston Software Systems receives daily, consistent, 5-star support reviews. Our demonstrated leadership, outstanding performance, and successful technology partnerships are unparalleled. Give us a call. We look forward to automating your healthcare finance challenges in 2023, making it easier for you to focus on patients, instead of paperwork.