What is RPA and Why Does My Healthcare Organization Need It?

Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is the term used for software or services combined with rule-based processes, reducing or eliminating repetitive tasks that are normally handled by humans. KPMG estimates the global IT robotic process automation market (RPA) is expected to be worth $5 billion this year. That’s because RPA is capable of driving significant improvements in healthcare. In a time of uncertainty and staffing issues related to COVID-19, RPA is a trusted process to save both time and money. In fact, McKinsey estimates that about 30 percent of the hours worked globally could be automated by 2030.

What processes make sense to automate first? In many situations, particularly in healthcare, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit: simple processes and tasks, those that require an inordinate amount of time and people power to complete. RPA bots have greater accuracy than humans and provide greater efficiency, allowing staff to prioritize their extra time. A simple project that could yield high returns in cost and efficiency might include any of the following:

  • Simplify tasks in the revenue cycle process
    • Check for missing identifiers
    • Check registration information
    • Check prior authorization and eligibility
    • Search for and correct claim errors
  • Lab reporting for COVID
    • Enter lab orders in portals or online
    • Send reports to CDC, public health, patient
    • Aggregate and organize data for follow-up
    • Send remote lab orders to the EHR, telehealth, or kiosk/portal
  • Change management tasks
    • Password changes
    • HR functions
    • New version updates

There are many more areas in which RPA can help you offload tasks in multiple departments. This technology can boost productivity across the enterprise and improve bottom line revenue. According to Gartner, half of US healthcare providers will invest in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the next three years, up from just 5% today. “The money that RPA saves by not having to spend as much on an unreformed process translates into cash that is available for front-end clinical functions, which is especially important while healthcare organizations combat the COVID-19 crisis.” says Gartner’s VP, Anurag Gupta.

Is it Difficult to Begin an RPA Journey?
It’s easier than ever to begin an RPA journey. You don’t have to be a programmer to start building bots for greater efficiency and productivity. You can build, test, implement, and maintain automations with NO programming experience. Boston WorkStation has a new drag-and-drop functionality, so you can also build from recordings with an object-based approach, that allows you to build an automation in minutes vs. hours, and share it across the enterprise, regardless of system vendor or EHR.

After the initial automation successes are achieved, it’s easy to see the value in automating higher-level tasks as you can see the impact on streamlining and optimizing operations. In a Gartner survey of finance executives taken on May 3, 2020, nearly a quarter of the participants surveyed anticipated spending more on RPA during coronavirus to drive cost optimization. RPA is certainly drawing the investment of CIOs across healthcare, and the ability to scale to “fit” the needs of multiple departments makes it an even wiser choice in today’s uncertain financial times.

Getting Started
RPA is capable of driving significant improvements in operational efficiency, but it has to be flexible enough to adhere to your particular workflows, business constraints, and processes. Did you know that for every hour a physician provides direct clinical face-time to patients, they spend two hours on record keeping? RPA can help to unlock this time. You don’t need a lot of IT involvement to get it up and running. It’s flexible and lightweight, and works with all EHR systems. Administrative staffers appreciate the benefits of RPA, as it removes manual tasks and data entry and relieves them from the pressure of tedious tasking and manual “copy and paste.”

Why Boston Software Systems?
It’s important to find a trusted partner to get started, and that’s where we come in. With 30 years of healthcare experience, and thousands of applications running every day in hundreds of hospitals, provider organizations, and technology systems, we know where to begin and how to get things up and running quickly.

Our RPA solutions can be implemented in under 60 days, with many implemented in under 30 days. We’ll take a look at your current processes — and bottlenecks — and help you consider which ones would be best to automate. We won’t take up much of your time, so that you can quickly put the power of RPA to work for your organization.

Driving Down Claim Denials With a Digital Workforce

Manual errors and oversights, many beginning at the front desk, cause claims to be denied. According to a recent Black Book study, “33% of denied claims stem from inaccurate patient identification or information, costing the nation’s healthcare system $6 billion annually, or $1.5 million, on average, per hospital each year.” Data integrity is an important aspect of healthcare and errors can lead not only to reimbursement challenges, but to the quality of patient care.

According to research from the American Medical Association, nearly 20% of all claims processed have errors, costing the healthcare system billions each year. The industry could save an average of $15 billion annually, if companies processed claims correctly the first time. Manual claims are fraught with errors. Automation improves accuracy, timeliness, and transparency, #bridgingthegaps of a distributed workforce, and the challenge of “dollars in the door.”

