Why We Began a Daily “Crisis Series” on Social Channels

Recently, we began a “daily crisis” series of posts on our social channels to help people navigate this “new normal.” An integral part of our daily conversations revolve around social distancing, working remotely, sheltering in place, and staying home. The subject matter we are confronting makes it even more critical that organizational leadership address one of the most enduring features of this pandemic, the need to deal with the mental health of their employees, families, customers, and partners. This has been a game-changer in our lives and the lives of those important to us. We are all trying to create a pathway through this storm and build a foundation for growth as we move beyond the pandemic. We thought it important to reach beyond how we can help hospitals and health systems ease the daily burden of higher throughput and reduced resources.

We felt the need to help people in our communities with coping skills, life hacks, and shared resources that might be the light needed to get through the day.

We made it colorful, with splashes of blue and orange, to lighten the mood. We gave it a lot of white space, to be inviting and minimalist, and we designed the templates with the idea that we all need the help of others right now.

Whether it’s through making a job easier, because there is less time/people/resources, or making a day easier because someone provided a helpful tip, it’s one way everyone can help each other get through the most challenging times.

I want to challenge the community and other teams, instead of focusing just on the bad stuff, let’s do something to make each other smile every day.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems is the high performance standard in healthcare automation. We exclusively focus on the hospital, health system, and healthcare provider organization industry sectors. No other RPA company possesses our 30 years of expertise, or level of experience in clinical, administrative, financial, and revenue cycle health.

If we can help in expediting orders or routing results, gathering data from disparate sources or putting together actionable reports during this pandemic, please give us a call. Our mission is to simplify tasks, so you don’t have to work harder in an already difficult situation.

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.

Boston WorkStation Automates COVID-19 Lab Result Reporting Required by HHS

Today we are facing a global crisis. It’s time to leverage the power of technology resources. Boston WorkStation’s lab reporting automation platform was built for this.

A letter was sent to all hospitals Sunday requesting that they report their COVID-19 testing data to HHS on a daily basis. This applies to hospitals with in-house labs. Test results are due to HHS everyday by 5:00 PM EST.

In addition, hospitals are asked to report daily bed counts with the government. As part of the CDC’s ongoing COVID-19 response, Boston WorkStation can automate the daily reporting of cases and bed counts in facilities, alleviating the manual administrative burden, and allowing people to focus on caring for patients.

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

The Boston WorkStation automation platform has 4,000 unique system connections that align with all EHRs, lab systems, and applications. Our 30 years of experience allows for an agile process that can be easily implemented, sending comprehensive reports hourly or daily to HHS, with 100% accuracy, securely, and without the need of extra staffing. Vice President Pence stated, “We understand you may be reporting to your state, but the data is needed at the federal level to support FEMA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their efforts to support states and localities in addressing and responding to the virus.”

COVID-19 test results reporting:

  1. CDC is requesting that all hospitals report data on COVID-19 testing performed in your Academic/University/Hospital “in-house” lab
  2. Reporting is due every day at 5:00 PM EST

We are here to support healthcare workers, teams, and facilities during this pandemic. Through use of automation, labs and staff are able to automate portions of handheld and batch processing, speeding send-outs and results even as demand drastically increases.

Automate required reporting to HHS, state, and public health facilities. Boston WorkStation can help.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems is the high performance standard in healthcare automation. We exclusively focus on the hospital, health system, and healthcare provider organization industry sectors. No other RPA company possesses our 30 years of expertise, or level of experience in clinical, administrative, financial, and revenue cycle health.

Having worked exclusively with healthcare organizations, we stand in solidarity with the healthcare workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. If we can help in expediting orders or routing results, gathering data from disparate sources or putting together actionable reports, please give us a call. Our mission is to simplify tasks, so you don’t have to work harder in an already difficult situation.

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.

How Technology and Data Science Are Used to Fight a Pandemic

In a global pandemic such as COVID-19, technology, artificial intelligence, and data science have become critical allies in helping societies deal effectively with ramifications of an outbreak. There are smart devices that help diagnose fevers in communities, antimicrobial textiles that help destroy bacteria on hospital gowns and scrubs, drones and chatbots to help with delivery and anxiety from the disease, and AI – powered technologies that help with the diagnostic process. This entrepreneur made a DIY ventilator. Blockchain has helped streamline medical supply chains, preventing contaminated items from reaching stores. The impact of a pandemic severely affects clinical and physician areas of healthcare. But the impact doesn’t stop there as it also impacts the business side of healthcare with a surge of patients, new regulations and billing requirements, closed offices, rescheduled appointments, changing staff schedules and callouts, inundated facilities of care, and so much more.

