RPA Solves Problems, But It Requires People Skills to “Plug it In”

RPA has proven its value as a strong technology to support an enterprise’s strategic goals. But getting it right has its challenges. A successful implementation begins by finding the right processes to automate. Like many technology investments, success depends on having the right people onboard, who can help you push past the obstacles when they pop up. Our VP of Technical Services, Thom C. Blackwell, states:

“RPA solves problems. It is fundamentally an exercise in troubleshooting. That’s how you identify the projects to engage in, and the best way to successfully deliver them. Yet, to be good at troubleshooting, you have to listen and learn from people.”

It’s not enough to have a technology application that is governed by rules, business logic, and structured inputs. It requires people who understand the value of RPA, in order to “plug it in.” That’s why it’s important to have a company whose main focus is healthcare, and whose project management team understands healthcare workflows.

Automation is Not Just a Technology Problem

The main objective for healthcare-specific RPA is to automate the mind-numbing tedious tasks that can be better managed by machines, saving time and money. As Thom goes on to say,

“RPA is obvious, but it requires an ability to think outside of the box. The obvious solution to a labor intensive workflow is to replicate the process with a “bot.” But a successful RPA project depends upon more than “replacing a process.” It requires creative thinking to discover what the workflow should be, then aligning the solution to that workflow.”

Automation is not just a technology problem. In a haste to automate, departments may procure a solution that solves one pain point. But, that approach can increase costs by duplication of time or efforts. The best automation solutions depend on listening, learning, then automating the tasks with the greatest potential, in order to obtain the greatest value.

A Highly-Specific Fix for a Specific Problem

Manual processes work. The problem is they are manual. By using RPA to automate manual, repetitive tasks, it frees up your staff to focus on more meaningful work that requires decision-making and a more strategic approach.

A highly-specific fix to a specific problem requires listening, then applying the knowledge to an issue, that’s how problems are solved. That’s why our people make the difference at Boston Software Systems. Project managers come from a healthcare background, so they know the best way to implement an RPA project for success.

“Outstanding. It is a pleasure working with such a professional, capable and willing organization. Our success is in large part due to your approach and willingness to go that extra mile. A rare thing these days. Your reputation is well deserved.”
– Adrian O’Neill, Data Migration Technical Lead, Clinical Solutions / ieMR Program, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service

All companies want to invest in the betterment of their organization, which includes their workforce. Yet, in order to design an effective RPA solution, you must first listen and learn. People are always your greatest asset and your best investment. Organizations all over the world are using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) from Boston Software Systems in thousands of applications, at hundreds of hospitals and technology partner solutions, every day. Let’s have a conversation, so we can better understand your pain points and help you begin your first project, the one with the greatest value to your organization.

With over 95% of our healthcare automation projects being completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems has been ensuring RPA projects remain on track since 1985. Bridge the gaps with a proven business model that maximizes effectiveness and reduces manual, tedious tasks across the healthcare ecosystem.

For more information on how we can help your organization navigate the healthcare automation landscape, contact us at: 866-653-5105 or visit us at www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com.

The Benefits of Applying Automation to Population Health Goals

The COVID-19 global pandemic highlighted the need for a population health approach to identify and implement strategies in healthcare. In doing this, we quickly realized our inability to input, organize, and share data across and between information silos. Without a more complete “view,” our ability to measure is inaccurate, failing to meet the goals of population health initiatives. Ultimately, healthcare organizations are looking for a combination of speed and scale so that they can uncover insights, manage disease states, and diagnose patients in real-time, without a heavy technology lift.

Mental health and chronic disease management data is a “huge pool” of information that “lives” in multiple systems. Clinicians don’t know if the data is useful without first organizing the data elements and setting standards for how they relate to one another. EHR systems have great reporting capabilities, but that’s after you’ve added all of the data elements, which delays the process in most situations. We’ve witnessed the increased need to synthesize all health and social data, for a more complete picture of health. Automation provides a cost-effective solution. It is technically accommodating, and enables users to quickly access and act on the complete information from multiple sources; patient, provider, payer and government agencies.

How Does Automation Work?