Reduce Manual Data Entry
This reduces errors. The MGMA states “most claim denials are associated with breakdowns in front-end processes, such as patient eligibility (23.9%), missing information (14.6%) and authorization (12.4%).” Manual data entry processes are susceptible to human error. It takes, on average, 10 minutes to manually check patient eligibility. Unfortunately, remote staffing, multiple billing systems, and decentralized staff just don’t have the bandwidth to manually correct most errors. Instead of losing this revenue stream or adding complexity to an already bulky process, automation checks for accuracy, or missing information, and in many cases, corrects them without placing the burden on human employees.

“Our goal was simple. Make sure the claims leaving our billing system are accurate so there are fewer rejections down the line. We had a very large sum of money tied up in accounts receivable because the claims weren’t clean. At times it was as much as several thousand accounts and millions of dollars. When you start talking about amounts like that, it becomes very important to find tools to speed up the process. That was our task.”
– R. Walker, Financial Analyst, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Find Missing or Incomplete Information
Hospitals face many challenges with varied prior authorization procedures and requirements from payer to payer. These nuances and endless rules seem to have magnified with COVID-19. By submitting clean claims for authorized procedures the first time, denial management is simplified, reducing the time people spend analyzing incomplete data and identifying incomplete progress notes, lack of signatures or dates, and/or medical necessity rules. The Duke-Margolis report points to “three data elements that are commonly missing from medical records of individuals who undergo testing for COVID-19 through clinical labs: race/ethnicity, address and telephone number.” By filling in this missing information, automation ensures that all of the data that needs to be included is included, with no extra time spent by a human workforce.

Phoebe Putney Hospital took a close look at its billing system and was able to identify the coding errors that could potentially cause problems. Based on their analysis, a script was built in Boston WorkStation that searched and flagged any claims that fell into these problem areas, enabling the hospital to identify issues quickly and address them, rather than searching through each claim, which was time-consuming and inefficient.

The ROI of an Automated Workforce
Revenue cycle departments become much more strategic when focusing on health system strengths rather than administrative burden. Costly, labor intensive, error-prone tasks are exactly where automation shines, transforming the business of healthcare and taking the waste out of the system. Actionable insight to improve clinical, financial, technical, and organizational performance is gained by automating the following claims processes:

  • Denial Management
  • Prior Authorization and Eligibility
  • Payment Processing
  • Emergency Department Billing
  • Re-submissions
  • Medicare/Medicaid Corrections

As margins shrink, it’s becoming more difficult to absorb the cost of denials as merely the “cost of doing business.” By incorporating a seamless, scalable “digital ally,” claim denials can be handled without a heavy administrative component. This closes the loop in billing and bridges the gaps in revenue cycle health.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Put the power of Boston WorkStation to work on your next project. By offloading process tasks to Boston WorkStation, human staff can focus on higher value issues like patient care. Give us a call. We won’t take up much of your time, and look forward to discussing your issues in claims management.

Doubling Down on a Digital Strategy

One thing we learned from our response to #COVID19: now is the time to embrace digital health initiatives. The pandemic accelerated our need for remote services, yet highlighted our inability to keep up with the challenges posed. Digital health isn’t new, it’s simply been placed in a sharper focus.

How Do We Embrace the Shift Around Us?
CIOs have securely and safely stepped up the effort to embrace this new age of connectivity. Many are quickly shifting to new supply models and detailed reporting demands. While healthcare futurists have long warned about “job replacing robots,” we’ve recognized that algorithms and automations don’t get sick; they work efficiently 24/7, they enable agility, and ensure our processes can keep pace with the changing world around us. We believe organizations must move quickly, by implementing automation starting today. This will ensure you are addressing any future workforce reductions before they occur and have a solution in place before future reductions start to affect your AR days.

According to a PwC Pulse survey conducted in June, 70% of health industry CFOs plan on improving the remote work experience, compared to 49% of finance execs overall. In doing so, 57% plan to accelerate automation and new ways of working. “The digitization of the workforce strongly mirrors the changes in how health care is now being delivered.”

Here are a few areas where automation is fast-tracking the ability to shine post-pandemic.