As cases of COVID-19 increase, it is great to see the increased utilization of online and telehealth services. This has been an eye-opener for how we can quickly and effectively deliver care through alternate methods, and one (we hope) that remains in effect after the virus subsides. In addition, mental health has received a boost from companies like Headspace and Calm. Anxiety levels are through the roof, so it’s good to know there are apps that can help with sleep, meditation, and mental stress. The World Health Organization recommends, “gather information at regular intervals, from the WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors. Facts can help to minimize fears.” It’s important to balance the news with activities that promote well-being like meditation, exercise, and music.

Other technologies are working behind the scenes to help hospitals, health systems, and patients deal with the ramifications of this pandemic. The focus is on consistent, automated, and standardized data collection, because data sharing and upholding privacy concerns is a paramount concern in combating this pandemic. Technologies like tokenization work to create a partnership between patients and their providers, which can lead to better outcomes. By placing patients in control of their complete medical data, instead of having it scattered through multiple health systems and electronic medical record databases, providers can quickly and reliably learn valuable information about the patient from a central source.

Examples of customers using automation to respond to drastic shifts in demand include lab testing. Through use of automation, labs and staff are able to automate portions of handheld and batch processing, speeding send-outs and results even as demand spikes. Automation is also used to access and evaluate patient data to see if a patient is in the EHR, record the lab results, and send them to the local lab or CDC. While it takes a human 4-5 minutes to complete for each patient, automation can execute this in seconds.

Digital health has flexed its muscles during this time of uncertainty. Our digital health solutions were built for this.

Automation can also handle rapidly changing clinical, laboratory, and billing regulations and responses much faster than EMR vendors, which may not be able to push updates until their next release. In HR, the processing of forms, sick leave, and PTO can be a time-consuming process made easier and 90% more efficient with automation. Response center and clinical dashboards, productivity reporting, gathering and updating critical information in multiple disparate sources are all great uses of automation during this crisis. And scalability is simple. Automation and RPA solutions can be up and running within 2-4 weeks, sometimes as little as 72 hours, providing a digital workforce that is not exposed to illness, alleviating hours of manual or human interaction, and allowing staff to focus on what matters most: taking care of sick patients.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems is the high performance standard in healthcare RPA. We exclusively focus on the hospital, health system, and healthcare provider organization industry sectors. No other RPA company possesses our 30 years of expertise, or level of experience in clinical, administrative, financial, and revenue cycle health.

Having worked exclusively with healthcare organizations, we stand in solidarity with the healthcare workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. If we can help in expediting orders or routing results, gathering data from disparate sources or putting together actionable reports, please give us a call. Our mission is to simplify tasks, so you don’t have to work harder in an already difficult situation.

Call us at 866-653-5105, or let’s hop on a quick call as we’re happy to answer any questions you may have regarding healthcare automation solutions. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft.

Transforming the Health System with Automation – Where to Start in 2020

Healthcare is always in need of help. We thought EHR was going to be a panacea for record keeping, and in many ways it was an excellent concept, yet one fraught with workflow inefficiencies and alerts that made no sense to clinical users. Next came HIE, also a great concept. Having access to relevant, up-to-date information from a variety of sources at the point-of-care is a game-changer, yet the reality of SSO and interoperability have made it difficult in real life. It is great to share records across the country, have more consistent and detailed documentation, but with added complexity comes new and added challenges that are now in need of solutions to take these advancements to the next level. In comes AI, RPA, and healthcare automation. The ability to make the documentation process more efficient and speed reimbursements through the use of machines seems like the future of technology. But, where to begin in 2020?

Small Steps

Incremental progress is the best use of automation and AI in healthcare. We can’t automate everything, and robots cannot take over many of the human-like processes required for healthcare to operate on a daily basis. But, we can infuse it with an improved process that eliminates bottlenecks and increases productivity. Revenue cycle health is an excellent place to start. These technologies can sift through vast amounts of data and adjust or correct nuances in ways that can make tasks in claims management vastly more efficient and effective. A small revenue cycle project often kick-starts other ways to incorporate AI and automation in the healthcare ecosystem. Most revenue cycle projects are up and running within 30 days, and a fast ROI is achieved through greater efficiency, reduced days in A/R, and more “dollars in the door.”

Deloitte states: “RPA represents an opportunity to accelerate business strategy and maximize both growth and organizational performance through the automation of select processes and the redeployment or removal of excess capacity.”

Data Migrations

EHR data migrations are often a slow, expensive process for the health system. Data is not always migrated from the legacy system to the new system, resulting in hundreds of hours of manual data entry, organizing, and checking to be sure the information makes the transition. Automation makes data migrations easier to manage, simple and fast. Legacy systems are often used to “toggle between” for information, which means licensing agreements must be continued, making it difficult to sunset the old when implementing the new system. Automation helps #bridgethegaps, establishing a one-place-shop for improved operational efficiency and data management. In every data migration project, data was available sooner, there were fewer hiccups, and role-based users were able to improve system use. This is because automation works differently than an HL7 feed. It organizes the information, making sure there are no duplicates, and that the information being brought over is useful and meaningful to end-users. Appointments, schedules, registrations, immunizations, and physician preference cards – data that is not possible to bring over via traditional methods are available from day one of “Go Live,” increasing satisfaction and furthering adoption efforts.