Automation searches within and across systems and applications. It works behind the scenes, as a “digital workforce” to empower, not encumber the work of people. The use of automation replaces many manual tasks and offloads these tedious processes to “bots.” Logging in just as a user would, the “bots” accurately, quickly, and comprehensively gather, organize, and compare data in multiple systems, presenting a complete picture, so you can develop strategies, target patient types, and monitor outcomes. Because the distribution of health risks changes over time, the objective is to continuously identify factors that can exacerbate illness or the need for prevention. The result is fewer delays and better attainment of population health goals. The following are ways to maximize the use of automation technology:

Data Extraction: Automation tools can expeditiously locate, identify, organize, and extract precise details involving open or discrete data from single or multiple sources and distribute it as needed for population health goals. Data from payers, notes, research, and government agencies can be accessed and presented in the preferred system, pinpointing gaps and increasing outreach capabilities.

Risk Management: Automation can systematically manipulate and process the most advanced risk management formulas with uniform accuracy, improving data performance and minimizing organizational security risks.

Ad Hoc Reporting: In ad hoc reporting situations, automation can accurately and quickly pull together the right information from the right system, avoiding time-consuming manual inquiries which may bog down staff and cause delays.

The goal of population health is the systematic and transparent delivery of services to a designated patient population or group. By inserting automation tools at any point in the process, you improve the quality and consistency of data, reduce the cost to connect, and free up people for higher functioning tasks. This makes healthcare care strategies faster, more efficient, and improves the productivity of administrative and clinical staff.

We’ve been through the ups and downs of multiple challenges over 30 years and we continue to provide real-time solutions in healthcare that enable you to work smarter, not harder. Protect your bottom line revenue and increase your efficiency, even during these challenging times.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems has been ensuring RPA projects remain on track since 1985. Bridge the gaps with a proven business model that maximizes effectiveness and reduces manual, tedious tasks across the healthcare ecosystem.

For more information on how we can help your organization navigate the healthcare automation landscape, contact us at: 866-653-5105 or visit us at www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com. We won’t take up much of your time and we can get the process started quickly, in most cases, in < 30 days.

Making It Easier to Connect in Health IT

Connecting people, process, and workflow has always been a bit of a struggle for Health IT. OK, it’s been a big struggle. Over the years, we’ve made “limited” strides in terms of interoperability. It has not been fast, it has never been easy, and we continue to deal with the lack of connectivity on a daily basis. This has never been more apparent than recently, as we realized the inability to test our efficiencies at the scale that they’re being used today.

What we’ve learned over the last six months, is that connection matters. A month after a public health database failure caused the distortion of COVID-19 test results across the state of California, they began the implementation of a new reporting system, powered by OptumInsight Inc, which will replace the troubled California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, and is scheduled to be live in October. Just this week, the state of Florida cut ties with a large reporting lab, citing an issue of delays with result reporting. Rules and regulations have changed often, making it difficult to juggle tasks in an already overburdened system, many times with a remote staff trying to keep step with drastic shifts in demand. The role of digital connectivity has never been so critical as it is today. Automation holds great potential to improve the quality, as well as the process of patient care.

We need accurate, transparent, and efficient tools to meet challenges, ensure operational continuity, and support healthcare services. Healthcare is predicted to have a 36% automation potential, meaning that more than a third of healthcare tasks, especially front and back-office functions, could be automated. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows organizations to automate these tasks just like a human being was performing them, across applications and systems, yet with 100% accuracy. During a time when accuracy and delays bog down the health system, RPA closes some of the gaps. RPA improves connectivity issues, by collecting and aggregating the right information from the right system, and securely sending this information to state and federal reporting agencies.

The ROI for automation is clear:

A large outreach lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center streamlined their registration process. Previously, the process required staff to pass through several healthcare information system (HIS) modules to complete. Boston WorkStation enters codes into the laboratory module and automatically populates the abstracting module. This allowed them to save 35 seconds per registration. That didn’t seem like much until they calculated it over an average of 5,500 registrations per week and found the automated workflow saved nearly 60 hours or 1.5 FTEs each week.

Here’s a few projects that have proven to be the most impactful for our clients, allowing them to reduce inefficiencies, and maintain regulatory compliance:

  • Automate lab and remote site processes, specifically in telehealth
  • Automate required reporting as required by CDC, HHS, public health agencies
  • Centralize data from multiple areas/facilities impacted by COVID-19
  • Automate the purchase order (PO) process for supply chain and PPE
  • Process associated revenue cycle transactions, tasks, updates, and reports

Automation is not the panacea for everything in Health IT, but it is a key resource. Now more than ever, we need to double down on our efforts to support the people and services in healthcare. It allows us to elevate people from “human doings,” burdened by mind-numbing, repetitive tasks, to human beings, empowered by technology advancements. If we can help in expediting order entry, route results, gather data from disparate sources, or put together actionable reports, please give us a call. Our mission is to simplify tasks, so you can work smarter, not harder. Most solutions are implemented in < 30 days, with automated lab reporting live in < 14 days.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems has been ensuring RPA projects remain on track since 1985. Bridge the gaps with a proven business model that maximizes effectiveness and reduces manual, tedious tasks across the healthcare ecosystem.