Remote Work
Even companies that were resistant to the concept of a distributed workforce have been forced to allow workers to work from home. However, much of the infrastructure is missing, which sometimes makes it difficult to monitor and track efficiency. In many HIM departments, once the physical infrastructure is in place, organizations need a way to measure quality assurance. Adding a productivity dashboard allows managers to stay connected to remote workers. In planning for the second wave of COVID-19, organizations will be better prepared, and experience fewer pain-points with digital tools already in place.

Telehealth
Roughly 400 million ambulatory visits are handled by telemedicine each year in the United States. Yet, many platforms are not connected to the EHR or ancillary systems, making telehealth a manual, lengthy, error-prone process. Automation streamlines telehealth tasks, connects data silos, and eliminates errors, reducing the time it takes to process patients. One telehealth provider saved hundreds of hours, 4 FTEs, and an entire shift dedicated to manual data entry by automating routine processes. Examples include:

  • Lab/Rad order entry
  • Integration with EHR systems, patient portals, kiosks
  • Reporting to local, state, and federal agencies
  • Revenue cycle management, billing, and payment processing

Inventory and Materials Management
Another thing we learned from COVID-19 was how inefficient the processes of inventory, supply chain, and materials management actually are in healthcare. CIOs and CXOs report that this crisis is prompting them to accelerate plans to invest in automation and robotics to better manage their existing operations. Examples of materials management automation include:

  • Price, contract, and vendor management
  • Single and multi-facility inventory control
  • Routine and ad hoc reporting, data migration, and integration
  • Product description and pricing updates
  • Purchase order requests, requisitions, and logistics

Automating Time-Consuming Tasks
If there were any lingering doubts about the necessity of digital transformation, the coronavirus has silenced them. Automation cuts through the complexity of process tasks and eliminates the redundancies associated with manual data entry, empowering human workers to excel by working alongside them, gathering and analyzing relevant information from multiple sources, checking, and routing to ancillary systems. Automation is the perfect “digital ally” to assist a human workforce. Examples of process tasks made more efficient by automation include:

  • Revenue cycle management tasks, resubmissions, claim denials
  • Automate COVID-19 test results reporting to CDC
  • Improve inventory orders, supply, and invoicing
  • Payment processing, collections, and adjustments
  • Change management, IT processes
  • Hiring, onboarding, and managing HR functions

An automation mindset challenges the status quo of work and evaluates the most effective digital/human combination for the job. Employing a digital employee is typically one-fifth the cost of a full-time staff member, and that’s just in the first year. The benefit and ROI increases dramatically in the following years.

Automation has been a driver of change in organizations long before COVID-19, but currently it has become a topic of boardroom discussion because of its place in a post-pandemic recovery process.

A PwC study confirms that “as hints of optimism start to appear, finance leaders are shifting their focus to growth. Being agile, having a digital mindset, listening to customers and prioritizing employees are key to success.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems understands that people are driving the processes in caring for thousands of patients every day. Let’s have a conversation about your digital strategy. We won’t take up much of your time, and most solutions are deployed in under 60 days. Let’s explore your digital health strategies, drive operational efficiency, and be better prepared for the second wave of COVID-19.

Are You a Data-Driven CFO?

Today’s technology-driven world is continually generating data, creating both opportunities and challenges. Healthcare CFOs face increased pressure to analyze the data, connect the dots, and identify patterns that will optimize a company’s growth while keeping its costs in check. Navigating continuity through unpredictable times is a difficult task right now. With the right automation strategy, healthcare CFOs can help drive transformation and deliver actionable insights, but where to begin?

Take Advantage of Low Hanging Fruit

PwC stated that “Automation alone does not save money or improve performance, people and processes also have to change.” By placing a toe in the water of automation, you’ll not only see the same tasks finished faster and more accurately, but you’ll see a quick return on investment and a decrease in the administrative data burden experienced by human workers. A good area to begin is in revenue cycle management. Areas like claim denial management, prior authorization eligibility requests, and third-party payment processing are well-suited for a digital workforce, allowing machines to perform the same repetitive tasks previously requiring hours of manual data input. This is what one of our clients experienced:

“Many of our claims had to be double checked, but the task was too overwhelming when done manually. In some instances it was the absence of a modifier, others simply had to be double checked for accuracy and then released, but the sheer number of claims made it difficult to touch each file in a timely manner.”
– Leyla Cox, Auditor, Phoebe Putney Hospital

Empower People to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Organizations struggle to manage change management across their healthcare IT applications and infrastructure. HR functions, password changes, new releases, and security challenges cause major disruptions to the business of healthcare. Delays are expensive and affect bottom line revenue. By employing a “digital workforce,” hospitals and health systems can add a level of security and accuracy, mitigate risk, and remove the constant burden of orchestrating a manual process open to internal and external breaks, breaches, and performance issues.