Look Outside the Box

Sure, revenue cycle tasks are easy and make absolute sense to infuse with AI and automation. After you see the value, it might be interesting to look at additional areas like human resources and change management for a boost. HR functions and updates, or upgrades to systems and users can be more efficiently managed with automation. Adding automation to HR enhances the efficiency of the HR department by freeing employees from tedious manual tasks, and allowing them to focus on complex areas that require human interaction. Population health initiatives can also benefit from automation, as it can accurately perform sorting, processing, complex calculations, and organizing data from multiple systems. The process is efficient and effective across financial, administrative, and clinical areas. This provides a wider lens into issues that could require follow-up, like chronic care management, social determinants of health, or medication adherence. Information is gathered effortlessly, without the administrative data burden associated with manual searches and data entry.

Performance and Analytics

An automated productivity dashboard delivers drill-down capabilities for exploring the data behind performance metrics. This brings value to health systems, teams, or role-based users looking to run productivity reports, metrics, KPI’s, or any type of reporting. With a totally customizable view, a productivity dashboard can be implemented within days, without vendor involvement. In addition, automation can pull reports from multiple applications, departments, or systems, load the data to compare contractual adjustments, run calculations and comparisons, then format to meet your organizational needs, delivering to the system of choice. This style of reporting can be completed with or without a dashboard, providing a savings in time and productivity from the hours spent organizing data and generating reports. Analytics, updates, and any type of reporting can be improved using healthcare automation. Results can be delivered to Excel, SharePoint, spreadsheets, individuals, or ancillary software solutions.

Patient Portal Integration

Patient portal updates are often done manually, with the integration from portal or kiosk to EHR, a bulky one. Maybe handhelds are used, or other applications are needed to speed information from the patient to the portal or kiosk. Automation aggregates data inputs from multiple sources, contextualizes information checking against all sources, and can even run analytics before delivering it to the physician in an actionable format needed for patient care. Whether patient kiosk, portal, or telehealth solution, automation allows efficient data transfer to another system, in the format, feature, and functionality needed for care delivery. Notes and additional information can be included, speeding the time from messaging to contact. Optimizing the user experience allows for faster adoption of portal and telehealth technology. Providers have a vehicle to connect with patients, and patients can participate in their care by powering navigation from the portal, kiosk, and telehealth solution to the EHR.

There are numerous ways to increase productivity, eliminate manual data entry, and improve operational processes with the addition of automation, AI, and machine learning solutions. Having an ally like Boston WorkStation, a digital workforce, allows a myriad of possibilities to optimize or eliminate repetitive tasking, reduce administrative data fatigue, and increase time for high-touch processes that require a “human” component.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems is the high performance standard in healthcare RPA. We exclusively focus on the hospital, health system, and healthcare provider organization industry sectors. No other RPA company possesses our 30 years of expertise, or level of experience in clinical, administrative, financial, and revenue cycle health.

Call us at 866-653-5105, or let’s hop on a 30-minute call. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft. We’re happy to help you present revenue cycle optimization to your C-Suite. It’s a valuable resource to decrease days in A/R and increase bottom line revenue.

Zeroing In On Claim Denials with RPA

Hospital leaders understand that it’s difficult to get claims out the door in the revenue cycle, but especially difficult to prevent claim denials. The complexity of revenue cycle management makes it hard for providers and healthcare organizations to identify the root causes beforehand. It’s a time consuming, administrative burden that is made easier with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Sometimes referred to as Artificial Intelligence (AI), RPA is a trained digital employee, working 24/7 to identify gaps in claims management and correct mistakes before they are submitted. Gaining control over denials to reduce chronic revenue losses requires accurate information about where, when, and why the denials are occurring. This “digital employee” becomes a valuable resource to the claims management team, clocking in and working like an FTE, gaining more knowledge over time and making the process easier for the human workers.

Emergency Department Billing

Two-thirds of all inpatient admissions originate in the Emergency Department (ED), making it essential to capture the right information from insurance at the point-of-care. However, the hectic pace of the ED makes it easy to gather the wrong or missing information from the patient’s insurance. The patient may have been discharged or moved to inpatient (different billing). The nature of emergency care makes it difficult for patients and personnel to jump through insurance hoops that would otherwise be fairly straightforward. Some of the challenges with ED billing include contractual issues, like delays or underpayments for ED visits, labs, surgery, testing, or medication. Claims can be missing key identifiers for coding, not checked for crossovers between supplemental and primary insurance, or missing information from medical records. It’s easy to see how ED claims are denied. This makes the ED a great area for Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Bots can sort through mountains of claims, update statuses, check for missing information, access payor and third-party websites to check on crossover claims for Medicare and Medicaid, or verify eligibility and authorization codes. Boston WorkStation is a healthcare automation platform that eliminates the expense of manual data entry resources.