For more information on how we can help your organization navigate the healthcare automation landscape, contact us at: 866-653-5105 or visit us at www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com.

Bridging the Gaps Between Healthcare Effectiveness and Cost-Efficiency

We talk a lot about the gaps in healthcare: the inefficiencies between systems and silos, people, and processes, that make it more difficult than it should be to get things done. Never has healthcare efficiency been more important. The key to operating during these lean times is to pair technology solutions with a business model that maximizes effectiveness and reduces manual, tedious tasks. Adding automation as a solution allows hospitals and health systems to scale up “bots” rather than scale down employees. The following are ways in which automation is being used to #bridgethegaps and improve cost efficiencies:

EHR Data Migration

Don’t fall into the trap of manual data entry that may be suggested by your EHR vendor. The constant toggling back and forth between disparate systems only creates unnecessary chaos for clinicians and staff, not to mention the ongoing support fees of maintaining two systems. Bring over all of the data you need, and have it available in the new EHR, from day one. We’ve worked with every EHR system. Through our unique approach to migration we can bring over data that others simply can’t, such as appointments, patient histories, surgical preference cards, and more. Our Active Data Quality (ADQ) process ensures only clean data with no duplication is migrated to the new system, reducing the need for manual checks. The result is one complete and accurate patient record, eliminating the overwhelming cost and chaos of manual data entry.

COVID-19 Reporting

COVID-19 reporting requirements seem to change daily. Required data elements stem from a provision in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and must be submitted in accordance with the definitions and formats specified by the federal government. Every lab that performs or analyzes a test to detect COVID-19, or diagnoses a possible case of COVID-19, must report the results to state or local public health departments. Testing sites must report data for all diagnostic and screening testing completed, which includes molecular, antigen, and antibody testing, for each individual tested. New HHS regulations aim to increase the reporting of important data elements, (e.g., patient age and residence zip code) to inform COVID-19 control and mitigation efforts. Whether reporting to HHS, CDC, HIEs, public health agencies, or patients, Boston WorkStation can be implemented quickly and easily, in most cases in less than 10 days! Automating lab result reporting will free up your most valuable resource: people.

Revenue Cycle Efficiency

Automation has the power to streamline and improve revenue cycle performance and lower operational costs by taking unnecessary manual entry tasks out of the mix. This allows staff to focus on more meaningful work. We’re the leader in healthcare-specific automations. They’re implemented quickly (usually in < 30 days), scalable, affordable (no continuing subscription fees), and accurately process large volumes of data in hundreds of applications, every day. This type of automation is perfectly suited for:

  • Benefit & Eligibility Checks
  • Prior Authorization Management
  • Claims Denial Management
  • Medicare Claims Management
  • Vendor Contract Management
  • Performance Reporting

We can capture any interaction, tie it to the patient record, and make it immediately accessible across the entire health system. This allows you to realize a quick ROI, and lay a strong foundation for the use of automation in other areas of the organization. Workflow automation is not about creating robots to replace humans, it’s about empowering people so they can turn their focus to patients rather than paperwork.

Telehealth

According to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, more than 9 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Our client, Telescope Health, went from a high-touch, low-volume, concierge telemedicine service to seeing upwards of 7,000 patients within a 6-week period. Lab orders went from a mere 30 per day, skyrocketing upwards to 600 per day, slowing the registration and order entry process, and making their manual process impossible to sustain. The Telescope Health team was working 20 hours a day, in three shifts, registering and processing patients online and at mobile testing sites, which were set up in coordination with Baptist Health and the City of Jacksonville. With the addition of a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) workflow, they decreased the need for FTEs to one floating FTE, and improved their overall error rates:

“One of the challenges with our manual process has been integrating data from external systems back to our internal system. The original process resulted in a high error rate that caused additional manual work for our integration team. After our implementation with Boston Software Systems, 85% of our data entry process is being done by automation and our overall error rate for integration has dropped by 70%.”
– Billy Burns, Senior Solutions and Strategy Officer at Telescope Health

Healthcare Organizations around the world are turning to Boston Software Systems, to become more agile in the face of increased demand and changing environments. Scaling up Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can prevent the need to scale down employees. It causes no disruption to the overarching infrastructure, systems, or workflow, and can be implemented fast (most in < 30 days), providing a quick ROI. So, during this time of reduced staffing, work-from-home, and second wave preparation, work smarter, not harder.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems has been ensuring RPA projects remain on track since 1985. Give us a call. Bridge the gaps with a proven business model that maximizes effectiveness and reduces manual, tedious tasks across the healthcare ecosystem.