“It would have taken someone 3,840 hours to enter this data manually across three databases, test and live, not factoring in breaks or common errors which would need rework. The savings in personnel time and assurance of error-free data entry— priceless.”
– Rich Temple, Saint Clare’s Health System

Automation Changes the Role of the IT Department

It’s a good thing. Automation allows the IT department to better manage systems, reduce wasted resources, and improve ROI. By taking routine tasks and offloading them to machines, automation allows the IT staff to focus on higher priority issues to improve the IT infrastructure. The benefits of automation can be broken down from the perspective of convenience for the IT staff who work directly with the automation tools daily, and from the business perspective of CFOs who are looking to cut back on costs and save time and money. Tasks can range from onboarding activities, as well as constant feedback and data that can be used to assess performance issues.

“By using Boston WorkStation, we empower people to think critically about processes and evaluate opportunities for enhancements. This helps the hospital organizationally, financially, and it has assisted us in increasing excellence in our execution.”
– Kim Scaccia, Halifax Health

Automation and Productivity in the Lab

Like many care organizations, Mount Auburn found that attaching accurate patient information to specimens going from clinics and physician offices to hospital labs was a problem. In some cases, only handwritten patient information accompanied a specimen to the hospital creating many inaccuracies including wrong insurance, wrong address, or simply illegible writing. Lab personnel were taking time to register patients using this information which delayed lab orders and ultimately caused billing delays, costly corrections, and re-billing issues.

“We have been able to realize faster turn-around in billing with fewer corrections and our lab personnel are ordering lab work instead of registering patients.”
– Robert Todd, Mount Auburn Hospital

PwC surveyed 288 US CFOs and finance leaders between May 4-6, 2020. The Pulse survey emphasized that the workplace is undergoing fundamental changes based on recent events. In healthcare, over half of CFOs reported that they plan to “accelerate automation and new ways of working,” compared to 40% of CFOs overall.

As we begin to reign in financial losses, shorter staffing, and remote working conditions, automation solutions enable us to accelerate productivity, improve cost containment, and support the healthcare ecosystem.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems understands that people are driving the processes in caring for thousands of patients every day. For additional information on how Boston Software Systems can help your organization, give us a call. We won’t take up much of your time and can get things running quickly, usually within a few weeks, so you can realize a fast ROI.

Expanding Telehealth Capabilities During the COVID-19 Crisis

Automating the Lab Order Entry Process in Telehealth

CASE STUDY | TELESCOPE HEALTH

Organization: Telescope Health
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Goals: Increase efficiency, reduce errors, align to provider workflows
Results: Improved accuracy, reduced data entry process by 85%, reduced error rates by 70%, reduced manual labor by 4 FTEs

Telescope Health, a telemedicine provider in Northeast Florida, chose Boston WorkStation to automate patient registration and order entry during the COVID-19 crisis. 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 the manual process impossible to sustain. Providers and FTEs were 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. Efficiency was extremely important to this telehealth organization whose mission is to set a higher standard of care for patients across Northeast Florida.

The Challenge
Roughly 400 million ambulatory visits can be handled by telemedicine each year in the United States. Telescope Health witnessed an upsurge of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because quality of care is dependent on the entire chain of data collection and processing, Telescope Health needed a way to keep up with increasing patient volumes and sustain daily processing needs with accuracy and completeness.

The organization was focused on eliminating the manual, error-prone process of manual data entry, and reducing the time it took to process new patients in the LabCorp and Quest systems.

“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

The Solution
On the laboratory side, orders need to include consistent, complete information that meets defined standards, otherwise providers are busy patching holes in the ordering process. Boston WorkStation was able to #bridgethegaps for providers, staff, systems, and work queues, supporting time and budgetary constraints.