“Saved 10 hours a week and recovered $2 million per year,” the Manager of Business Information Services used Boston WorkStation to identify and load procedures done in the Emergency Room that were not being charged.

Eligibility Checking

Hospitals and other health systems just don’t have the bandwidth to solve claims management complexities. There are overly complicated systems, lack of interoperability, and simply a lack of resources. Boston WorkStation is a digital employee, working in real-time to validate, check, and correct claims. With a complete audit trail and the availability of daily reports, automation allows eligibility checking to work 4x faster and with 100% accuracy. Like a human employee, Boston WorkStation is able to estimate charges based on CPT codes, send information to multiple queues or facilities, look for crossover payment scenarios, and verify plan codes. This type of 24/7/365 workflow is even more important today, with administrative resources stretched, and revenue streams in jeopardy. Automating the workflow involved in processing claims and updating hundreds of providers could be difficult to track. But, Boston WorkStation’s logging capability enables managers to see the detailed steps of the workflow process, and review the information if a problem arises.

“Saved 10 hours a day and $1.2 million per year,” this particular automation takes patient Medicare billing information as provided by the patient and checks it against information that is in the Medicare screens to identify potential problems with Name, Gender, DOB, Secondary Insurance, etc. The automation also prints the differences to an exception report for manual intervention.

Sharing Data Across Systems

In the emergency, nursing, and lab departments, we developed two-part Boston WorkStation projects that share information between Meditech and McKesson systems. The first part creates a spreadsheet of accounts for the previous day’s discharges – then the discharge summary, nursing notes, and other information is pulled in by account from Meditech and into McKesson’s Horizon Performance Manager. The savings are significant. The CHRISTUS IM and nursing staff were previously required to manually input the information – a process that could take six people up to eight hours of data entry. This is the beauty of implementing an automation solution within healthcare, whether it’s build or buy, hospitals and health systems around the world use Boston WorkStation to accomplish error-free automation for every application and eliminate the expense of data entry resources. Boston WorkStation saves time, money, and improves data sharing across the healthcare ecosystem.

“I would say keep it simple. That’s one thing about Boston. It needs to be something that’s simple to use and simple to implement and simple to maintain, and that’s where Boston WorkStation has really shined for us.”

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems is the high performance standard in healthcare RPA. We exclusively focus on the hospital, health system, and healthcare provider organization industry sectors. No other RPA company possesses our 30 years of expertise, or level of experience in clinical, administrative, financial, and revenue cycle health.

Call us at 866-653-5105, or let’s hop on a 30-minute call. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft. We’re happy to help you present revenue cycle optimization to your C-Suite. It’s a valuable resource to decrease days in A/R and increase bottom line revenue.

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

Gaining Support from the C-Suite for Revenue Cycle Optimization

Gaining support from the C-Suite is the first step in optimizing revenue cycle management systems, services, and resources. Revenue cycle leadership should prepare to align the strategic needs of the organization with revenue cycle goals and proposed changes. Gaining buy-in from the C-Suite requires information that illustrates why change is needed, and where gaps can be closed. Align the initial cost with the projected savings on a month-to-month basis and focus on presenting the benefit as well as a timeline for success.

Don’t think of it as a one-time investment, think of it as a solution to workflow.

Demonstrate what you’re doing today versus what you could do. This includes gains in efficiency, productivity, faster reimbursements, and greater alignment to workflow. Think of how the entire organization will be better equipped to deliver value, improve processes, and realize a fast ROI. Revenue cycle management is a complicated process, one that delays workflows. The claims denial process is a great illustration. More than 80% of the processes involved in claim denials are manual, paper-based steps that require human operations. Therefore, utilizing proven operational changes can lead to reductions in manual processes. Reducing redundant processes and associated technology costs that accompany the claims denial process can yield hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings for an organization. This makes it a winning investment for healthcare.

Align change management needs to people.

Simplify the graphs, cut the jargon. Executives have many decisions, problems, and projects in their pipeline. They don’t have time to decipher the meaning of a slide deck. Present data that shows why the status quo isn’t working for the people who use it. What’s the story behind the data points? One of the chief complaints we often hear is the “busywork” or “duplicate documentation” needed by staff, to complete everyday tasks. By illustrating the benefit to people, you’re better able to paint an accurate picture of the return on investment.

Recognizing that there must be a clearly defined and communicated strategy behind any change management effort, it may be necessary to dive into claim-level detail to uncover the process people go through on a daily basis, and how operational success can be improved with the addition of an automation strategy. Accurate documentation on a healthcare claim means dollars in the door, reduced denials, automatic corrections, and improvements to bottom line revenue targets.

Lead with insights, present the solution around bottom line results.