For more information on how we can help your organization navigate the healthcare automation landscape, contact us at: 866-653-5105 or visit us at www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com.

Key Points to Consider Before Implementing RPA in Healthcare

Healthcare has been challenging the last six months. We’ve taken on the need for a new model of care delivery to reach a broader patient population with less risk of exposure. According to a report by McKinsey, telehealth providers have rapidly scaled offerings and are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did pre-COVID-19. Telehealth has surged since the start of the pandemic resulting in many healthcare organizations struggling to keep up. The need to connect information silos with the EHR, labs, portals, and financials can be a daunting task hindering the adoption curve.

Repetitive healthcare tasks that create unnecessary bottlenecks between people and process(es) seem to be prime candidates for Robotic Process Automation (RPA). According to Gartner, the RPA market will reach $1 billion in 2020. But, to know which tasks will have the fastest ROI, you need to plan accordingly. Here are a few key points to consider before undertaking an RPA journey:

Prioritize Your Projects

More CIOs are turning to RPA to streamline enterprise operations and reduce costs. When beginning an RPA journey, don’t start with your most complicated process. Instead, aim for smaller projects that provide compelling proof points. Projects that lie beyond the boundaries of other automation approaches are great for showcasing the value of RPA. As you prioritize, consider what’s going to have the biggest impact on your business. Will it improve efficiency? Maybe it will reduce the need for additional workers or overtime? Speed revenue, or increase capacity? Look at one area and prioritize a single project. Once the ROI is realized, you will want to expand to additional departments.

Identify the Low Hanging Fruit

When looking for areas to begin with an RPA solution, look for high-volume, repetitive tasks that involve a lot of manual keying, have high error rates, or slow down people and critical processes. Many of these can be found in tasks revolving around revenue cycle claims. Claim denials is one example. Claims are most often denied for the following reasons:

  • Missing information—this can be prior authorizations, required medical record numbers, a digit that was left off or transposed, etc.
  • Duplicate claim submission, which requires time-consuming efforts to resolve
  • The time limit for claim submission already passed, requiring proof of original submission to appeal the denial
  • Errors in the original claim

Most of the time when claims are denied, it is the result of errors or oversights with manual data entry. RPA positively impacts the rate of denied claims as well as the rate of successfully appealed denials. By examining the claim denial process, and looking for errors or missing information, “bots” can easily correct the issues and re-send without the need for manual oversight. This is a win/win for people, process, and revenue.

Quantify the Value

Adoption of RPA solutions in healthcare is starting to heat up, many are looking for projects that can provide quick wins, especially during these uncertain times. Taking a little time to plan on the front-end provides realistic expectations and keeps projects on track. RPA provides value to many associated tasks and people across the healthcare ecosystem. It’s important to quantify the benefits before beginning the journey. This way, realistic expectations are set from the onset. Look at your current error rates for example. Then look at the time and cost associated with the duplicative processes surrounding them. The value of health IT is demonstrated in many ways; some may be unique to each organization, while others may be highly scalable. This will provide you with an idea of the true value. It’s likely that you will realize additional value once the automations are in use. Look for a solid, stable platform, strong project management skills, and a product that works as promoted, with a clear focus on ROI:

  • Reduce or repurpose FTEs
  • Improve workflow efficiency
  • Improve accuracy
  • Reduce keystroke errors
  • Reduce manual processes

Empower the Change Makers

Odds are, that you had some early adopters who were quite confident of the project and the process of implementing an RPA solution. These champions are the ones who will carry the torch forward throughout the organization. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, “Organizations that have succeeded in scaling RPA tend to have engaged people.” Give them everything they need to succeed. An easy-to-use, intuitive UI is an important aspect of adoption and sustainability. Being able to create automations in hours versus days goes a long way toward future adoption efforts. At Boston Software Systems, we treat our clients as valued partners, and our commitment to their continued success remains paramount throughout each project. To integrate RPA into a broader IT strategy, it’s important to consider it as part of an ongoing change affecting people. Empowering your change makers on process selection, design, and key messaging may not seem like much, but it ensures workflow continuity, supports revenue targets, and prevents potential risks down the road.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems has been ensuring RPA projects remain on track since 1985. For more information on how we can help your organization navigate the healthcare automation landscape, contact us at: 866-653-5105 or visit us at www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com.