The process that previously took 5 FTEs, working on three shifts, manually entering one patient at a time in the system, is now automated, requiring only one floating FTE. Every order entered is complete, and the communication process loop is closed. The automation was quickly scaled to over 200 providers, across mobile testing sites, throughout the city of Jacksonville, and across Northeast Florida.

“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. We have now used Boston WorkStation’s automation in several additional order entry and data projects.”
– Dr. Mathew Thompson, COO Telescope Health

When tackling healthcare’s biggest challenges, you need partners that understand healthcare. 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.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems understands that people are driving the processes in caring for thousands of patients every day. Working as a digital ally, automation adapts to changing circumstances quickly, adding efficiency and supporting existing workflows.

Ready to improve your operational performance? Contact Boston Software Systems at: 866.653.5105 or visit us at: www.bostonsoftwaresystems.com

Download the Case Study

Empowering Revenue Cycle Health, Limiting Operational Fallout

Hospitals and health systems are scrambling to overcome unprecedented clinical and revenue cycle disruptions. According to an April 14th study by the MGMA, 97% of medical provider organizations have experienced a negative financial impact related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, providers reported a 60% decrease in patient volume and a 55% decrease in revenue since the beginning of the public health emergency. It is important that providers take steps to protect their revenue cycle operations, limiting the operational and economic fallout the pandemic is likely to produce. Issues with revenue cycle productivity, coding, collections, and claims resulting from COVID-19 can negatively impact cash flow and overall performance.

Healthcare revenue cycle tasks have traditionally been a largely manual process. Staff are responsible for analyzing each unresolved payment and associated payer rules to determine the underlying cause and what action needs to take place. This process consists of a lot of hunt, click, and type, extremely time-consuming and wrought with errors. Compounding the problem is the new work from home staff model, making it difficult to keep up with resource allocation and remote productivity.

As payer reimbursement models have become more complex and the volume of tasks increases, the ability of staff to keep up with increasing demands diminishes. Automation adds value to the process by taking the repetitive, routine tasks, applying business logic and completing the necessary actions, allowing staff to concentrate on items that require higher-level, human-to-human interaction.

Benefit and eligibility checks, as well as prior authorizations, are a perfect area to apply the power of automation. Administrative costs related to dealing with prior authorizations, plus the back and forth with payers, represents as much as one third of a physician’s compensation. Staff are required to call insurance companies, scour websites, make sure the patient has the right coverage, and enter everything manually into the system. It’s a very labor-intensive process, one fraught with errors. Automation brings improved accuracy and speed, reduces costs, and eliminates the frustration associated with this type of tedious tasking.

Claim denial management is another area perfect for automation in the revenue cycle.
The Advisory Board states, “You’re probably leaving $22 million on the table,” by not following best practices in four key areas: denial write-offs, bad debt, cost to collect, and contract yield. Boston WorkStation helps you achieve revenue cycle success, without leaving money on the table. Most of our solutions are developed and deployed within 30 days. One of our clients saved 180 hours per month and $20 million in failed claims re-submissions. Another recovered $2 million per year in ED billing, by automating auditing procedures, while a third saved 10 hours per day and $1.2 million per year by automating crossover claim processing.

Yet another way to optimize revenue cycle management tasks and reduce days in A/R, is through the use of a Productivity Dashboard, Dashboards provide key insights for revenue cycle managers, displaying customizable metrics in one place for greater process efficiency, financial transparency, and productivity of remote workers. Users are able to quickly identify issues and gauge the effectiveness of employees and operations in near real-time. The use of productivity dashboards to manage remote employees has provided managers with a daily snapshot of performance and priorities.

Whether in eligibility, claims management, collections, or productivity tracking, automation leverages technology resources and empowers human workers.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems understands that people are driving the processes in caring for thousands of patients every day. Working as a digital ally, automation adapts to changing circumstances quickly, adding efficiency and supporting existing workflows. If you’d like to discuss how automation can benefit your revenue cycle, let’s talk! We won’t take up much of your time and can get things running quickly, usually within a few weeks, so you can realize a fast ROI.

Increase Efficiencies in Supply Chain and Materials Management with Automation

Supply chain and procurement departments are strained, not only on procurement, but by the additional human resources necessary to physically place orders, check inventories, and manage critically needed materials. Our client hospitals have found success in navigating these COVID-19 challenges by using automation in materials management and supply chain. Automating tasks normally handled by staff frees up those human resources to concentrate on work that requires human contact, like researching and procuring supplies via alternate channels, scheduling delivery from central stores to departments, or maintaining a better pulse on use rates and needs. Our ability to combine data from multiple sources and systems allows for better overall management of time, productivity, and resources. Backlogs are reduced and inventory management is efficiently processed.