Facts matter. And nothing matters more to C-Suite executives than the hard data. Don’t waste time presenting generalities that have no relation to the subject at hand. Whether it is RPA, machine learning, AI, or automation solutions, C-level officers are taking it very seriously from the point of view of business impact. The biggest gain for a business is that it cuts down on manual entry and data complexity, and provides an easily understood ROI on productivity and revenue. Automation is a cost-cutting and efficiency-improving strategy. Implemented quickly, and with little disruption to the larger healthcare ecosystem, an RPA or AI solution offers an easy implementation timeframe, and a fast ROI.

According to HFMA, “One out of four executives in health systems and large hospitals suggest they are using advanced health IT, including RPA, to help increase economies of scale across revenue cycle operations.”

Present the solution as a strategic investment.

Embracing the goal of value is essential as healthcare organizations today are fighting an uphill battle to contain costs in a performance-based environment. The ability to identify tools that improve workflow, reduce duplication of time and effort, and improve revenue targets allows hospitals and health systems to operate more efficiently. Labor-intensive processes result in errors, create gaps in productivity, and delay reimbursements. When it comes to managing risk, hospitals and healthcare organizations face many challenges. Automating revenue cycle tasks with 100% accuracy allows the organization to re-allocate human resources to higher-touch areas.

When presenting value to the C-Suite, it’s important to look not only at features, but to dig deeper and look at the true return on value that the investment provides. Success stories like at ECHN, where “fifty percent of the operations we now use Boston WorkStation for were completed during the third shift. By adding Boston Workstation, we now only need two shifts.” Or in an Emergency Department where “being able to identify and load procedures done in the Emergency Room that were not being charged, saved one organization 10 hours per week and $2 million per year.” Another application “automated the upload of all ethnicity and racial reporting for the Massachusetts Casemix submission. They were able to “accurately update over 20,000 medical records, 6 months worth of manual data entry, in the course of a month, saving the organization $40,000.” There are many more success stories. Revenue cycle health is an important aspect of any health system, hospital, or provider organization. Point out the hard facts, look at the way the problem is solved, then #bridgethegaps to people, workflow, and revenue. It’s a winning strategy.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Though #HIMSS20 is cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, we’d love to speak with you about how to power your revenue cycle health with a fast ROI. Reach out to us, @bossoft. Call us at 866-653-5105, or let’s hop on a 30-minute call. We’re happy to help you present revenue cycle optimization to your C-Suite. It’s a valuable resource to decrease days in A/R and increase bottom line revenue.

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

Providing a Digital Workforce for Revenue Cycle Optimization

In today’s value-based healthcare environment, there are gaps that inhibit hospitals and health systems from efficiently managing the revenue cycle. Information often lives in disparate data silos like patient kiosks, the EHR, legacy practice management systems, payor websites, and clearinghouses that may not communicate well, or even at all. Better management of the claims process is necessary. Whether it’s claims denials, re-submissions, prior authorizations, eligibility, or Medicare billing, we’ve seen it and solved it, with decades of experience optimizing revenue cycle management.

By utilizing an automated process, a virtual digital SWAT team drives efficiency and boosts bottom line revenue. Automation merges data from competing system silos, ensures there are no duplicates, gaps, or missing information, and corrects issues like incomplete claims data before the claim ever hits the queue. If a data element is missing, we access the payor site, log in, capture, and correct the claim, then update the information in the billing system, all without the administrative data burden associated with claims management. This “closes the loop” in billing, and #bridgethegaps in interoperability.

Value-based reimbursements, unlike the traditional fee-for-service model, are driven by data. Providers must report to payers on specific metrics and demonstrate improvement. This is a challenge for the hospital and health system when data resides in multiple systems because it’s difficult to capture, collect, and compare. Complexities often arise, and these require hours or even days of staff time. Automation steps in and performs the heavy lifting, easily and efficiently, with no staff burden and 100% accuracy.

Studies confirm, up to 65% of claim denials are never re-submitted, because, according to the MGMA, “the average cost to rework a claim is $25.00.” Automated processes allow a claim denial strategy to be implemented seamlessly, correcting and resubmitting denied claims without an increase in people or process. The beauty about this process is the ease with which it works to effectively optimize trends, identify gaps, find missing charges, and correct information without the need for a human touch. Working 24/7/365, healthcare automation allows organizations to re-allocate “people” resources to higher priority tasks.

In a recent CFO survey conducted by Black Book, 92% of survey respondents believe the CFO of the future must do a better job leveraging technology and staff with IT skills for health providers to succeed financially. Automation is a great place to start, as it provides a measurable and fast ROI. It’s easy to implement, usually within 30 days, and the impact is tied directly to dollars in the door.