RPA Improves the Healthcare Experience, Providing a Quick ROI

Healthcare has been challenging the last six months. We’ve taken on the need for a new model of care delivery to reach a broader patient population with less risk of exposure. According to a report by McKinsey, telehealth providers have rapidly scaled offerings and are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did pre-COVID-19. Telehealth has surged since the start of the pandemic resulting in many healthcare organizations struggling to keep up. The need to connect information silos with the EHR, labs, portals, and financials can be a daunting task hindering the adoption curve.

It’s time to reassess our digital health initiatives. RPA tools help #bridgethegaps between disparate data silos and offerings across multiple vendors and platforms. Those willing to embrace this technology experience a range of benefits, among them increased process efficiencies, cost savings, and an improved patient experience, all of which lead to better outcomes. Here are a few of the areas where our customers have achieved success, fast ROI, and scalability through the use of RPA.

Telehealth

Quality of care is dependent on the entire chain of data collection and processing, and with a capacity of over 400 million ambulatory visits each year, telehealth providers need a way to keep up with increased demands. One telehealth client required 5 FTEs, working on three shifts, to manually enter each patient in their lab order entry system. The tedious manual process was quickly automated, resulting in the need for only 1 floating FTE. Every order was entered accurately and the communication loop was closed. This automation was quickly scaled to over 200 providers, across mobile testing sites throughout Northeast Florida. By automating the lab’s reporting capabilities, they were able to apply more time toward patient care. With the help of RPA software, healthcare organizations can optimize patient data and reporting effortlessly. In communicating with other digital systems, RPA software can offer clinical staff valuable insights with far less “juggling,” helping them make accurate diagnoses. Telehealth is paving the way forward in 2020, and with the addition of RPA, lab orders are processed quickly, and reporting needs complete, regardless of demand and without the need for overtime and additional FTEs.

“Boston WorkStation was instrumental in helping Telescope Health quickly scale our COVID-19 testing operations for the City of Jacksonville. At the height of our initiative, we were screening over 300 people per day. This required a massive amount of manpower to organize the encounters, generate scheduled reports, place orders in two separate lab portals, and schedule their drive-through testing appointments. Boston WorkStation reduced this to a single employee in an oversight role.” – Dr. Mathew Thompson, COO Telescope Health

Registration

Patient kiosks are great for check-ins, yet many times data entered in the kiosk still requires staff to manually input or organize it in the EHR, requiring tedious tasks and bottlenecks in efficiency and accessibility. When RPA is applied to the process, data and documents are validated, then securely transferred from the kiosk to specified fields in the EHR. Hundreds of hours of manual data entry are avoided, increasing face time with patients and giving staff and providers back their time. UMass’ first RPA project was to streamline the lab registration process. Their central laboratory had a significant workload; in addition to providing for their own patients, their laboratory also supported healthcare provider organizations in a 3-state region. On a daily basis, the lab processed about 5,000 specimens and on an annual basis conducted over 8.5 million tests. Their goals were straightforward:

  • Automate lab data processes for greater accuracy, and care responsiveness
  • Reduce data burden on laboratory, pathology, medical, and administrative staff
  • Improve user satisfaction and organizational productivity
  • Lower expenses and clinical / technical complexity

Previously, the process required staff to pass through several healthcare information systems’ (HIS) modules to complete a single lab registration. Boston WorkStation enters codes into the laboratory module and automatically populates the abstracting module. This saved 35 seconds per registration. That didn’t seem like much until they calculated it over an average of 5,500 registrations per week and found the automated workflow saved nearly 60 hours, translating to 1.5 FTEs each week. A second RPA project created multiple interfaces between the main HIS systems and the clinical platforms. Results were automatically processed, verified, stored, and shared across systems. By automating numerous tasks and functions into a seamless process of aligning patient registration, orders, results, verification, and sharing, accuracy was ensured and process times reduced. This solution freed staff from the need to manually intersect data between systems, reducing paperwork and increasing organizational efficiency.