Reduce Expenses and Increase Organizational Productivity
Process automation is a pivotal solution to economically accelerate, organize, and execute the exchange of data used in supply chain management. Stakeholders throughout the hospital and health system benefit from the increased efficiency automation brings while improving productivity and eliminating errors.

Automation is applied via the same data pathway in which manual keyboard-driven entries are made, enabling hospitals to balance orders and inventory without an additional strain on human employees. Automations are efficient and accurate, ensuring faster delivery to the needed locations.

Prioritize Tracking and Traceability
Accurate tracking and traceability is an important aspect of a hospital’s response to COVID-19. There is a greater sense of urgency to create transparency in existing supply chains. Automation becomes an integral resource to drive consistent and reliable data performance. As your organization continues to adapt, automation can enable supply chain and materials management to maintain a pivotal lead in productivity, enabling those areas to provide higher levels of patient care at a lower cost.

  • Account for data paths within and between units, facilities, and stakeholders
  • Prioritize demands for organizational resources and personnel
  • Consistently expand the scope of engagement into additional processes as they evolve to maximize efficiencies and reduce cost, complexity, and user fatigue

How Automation Reduces Costs for Hospitals and Health Systems
You have enough to do with limited resources, overwhelmed staff, and monetary changes to the health system. The effort wasted in manually working with data diminishes as automated processes improve organizational efficiency.

When supply chain and materials management processes are improved, there is a positive cost and productivity impact for numerous stakeholders. Based on the sheer variety of departments, items, processes, and the 24/7, 365 days-a-year operating model of hospitals and health systems, materials or supply chain management is in constant motion and so is its data. When automation is implemented, people are empowered, processes are more efficient, and organizations perform at higher levels of productivity.

Moving Forward
Utilize automation as an integral resource to reduce complexity and drive data performance in materials management and supply chain processes. As your organization changes, automation will enable supply chain and materials management to maintain a pivotal lead in productivity, enabling those areas to provide higher levels of patient care at a lower cost.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems understands that people are driving the processes in caring for thousands of patients every day. These healthcare workers are the true heroes during this pandemic. If we can help, to optimize the materials and supply chain management so that your people can concentrate on higher priority tasks, give us a call. We won’t take up much of your time. Our solutions are flexible enough to work for many departments and can be implemented fast, requiring no additional strain on resources.

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

Driving the Future of Digital Health

We’ve learned a lot of lessons through this pandemic. We are still learning. But one thing is certain: we’ve made great strides in digital health. We’ve adapted to the constraints posed by embracing technology and realizing that we could actually thrive in times of uncertainty, in ways we never imagined.

We Worked from Home
The work from home shift has created a new view of remote work and will likely impact how businesses plan for office space and staffing in the future. We found out that it’s possible to work remotely and achieve just as much, if not more, in terms of productivity. We have implemented tools, like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Productivity Dashboards, and more, to augment our ability to stay connected. Pre-pandemic, most working Americans spent around 90 minutes a day commuting. Today, we’ve erased the commute in many cases and improved the morale of most commuters. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the ability of employees to work from home “forever” in a company-wide email. Expect other workplaces to announce similar initiatives in the coming months.

We Embraced Telehealth
We found that not only is telehealth a “nice to have,” but it’s “virtually perfect” for today’s healthcare landscape. Health systems and provider organizations have developed automated workflows that refer high-risk patients to nurse triage lines and permit most patients to schedule video or audio visits with established or on-demand providers. Not only has this been a boom for telehealth vendors, this allows patients to be treated in their homes with high-level medical support, no transportation constraints, and reduced exposure for healthcare workers and other patients. By adding automation to the manual lab ordering process, at Telescope Health, they were able to reduce their staff from 5 FTEs, to 1, ensuring 100% accuracy and improving the productivity of their staff.