Work smarter, not harder. Minimize variations and take away the complexity out of claims management. Automation reduces decision-making and improves the workflow, speeds days in A/R, and increases revenue almost instantly. By automating revenue cycle management tasks you can significantly streamline and advance financial processes, allowing people to focus on what’s at the heart of their jobs – advancing patient care.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems’ experience has been ensuring automation projects remain on track since 1985. Working across a wide-range of vendors and applications, we are experts on streamlining workflows, reducing costs, and improving usability for hospitals, health systems, provider organizations, and technology partners. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, optimizing usability and role-based user satisfaction.

With over 95% of our healthcare automation projects being completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner: 866-653-5105

Attending #HIMSS20 or feeling a bit of #FOMO? You can be a change-maker and learn more about #RCM best practice guidelines by downloading our whitepaper. Or signing up for a 30-minute call to discover how you can optimize revenue cycle management, with the use of automation.

#ReThinkRCM #smartHIT #DigitalHealth

Looking for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Solutions at HIMSS20?

Leading up to #HIMSS20, the Health IT world is abuzz with the terms Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). In a recent HealthITNews article, Optum stressed, “AI is of paramount concern today.” We see the use of the term AI over 151 times in HIMSS20 sessions, bios, vendors, and solutions. It’s a catch phrase for everything from neural networks to image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing, process automation, machine learning, and human-assisted behaviors. It’s important to understand what is being promoted, because there’s a lot of hype in the use of this terminology and technology at HIMSS20.

Artificial Intelligence refers to something made or produced by humans, with the ability to understand or think. AI is not a system, but rather implemented in a system and is meant to simulate intelligent thought. Because we do not have the capability to simulate human intelligence at this point, many of the companies using the term “AI” are, in reality, leveraging machine learning techniques. Machine Learning is more about scanning volumes of data for more accurate predictions. Machine Learning allows a system to learn new things, Artificial Intelligence enables a system to make decisions based on this learning. AI is the broader concept, with ML as the engine that drives success.

In #HealthIT, we are looking for easier ways to connect, organize, and sort through data, to meet regulatory compliance, support data-driven decisions, reduce burnout, and improve patient outcomes. By combining Machine Learning capabilities with techniques like process automation, users can analyze data before acting on it, and make smarter decisions based on inputs and algorithms. Repetitive tasks like checking revenue cycle errors, claims submissions, prior authorizations, and billing disputes are easy “wins” for this type of Machine Learning. It can be applied via the same route as manual data entry, which makes it an ideal tool to apply at the front-end of the revenue cycle, for example. By “learning” the claims process, it can check claim status, fill in missing information, and offload administrative tasks so that the staff can handle what’s most important for human interaction.

The effort required to identify the best use cases and control risks for both Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning dramatically exceeds prevailing norms in most organizations. You’ll likely hear a lot of “yes, we can do that” at HIMSS20 vendor booths and sessions. However, implementing a Machine Learning solution in healthcare requires a multi-disciplinary approach, a thorough understanding of workflows, and a depth of knowledge about accuracy, security, and compliance. It’s important to partner with a company you can trust, one who understands the interdependencies of data, and the critical alignment to clinical workflow that is a necessary component of future success.

In the sea of HIMSS20, you will find Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning solutions described at one out of every four vendor booths. According to Health Evolution, “89 percent of providers and 88 percent of payers plan on investing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning solutions in the next three years.” This makes it a popular term to tag onto if possible. Sadly, the advertised use cases and terminology are as varied as the applications in which they are being used. Are you thoroughly confused yet? When sifting through the sea of “AI” enabled technology booths at HIMSS20, keep in mind that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous tool. There are plenty of vendors standing under that inflated AI “umbrella.”

Take your time. Define the problem. Then look for a solution that solves the problem, integrates easily, and aligns to existing technologies and workflows, improving the end-user experience. Whether AI, automation, ML, or RPA, the best predictor of future success is rooted in the right alignment to application and business need. This calls for a vendor with experience in healthcare. Healthcare-specific vendors are familiar with the nuances found in hospitals and health systems. In the fast-moving waters of #HIMSSanity, with 1,300 leading health information and technology vendors, it may be difficult to separate the hope from the hype.

If you’re seeking to buy an Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning solution, it’s important to be aware of what exactly can be automated and what can’t, with the present technology. AI and ML are both currently evolving technologies. The industry is gaining some perspective on how to best leverage and apply these solutions to healthcare settings to achieve quantifiable results. What we’re seeing is an increase in accuracy, a reduction in manual data entry, and a better way to manage data-driven tasks like migration, revenue cycle management, and logistics.

We won’t be presenting at HIMSS20 this year but we are available for a quick 30-minute call (866-653-5105) to provide a bit of pre-conference guidance. This is an exciting time to be involved in healthcare. There are tremendous innovations coming to the #futureofwork, regarding both Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. And they will empower people to do more than they ever could before.