“Boston WorkStation has been an amazing tool for us. We have saved thousands of work hours, interfaced instruments and systems Meditech couldn’t, improved quality by reducing/eliminating errors, as well as saved our department thousands of dollars to date.” – Scott McAdams, UMass Medical Center

Paving the Way to a Digital First Future

If we are going to remain in a “digital first” future, we must prioritize the way data is collected, managed, and shared. In healthcare, data affects every facet of care and we must ensure that it is secure, accessible across silos, and easily shared throughout the healthcare ecosystem. RPA is a fast, scalable, secure solution that can cut through the complexity of inputting, organizing, and sending data, enabling providers to concentrate on patient care, not paperwork. After all of the hardships and challenges associated with COVID-19, systems and people can use an easy win. RPA can help hospitals remain flexible, competitive, and profitable to ride out this pandemic and whatever else the future may hold.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems has been ensuring RPA projects remain on track since 1985. For more information on how we can help your organization with revenue cycle management efficiencies, contact us at: 866-653-5105 or visit us at www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com.

Is RPA the Missing Piece in Healthcare?

We hosted the #HITsm chat today, exploring the topic of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in healthcare. In examples ranging from EHR data migration to revenue cycle management tasks, telehealth, and more. RPA is helping hospitals, health systems, and technology partners keep up with increased demand, ever-changing regulations, and the challenge of uncertainty in today’s healthcare landscape.

RPA challenges the status quo of work and evaluates the most effective digital/human combination for the job. RPA was a driver of change in organizations long before COVID-19, but is seeing a resurgence in boardroom discussions because of its place in a post-pandemic recovery process.

What we all agreed on is the fact that healthcare is a people business. At its core, healthcare does and will continue to require people, at every stage of the process, to get the design right, align to the needs of others, and to sustain changes over time. There is no doubt that we need the human element from beginning to end.

Yet the pandemic brought to mind areas of disconnect currently in healthcare. Gaps that when closed, improve connectivity, workflow, and usability. And we’ve had great success with aligning our solution to these needs. As our CIO stated, “I can’t count how many customers who were genuinely grateful for what we do – it’s personal, and improves their daily work lives, which is an unsung benefit of RPA, and exhibit eight hundred and fifty four as to why I love it.” That level of passion and personal involvement highlights our commitment to customer success. People are and will always be the power behind Boston Software Systems.

We had a great time chatting about RPA in healthcare today. We’re happy to continue the discussion at any time, just schedule a call. In minutes, we will show you what can be implemented in days, improving efficiency, eliminating bottlenecks, and reducing cost.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Give us 30 minutes to explore your most time-consuming workflows and learn how we can provide a great return on investment (ROI) with automation. With over 95% of our projects completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner.

We can get the process started quickly so you can get back to caring for patients: 866-653-5105. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft.

Will We Sustain the Gains in Digital Health?

We are in a better position for dealing with COVID-19 now than we were in March. We’ve seen telemedicine evolve to its rightful place in healthcare and reimbursement parity is being considered nationally. We found out that we could work from home, even in areas and departments that never considered doing this pre-pandemic. And we realized the benefit of using machines to complete tedious tasks that weighed down people and process. But will we sustain the gains in digital health?

The Tsunami of Telehealth

Sometimes it takes a crisis to shift our thinking, and in this case, the shift was long overdue. We accepted telehealth as a viable, effective method of patient care during COVID-19. The Massachusetts’ medical board issued its first-ever telehealth policy, establishing a regulatory framework for telehealth and reimbursement parity. Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan signed into law a package of bills providing more Medicaid coverage for telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and asynchronous texting platforms. And a bill was introduced this week to eliminate most restrictions on the use of telehealth in Medicare. It can take time to establish the necessary technology infrastructure, recruit providers for virtual visits, educate patients, and negotiate coverage, so there are still a few kinks in the chain, but for the most part telehealth makes a valuable contribution to coronavirus screening, testing, and treatment efforts. Clients have enlisted our help to navigate connectivity barriers like portals, lab order entry, and reporting to the EHR, making the process more fluid and relieving some of the challenges. As the possibility of another “shutter in place” may limit in-office care options, telehealth is “virtually perfect” in today’s healthcare landscape. As we move forward, the hope is that we will continue to realize the benefit of a technology that’s been available, yet underused, for the last 20 years.

Injecting RPA Into Daily Tasks and Processes

We’ve seen the benefit of injecting RPA capabilities into daily reporting needs, speeding up the process and ensuring 100% accuracy. Recent changes to lab result reporting were enacted by HHS, because labs “were not reporting data fast enough.” So, hospitals and health systems turned to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to speed up the process of reporting data to multiple agencies. This was done without placing additional burden on the already overwhelmed health system staff. Automation pushed the same reports to state and local authorities, and became a perfect digital ally. Is it time for machines to take over routine and repetitive tasks without investing in yet another big software project? We’ve seen the benefit of offloading “point and click,” or “copy and paste” tasks to machines, in thousands of applications running at hundreds of hospitals and health systems every day. This is another digital health diamond that’s been around for over 25 years, but has grown and evolved into a necessary component of everyday efficiency due to the pandemic. Will it continue to grow? A study conducted by Forrester finds that nearly 50% of businesses will increase automation adoption due to COVID-19.