We Stepped Up Testing and Responder Capability
Technology was applied in disaster response to improve our ability to test and trace the virus. Even tech foes, like Google and Apple, have come together to help improve contact tracing tools to speed the rate at which our lives can return to normal. Efforts to improve existing capacity by establishing “mobile” testing sites and allowing patients to remain in their cars were well-received and can be used moving forward as part of our future health strategy. Automation allowed the testing process to quickly identify the patients in greatest need, and triage them efficiently and effectively with minimal risk. Practical problems surrounding testing for COVID-19 and the creative solutions that came to light regarding the need for equipment have been some of the most inspirational and innovative parts of the response.

We Shifted Business Practices
This pandemic forced organizations across nearly every industry to alter how they deliver products and services. We learned valuable lessons from supply chain management and inventory control, and how we can automate many business practices to a new level of efficiency, reducing an overwhelming burden on human workers. 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 of critical information in multiple systems, and supply chain and materials management are all great uses of automation during the crisis.

We Learned Valuable Lessons About Social Determinants of Health
During this time, we recognized the limitations of students to access online educational tools, families to receive school lunches, and how the virus has negatively affected patient populations. We learned lessons about “zip code health” and how unhealthy communities lead to health disparities like medication adherence, levels of diabetes and heart disease, and issues related to the inability to afford health insurance. We have a vast opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to healthcare, to improve health and nutrition, and make options that were only available to some, available to all moving forward.

Moving Forward
We learned valuable lessons in how we are responding to each other during times of uncertainty, but it will be how we move forward for the benefit of communities, patients, health systems, and providers that matters most. Stakeholders throughout the hospital and health system have learned valuable lessons that can be applied to make our lives a bit less complicated. At Boston Software Systems, we are using automation to make the healthcare process easier, more productive, and more profitable, without the need for additional clicks, complexity, or back-end resources.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Our pure focus is healthcare. We’ve been through the ups and downs of multiple challenges over 30 years and we continue to stand with all healthcare organizations to provide real-time solutions that enable you to care for your patients, protect your bottom line, and increase your productivity, even during challenging times.

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

Leveraging Automation in Healthcare

Leveraging automation in healthcare has proven to deliver real benefits. The Deloitte Global RPA Survey found that “53% of respondents have already started their RPA journey. This is expected to increase to 72% in the next two years.”

Leaders are no longer debating the benefits of digital health. It is the right tool to fight this pandemic and has a strategic place in the post-COVID-19 workforce. Automation is driving the ability to align to workflows, eliminate errors, and increase operational efficiency, all ways that allow organizations to thrive despite challenging times and uncertain economies.

We’ve witnessed unprecedented growth in the healthcare sector, mainly because of the need for a better, faster, more accurate way to process tedious tasks that were formerly left to manual data entry. What is even more interesting is that smaller organizations realize as much, or even greater, benefit as the larger ones. To maximize value, hospitals and health systems are leveraging automation technologies, such as RPA, to improve the efficiency and accuracy of process tasks, while reducing administrative challenges such as remote working situations, long hours, and extreme data fatigue.

How should you begin applying automation within your organization?

Set Clear Expectations
Automation involves changes to existing roles and tasks so it’s important to coordinate the technology with the right presumption. Align your automation strategy with a vendor who is familiar with healthcare challenges and has thousands of automations running in hospitals and health systems across the globe every day. An experienced vendor can predict and mitigate potential project issues, making implementation faster, easier, and able to provide a better return on investment.

Keep End Users in Mind
If the automation doesn’t work for the end user, it won’t be successful. Aligning to the needs of the end user allows organizations to free up resources and re-align to higher priority tasks that depend on a human connection. The end game for leadership is to incite transformational improvement. By aligning with the needs of end users, we are able to implement a reliable automation program that is flexible to scale across the healthcare enterprise.

Identify Quick Wins
As the only healthcare-specific automation vendor with 30 years of success, we are able to identify “quick wins” for beneficial results. We’ve seen immediate benefit in the COVID-19 crisis in reporting, data migrations, and revenue cycle management. We’ve also seen a surge in the need for productivity reporting and have implemented the Boston Productivity Dashboard in less than 10 days with no 1st year licensing costs, to give organizations a better “view” of remote working conditions and performance.

Apply to Additional Areas
What we often see is an immediate need to automate an existing process or workflow, then a realization of the benefits achieved, and a desire to expand this to multiple areas of the organization. CFOs, finance leaders, and internal departments cite reduced cost as the underlying driver in all of the initial projects. Once the benefits are realized, it’s easy to apply the same “lessons learned” to multiple departments across the healthcare ecosystem for improved efficiency and reduced cost. Additional areas ripe for automation success have included change management, human resources, inventory, and supply chain ordering.