Why Boston Software Systems?
A reputable healthcare automation partner can help you identify processes that will benefit most from increased automation and allow you to scale with ease. Finding a partner with an exclusive healthcare focus ensures the solution will be aligned with workflows, reduce pain-points associated with process implementation, and speed alignment to future health goals.

Download a whitepaper or schedule time to chat with us before, during, or after the conference. With 30 years of experience in healthcare, the team at Boston Software Systems understands the challenges and looks forward to providing you with a thorough understanding of the best long-term and short-term investments to improve organizational efficiency and maximize ROI.

Is Burnout Adequately Addressed in Healthcare?

In a 2019 study by the National Academy of Medicine, “35 to 54 percent of U.S. nurses and physicians have substantial symptoms of burnout, and the range for medical students and residents is between 45 to 60 percent.” The highest prevalence of burnout occurs in primary care-oriented specialties, although there are indications that burnout is a problem among all clinical disciplines and across all care settings. By optimizing the use of Health IT solutions, and reducing the administrative data burden associated with tasks in the EHR, some vendors are beginning to address the burnout epidemic in American healthcare.

How’s It Going?

There is no refuting the link between physician stress and the EHR. It’s not going as well as it could be. An NIH study found that 50% of physicians experience some form of burnout. Physicians spend a large portion of their time (up to two hours each day) locating, documenting, and inputting data into the EHR. This is two hours that could be spent focusing on patient care. When we make it easier to navigate the EHR, we will reduce the time spent gazing into computer screens.

Should Technology be a Better Enabler?

The short and obvious answer is `yes.’ When we go online to check our bank balance, or drive up to an ATM anywhere in the world, we can navigate the financial system easily, and quickly, with a minimum of prompts. Physicians would like this same technology to be available in the EHR, a minimum of clicks, a “smarter” system, and less documentation. In their report, the National Academy of Medicine stated, “Health IT vendors and healthcare organizations should design and configure systems to improve the clinical work environment, including attention to cognitive load and workflows that reduce the demand of clinical documentation and automate non-essential tasks.” Automation and machine learning are beginning to tackle this overwhelming burden.

Automation reduces tedious tasks that can more accurately be accomplished by machines. Machine learning techniques enable users to collect, organize, and store volumes of data with the ability to analyze the data and present data-driven decision support. In EHR data migration, for example, information is easily transferred, analyzed, cleansed, and stored in the new system, decommissioning legacy systems faster, and eliminating the constant toggle between multiple system silos. In the revenue cycle, missing information can be located, corrected (by searching through information located in various systems or online), and processed, without the need for human intervention. Automation benefits role-based users, increases efficiency, and eliminates manual, data-driven tasks. Whether it’s moving pre-visit forms from the patient kiosk to the EHR, or bringing over all of the data needed in a data migration, automation eases the volume and increases the velocity of process completion.

How Can We Improve?

We have a long way to go in terms of optimizing the use of the EHR. Automation alone is not a panacea for all of the issues. A 2019 survey published by the American Medical Association stated, “ the vast majority of U.S. hospitals and physician offices get an average grade of “F” on the usability scale.” Multiple studies confirm that physicians are performing additional administrative tasks like organizing, sorting, and sifting through the EHR, at home, after hours, and on weekends.

Some of the ways to improve involve simple inbox modifications, sorting of priority messages, and related lab results displayed in a way that is more intuitive, and more like physicians are used to viewing them. This “simple stuff” like preventing duplicate messages and highlighting abnormalities, are things we can do today.

Burnout in healthcare is the result of exhaustion, inefficiency, and a lack of personal achievement. It is alarming and tragic that the people we put in charge of healing us are most vulnerable to its cumulative effects. We need fundamental, big changes to occur in regulatory policy. In the meantime, we can take small steps to improve the lives of those who save our lives on a daily basis. By shifting our focus to support time constraints, regulations, and technology. To #bridgethegaps, as we like to say, and target solutions that better support people.

Why Boston Software Systems?
A reputable healthcare automation partner can help you identify processes that will benefit most from increased automation and allow you to scale with ease. Finding a partner with an exclusive healthcare focus ensures the solution will be aligned with workflows, reduce pain-points associated with process implementation, and speed alignment to future health goals.

Boston Software Systems’ experience has been ensuring automation projects remain on track since 1985. Working across a wide-range of vendors and applications, we are experts on streamlining workflows, reducing costs, and improving usability for hospitals, health systems, provider organizations, and technology partners. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, optimizing usability and role-based user satisfaction.

Give us one hour, we will tell you what can be up in running in days or weeks. With over 95% of our healthcare automation projects being completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner.

Automation in Healthcare: Providing the Missing Piece of Usability

Automation in healthcare is being hailed as the “missing piece of usability,” with multiple use cases for data migration, greater efficiency, and revenue cycle management tasks. Yet, many aren’t aware of the additional benefits of adding automation to a digital health strategy. Many processes can benefit from the increased efficiency, reduced manual data input, and 24/7 staffing. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known areas “ripe” for automation success in your hospital or health system.