Accelerating the Need to Do More With Less

One of the challenges we’ve overcome during the past 5-months is the ability to do more with less. Reduced staffing, leaner revenue cycle departments, and increased risks have pushed us to consider the role that machines can play in process fulfillment. “Eighty-one percent of CFOs and senior leaders said there was an absolute and immediate need for digital transformations for the long-term survival of their organizations,” according to Healthcare Finance. Automation cuts through the complexity of process tasks and eliminates the redundancies associated with manual data entry, empowering human workers, not replacing them. This has been especially helpful for revenue cycle management tasks, supply chain and materials management, and portal and kiosk connectivity. The pandemic brought to light a sense of urgency to quickly adapt to changing conditions. The projects below have proven to be the most impactful. What we are seeing as a trend at Boston Software Systems are clients who had previously implemented an RPA strategy are now looking for additional departmental wins, having realized a fast ROI in one or more of these areas:

  • Revenue cycle transactions, tasks, updates, and reporting
  • Patient registrations, kiosk, and portal data
  • Centralized data from multiple areas/units/facilities impacted by COVID-19
  • HR and employee health functions, on-boarding, and healthcare hiring
  • Materials management and procurement in supply chain and medical supplies

As the world continues the fight with COVID-19, it is tempting to imagine a post-COVID future that includes these silver linings. Our continued hope is that adoption of digital health technologies will continue and improve to the lasting benefit of the global healthcare system, enabling people to focus on patients, not processes.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Give us 30 minutes to explore your most time-consuming workflows and learn how we can provide a great return on investment (ROI) with automation. With over 95% of our projects completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner.

We can get the process started quickly so you can get back to caring for patients: 866-653-5105. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft.

Improve the Health of Your Revenue Cycle – With Workflow Automation

Hospitals and health systems depend on the lifeblood of the revenue cycle to stay afloat. Both success and failure depend upon how well health system administrators manage billing, coding, prior authorizations, payment processing, claims, denial management, and collections. Optimizing the revenue cycle can be a challenge in the best of times. The financial and operational impact of COVID-19 is affecting every hospital and health system, and financial leaders are now, more than ever, considering ways to mitigate losses and evolve from this pandemic with new strategies.

Denial Management Costs Hospitals Roughly $262 Billion a Year

Claim denials represent an operational speed bump for hospitals and health systems. To minimize delays, hospitals and provider organizations can improve the process and #bridgethegaps that exist between system vendors, billing systems, and other data silos, areas that should work easily (but don’t), giving human workers back their time, and providing relief for some of the mind-numbing tasks in the revenue cycle. This shift allows staff to focus on higher priority items that require communication or a personal touch, improving productivity and satisfaction.

Before submission, automation can handle the tedious tasks of claims management that should just work (but don’t) such as:

  • Eligibility verification
  • Prior authorizations
  • Analyzing or identifying missing information
  • Accessing other applications or 3rd-party sites for information

After submission, automation can handle additional tasks such as:

  • Denial routing, resolution, and re-submission
  • Collections management
  • Payment processing
  • Crossover claims
  • Contractual allowables and analysis
  • Write-offs and adjustments

90% of Denied Claims are Preventable

Automation sifts through volumes of claims, managing, optimizing, and correcting the issues that need attention, without the need for human interaction. This makes it a pivotal resource in today’s challenging times. It supports the challenges faced by shorter staffing and increased responsibilities, improving cash flow, reducing days in A/R, and powers higher clean claims rates.

65% of Denials are Never Corrected and Resubmitted for Reimbursement

Many times you hear revenue cycle managers say, “don’t worry about that” when it comes to the claims resubmission process. Paying people to spend inordinate amounts of time re-working claims for an extra few dollars may not seem like the best use of time or people. But, that $4.00 adjustment on thousands of claims can translate to millions of dollars in lost revenue. And when it’s corrected as part of an automation, human workers aren’t burdened by the extra time analyzing, clicking, typing, and re-submitting.