Leveraging automation in healthcare delivers real benefits. The Boston Software Systems team allows organizations to build a strong foundational framework and earn the organization’s trust. But, don’t listen to us. Listen to our customers:

“Thanks to all for the help. Once again you set the bar that very few of our partner vendors can meet. It is much appreciated.”

“A process that took six people up to eight hours of data entry is done in approximately 90 minutes.”

“Boston WorkStation allowed us to decrease duplicate documentation, lessen productivity constraints, and increase patient satisfaction by reducing the time spent waiting for data.”

“We saved 10 hours a week and recovered 2 million dollars a year in ED billing.”

“By improving the flow of clinical data, and sustaining an up-to-date EHR system, we have been able to fulfill the requirements of our physicians and improve patient care.”

“Dashboard deployment was complete in less than 10 days, providing managers with a better view of organizational productivity in a remote working situation.”

Why Boston Software Systems?
In most cases, our automation solutions can be deployed in less than 30 days, some in less than 10 days, with an immediate ROI. Our commitment is to healthcare.

We’re here to help. We won’t take up much of your time and we can get the process started quickly: 866-653-5105. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft.

What Can “We” Do Better in Healthcare?

We recently had an opportunity to sit down with Don Seamons, from the Healthcare Solutions Project, and discuss ways in which the “collective we” can improve in the healthcare system. Now more than ever, we need products that work for end users and allow them to efficiently and effectively care for patients. However, there’s a huge disconnect because healthcare workflows aren’t optimized for patient care. Instead, healthcare workers are forced to toggle between disparate systems, hunting for the right information, then copying, pasting, and manipulating it into the right system. It’s click and type all day long.

What can the collective “we” in healthcare do better? As Matt Hawkins, SVP of Boston Software Systems stated, “We don’t work well together.” Healthcare doesn’t work well across vendor lines. As vendors, we should all be working toward one common goal: reducing complexities so we can improve patient care. Instead, many vendors are more concerned with maintaining the silo around their system than with the end result.

Our technology partners, hospitals, and health systems are solving some of the shared challenges across healthcare. A few of the ways we are working together include:

  • Monitoring and managing remote staff. This can be a challenge across health systems. Boston’s Productivity Dashboard helps remote staff get things done. It’s implemented within days, with no need for EHR vendor involvement, and it aids in the management of an already stretched remote staff.
  • Revenue cycle efficiency. Automation navigates the changes and reduces the burden of high-volume coverage checks, Medicare/Medicaid/commercial billing, code changes, lab testing, waived billing, and claim status, so the remote staff can focus their attention to areas that can’t be automated.
  • Telehealth coverage. Telemedicine platforms are the preferred method of visit right now. But this is a new occurrence for many providers and health systems. Billing teams don’t always know if calls should be charged, at what rate, and with what code changes. Automation makes it easier to check for payer updates upfront, and eliminate expensive delays on the back-end.
  • Reporting data from the EHR/Kiosk/Lab. It’s time-consuming to collect the data necessary for daily reports to HHS on bed counts, lab results, and cases. Automation takes the human work of “type and click” out of the way, working as a digital ally to compile the necessary data points between disparate systems for daily reports.

What sets Boston Software Systems apart, and what was referenced in our interview with Don, is the ability to work on a client-to-client basis. We are using automation to make the healthcare process easier, more productive, and more profitable, without the need for additional clicks, complexity, or back-end resources. We’ve been doing this for 30 years, through thousands of connections, working in hundreds of hospitals and health systems, every day, across the globe. Each project was accomplished by working 1:1 with end users, making sure that the automation aligned to the right workflow, for the right user, in the right system, at the right time.

Why Boston Software Systems?
We’re here to help technology partners, hospitals, and health systems. In most cases, our automation solutions can be deployed in less than 30 days, some in less than 10 days, with an immediate ROI. Our commitment is to healthcare. We’ve been through the ups and downs of multiple challenges over 30 years and we continue to stand with all healthcare organizations to provide real-time solutions that enable you to care for your patients, protect your bottom line, and increase your productivity, even during these challenging times.

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