Performance and Analytics

An automated productivity dashboard delivers drill-down capabilities for exploring the data behind performance metrics. This brings value to health systems, teams, or role-based users looking to run productivity reports, metrics, KPI’s, or any type of reporting. With a totally customizable view, a productivity dashboard can be implemented within days, without vendor involvement. In addition, automation can pull reports from multiple applications, departments, or systems, load the data to compare contractual adjustments, run calculations and comparisons, then format to meet your organizational needs, delivering to the system of choice. This style of reporting can be completed with or without a dashboard, providing a savings in time and productivity, from the hours spent organizing data and generating reports. Analytics, updates, and any type of reporting can be improved using automation. Results can be delivered to Excel, sharepoint, spreadsheets, individuals, or ancillary software solutions.

Lab Integration

Labs offer a quantitative way of evaluating patient populations across a variety of criteria; demography, provider, disease state, and test values. The “timing” in the lab is critical for up-to-date analysis. When applications require users to sync data between handhelds or submit batches of information, workflow is encumbered. Automation provides a timely intervention, evaluating, matching, syncing processes and values, with 100% accuracy and within faster timeframes. Information is sent to the user/provider/patient without the need to sync from multiple sources. Results are obtained and physicians can provide patients with critical information that takes a fraction of the time to complete. A digital workforce is available 24/7/365, to improve lab processes.

Registration and Patient Access

Interfaces are often used for registration. Automation improves the process, by registering patients across system constraints, and moving the associated documentation. This isn’t easily accomplished by interfaces. Hospital administrative staff spend a significant amount of time completing manual workflows to update patient accounts and perform tasks that EHR vendors are unable or unwilling to accomplish for complex workflows. Automation frees staff from the mundane data entry process, saving dozens of hours per week to speed patient movement and billing. Quality assurance to locate and correct errors is also a manual process, taking up more of the administrative team’s time. Automation benefits include; speed of implementation, greater capabilities compared to an interface, and eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance or monitoring of interfaces.

Patient Portal Integration

Patient portal updates are often done manually, with the integration from portal or kiosk to EHR, a bulky one. Maybe handhelds are used, or other applications are needed to speed information from the patient to the portal or kiosk. Automation aggregates data inputs from multiple sources, contextualizes information checking against all sources, and can even run analytics, before delivering it to the physician in an actionable format needed for patient care. Whether patient kiosk, portal, or telehealth solution, automation allows efficient data transfer to another system, in the format, feature, and functionality needed for care delivery. Notes and additional information can be included, speeding the time from messaging to contact. Optimizing the user experience allows for faster adoption of portal and telehealth technology. Providers have a vehicle to connect with patients, and patients can participate in their care by powering navigation from patient portal, kiosk, and telehealth solution to the EHR.

Population Health

Most population health tools require information to be in the EHR. This is problematic because population health initiatives begin with gathering demographic, clinical, and financial information across a wide variety of sources. Automation enables the ability to accurately and quickly perform calculations, organize, and process volumes of data in disparate systems, presenting a more complete view to the provider or health system. Automation and RPA tools expediently locate, identify, extract, and organize volumes of precise details involving open or discrete data from single or numerous sources, and distribute it as needed for development, implementation, or maintenance of population health programs. The pushing or pulling of data from multiple sources is easily completed without ongoing human monitoring and manual data manipulation.

Why Add Boston WorkStation

Advancements in automation are extending beyond the boundaries of what is possible, both in the realm of automating process tasks, and increasingly, in tasks that require cognitive skills, a two-way interaction, or information gathered from a variety of sources. Proof of concept quickly shows how significant the impact of automation is on back-office processes. Today, we see the same automation benefit on front-end communications. Having an ally like Boston WorkStation, a healthcare automation platform, allows a myriad of possibilities to improve efficiency, accuracy, and organizational productivity – a digital workforce that allows administrative staff to optimize 30% of repetitive tasking, and have more time for higher touch tasks that require a “human” component.

Why Boston Software Systems?
A reputable healthcare automation partner can help you identify processes that will benefit most from increased automation and allow you to scale with ease. Finding a partner with an exclusive healthcare focus ensures the solution will be aligned with workflows, reduce pain-points associated with process implementation, and speed alignment to future health goals.

Boston Software Systems’ experience has been ensuring automation projects remain on track since 1985. Working across a wide-range of vendors and applications, we are experts on streamlining workflows, reducing costs, and improving usability for hospitals, health systems, provider organizations, and technology partners. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, optimizing usability and role-based user satisfaction.

Give us one hour, we will tell you what can be up in running in days or weeks. With over 95% of our healthcare automation projects being completed in under 30 days, savings are right around the corner.

Be sure to follow our hashtag #bridgethegaps on Twitter to join the conversation!