Bogged Down by a Manual Process

Checking eligibility can mean applying more than 250 complex business rules to data found in 30+ fields about co-pays, co-insurance, deductible amounts, etc. Automating the process saves over 80% of the processing time, sifting through volumes of data and applying rules-based processes to claims so that humans can spend time working on higher-priority tasks. Automation relieves the burden of accuracy and increases efficiency in revenue cycle management. A return on investment can be anywhere from from 30% to 300% in the first year. Here’s what just some of our clients achieved:

  • Saved 180 hours per month and $20 million automating failed claims re-submissions
  • Recovered $2 million per year automating Emergency Department billing
  • Saved 10 hours per day and $1.2 million per year by automating crossover claims processing
  • Saved 15 FTEs and $450,000 per year by automating claims submissions

Automation is a pivotal resource in today’s healthcare landscape to relieve cost and resource burdens. The best revenue cycle tasks to automate are high-volume, tedious, and repetitive. In the revenue cycle, these tasks are both time-consuming and copy-paste-click intensive. By automating revenue cycle tasks, a hospital can accomplish more work with fewer resources and maximize collections to get paid faster.

See what our customers are saying:

“CAMC was able to eliminate a very time consuming and costly process of manually entering data from and to disparate sources. Our workflow automation processes do exactly what we need them to do and with the added bonus of proper error checking.” David Dickens, CAMC

“A process that could take six people up to eight hours of data entry. The Boston WorkStation completes that daily task in around 90 minutes, saving up to 48 hours of staff time and performs it error free.” Mitch Lawrence, Christus Health

Why Boston Software Systems?
Give us 30 minutes to explore your most time-consuming workflows and learn how we can provide a great return on investment (ROI) with automation. With over 95% of our projects completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner.

We can get the process started quickly so you can get back to caring for patients: 866-653-5105. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft.

Automate Reporting, Reduce Chaos

The White House confirmed Wednesday that it has ordered hospitals to send data on COVID-19 patients straight to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under the current system, about 25,000 medical centers report their information each day to the CDC. The changes mean that individual hospitals will instead report information to either their state (pending a written release from HHS), or to a data management firm, TeleTracking, to coordinate the federal reporting. According to reports, these changes were ordered because many hospitals were failing to report their data “fast enough.”

Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Hospital Association, was quoted as saying, “it has been an administrative hassle and confusing to constantly be shifting gears on reporting while hospitals are on the front lines during a pandemic.”

The Fast-Moving Nature of the COVID-19 Crisis Underlines the Need for Timely Data

How is this accomplished without placing additional burden on an already overwhelmed health system? Our clients are using automation to push the reports to federal, state, and local authorities, ensuring accuracy, timeliness, and preventing administrative data fatigue.

Our result reporting automations can be implemented immediately, freeing up your most valuable resource, people.

As meaningful, actionable insights reach the hands of physicians, public health departments, facilities, and locations of care, we can fast-track tracing and treatment options, by removing the burden of manual reporting. This accelerates greater efficiencies in the hospital and health system and in turn, better outcomes for patients.

Automation is a Defensive Ally to Hospitals and Healthcare Providers

Using automation has allowed our customers and technology partners to quickly adapt to changing conditions and ease financial stressors. The projects below have proven to be the most impactful, allowing organizations to address losses, reduce inefficiencies, and improve productivity during this uncertain time:

  • Accelerate COVID-19 testing by automating lab and remote site processes
  • Automate required reporting of test results, bed, and case counts as required by CDC/HHS and state agencies
  • Process revenue cycle transactions, tasks, updates, and reporting
  • Automate patient registrations, patient kiosk, and COVID-19 questionnaire data
  • Monitor and manage productivity gaps for a widely distributed, remote staff
  • Centralize data from multiple areas/units/facilities impacted by COVID-19

When tackling healthcare’s biggest challenges, you need more than just connectivity from one access point to another. You need industry-leading automation solutions coupled with the expertise to apply them to your unique workflows. Automation can assess organizational risk levels by compiling detailed reports with the latest information tailored to the needs of each location, each physician, and each organization. Automation can ease the burden of reduced staffing by automating reporting tasks, aligning to workflows, and speeding efficiencies to downstream revenue targets.

Why Boston Software Systems?
In most cases, our automation solutions are deployed in less than 30 days, with some in less than 10 days, offering an immediate ROI. We have 30 years of experience working across a wide-range of healthcare vendors and applications.

Contact us. We won’t take up much of your time. We can get the process started quickly so you can get back to caring for patients: 866-653-5105. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft.