When EHR Enablement is Like a Fragile House of Cards

I was a kid who loved creating a house of cards. The structures relied on both balance and friction in order to stay upright. Card houses built on a shaky foundation collapsed quickly. The fun, for me, was seeing how tall I could build these structures without collapse. I built my houses with strong foundations to ensure height and weight were equally supported. This took time and patience, but it became a challenge for me. In the end, the houses I “fortified” generally stood the tallest. I equate this love of card houses with my ability to support EHR clients. From 2002-2012, I followed physicians and clinicians into exam rooms, became a scribe, stayed late, wrote templates, and added necessary shortcuts to improve role-based usability. The extra time and patience paid off because by doing these things I helped physicians build a strong foundation for future success. Many times, I brought along an independent IT vendor to connect computers, card scanners, fax machines, and ancillary hardware. You see, EHR enablement was just not enough. The capital purchase and subsequent implementation were not sufficient drivers for future success, and the name of the system vendor didn’t matter. All were equal opportunity disasters without sufficient customization or additional services so physicians and staff could use the system efficiently.

Fast forward to 2020. According to Definitive Healthcare, more than 98 percent of hospitals in the U.S. use an EHR system. Adoption has increased exponentially, yet usability has continued to decline. According to an article in the National Institute of Health, “despite massive effort and investment in health information systems and technology, and many years of widespread availability, the full promised benefits of EHRs are far from fruition. The reality is that most physicians still have to fax and mail patient records the way they did a decade ago.”

Why haven’t we created a foundation for success with EHR/EMR systems? For starters, proprietary databases and the lack of standardization across the industry creates complications. In addition, value-based care and the onslaught of rules and regulations have made it difficult for smaller vendors to keep up. Many hospitals and provider organizations who had just learned to use their previous EMR find they need to upgrade to keep up with the requirements of population health, mergers, acquisitions, or data analytics. The changes make it difficult to achieve a level of comfortability with EHR systems. The constant need to update and upgrade make the earlier foundation crumble under the added disruption of change.

EHR vendors and disparate applications don’t make it any easier. For most providers it feels like documentation, not patient care, comes first. The copious amounts of data required just seem to grow every year, as if feeding a beast, requiring unrealistic amounts of time and input without realistic support to easily get the data into the systems, or share it across locations of care. As a result, a large portion of the physicians’ time has been redirected to data entry. Providing quality care has become more difficult due to increased patient loads and administrative challenges. Physicians use scribes to offload the “point and click” of increased demands for documentation, though this is not without risk. There are HIPAA issues, privacy concerns, patient safety issues if the scribe is not familiar with medicine, and coding concerns.

In theory, the EHR should improve communication among health care professionals, make it easier to access and review patient data, and cut through the billing bureaucracy. Yet, according to the AAFP, burnout prevalence remains considerably higher among physicians who use EHRs. Necessary information is often buried or presented in a way that doesn’t clearly highlight all potential patient health issues, making it difficult to have direct conversations and holistically care for the patient. In a rush to check boxes, satisfy alerts and move to the next screen, both providers and patients end up suffering.When this occurs, the fragility of the foundation collapses and the whole house comes tumbling down.

At Boston Software Systems we created a campaign called #bridgethegaps on Twitter. This began as a way to share what we do, how we do it, and why it matters. It’s received a great response, largely because people didn’t know Boston Software Systems, but also because of the need to resolve tedious tasking in the EHR. Whether it’s data migration efforts, merging information between disparate systems, revenue cycle management tasks, or just creating a better process, hospitals and health systems easily relate to the gaps that currently impede progress. Because, and this is really difficult to say, as we enter 2020, EHR enablement is STILL just not enough. To build a strong foundation we have to increase productivity while decreasing the administrative data burden that is associated with the EHR. No one vendor can do this alone.

A strong foundation eliminates extra steps, increases efficiencies, and helps clients overcome the gaps that vendors and applications often leave behind. Once this foundational “armour” is in place, we can begin the task of aligning systems and services to the people who use them.

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!

Why You Need Healthcare Automation for Revenue Cycle Health

Automating mundane business practices allows health systems to focus on improving revenue cycle health. The use of an AI-driven digital workforce consists of process automation, cognitive automation, and built-in reporting capabilities. It doesn’t require a robot, but it does offload manual redundancies like checking payor websites, making sure data is filled accurately, or increasing the speed of completing repetitive, transactional processes.

Focus on Strengths Not Data Burden

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.

Technology-driven process automation is implemented via the same route as manual data entry. This makes it an ideal tool to apply at the front-end of claim management to better understand the claims process, check claim status, and offload tasks so that the staff can handle what’s most important for human interaction. The goal of using automation is to “add” a virtual employee who can go through the logical steps in a claims process, accessing the data needed in multiple systems, and filling in missing or incomplete information necessary to process the claim. Often this is completed after hours or on weekends, allowing for much faster processing. Boston Software Systems takes the steps necessary to turn repetitive, error-prone manual input into accurate, complete information.

Actionable insight to improve clinical, financial, technical, and organizational performance is gained by automating the following processes:

  • Checking for prior authorization
  • Eligibility checking
  • Managing data between multiple systems, sifting through data volumes, extracting the right information for the right documentation
  • Payment processing
  • Collection activities normally reserved for manual data entry

Improve Productivity with a Digital Workforce

Resources are always a challenge. Time is always an issue. Automation allows your staff to be more productive during working hours, offloading the tedious tasking to machines. With 100% accuracy, no additional staffing, and no days off, our automation platform is the perfect claims management solution.

More streamlined revenue cycle management can help you improve clean claim rates, reduce the number of days in A/R, and increase “dollars in the door.”

So, if you’re looking for ways to do more with less and stop the bleed of rising costs, DON’T invest in a robot, but DO invest in healthcare automation solutions, as healthcare automation provides the most economical way to shorten the revenue cycle, reduce waste, and improve efficiency in the era of AI and machine learning.

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!

Healthcare Automation Technology Trends in 2020

As we approach 2020, it’s time to head to the crystal ball and predict the biggest healthcare automation technology trends for the coming year. Not surprisingly, 2020 will continue to focus on digital transformation. For patients, this means a greater focus on prevention, quality, and access, while for providers it translates to improvements in technology to allow greater focus on high-touch tasks, reduced time for clerical needs, and improved insight from patient data. The underlying promises remain the same: meaningful accessibility, greater efficiency, and an improved patient experience.

“The worldwide market for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) services will reach $7.7 billion in 2020, and will grow to $12 billion in 2023,” according to Forrester. “The services-to-license ratio will be 3.2 to 1. The automation market will see a shift from point solutions to more comprehensive offerings that will address integration challenges and will enable best-in-class features that enterprises require.”

In addition, McKinsey estimates that there could be as much as $100 billion in annual savings for medicine and pharma by leaning on artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to process the increase.

At Boston Software Systems, we are seeing an uptake in automation requests across the healthcare enterprise. We may begin with a revenue cycle management project, and it goes so well, that we become involved in optimizing data migrations, unlocking additional opportunities for automation, or performance monitoring with the Boston Productivity Dashboard. We look forward to having a conversation with you about how we might power your enterprise with a digital workforce.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday season, with an abundance of joy and happiness. We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to serving you in 2020, improving usability for the healthcare enterprise.

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!

The Benefits of Automation in Healthcare

Three out of four health systems and hospitals cite efficiency as one of the top financial issues when trying to cut waste and improve overall performance. Healthcare organizations have not fully realized the benefits of automation. Those who have implemented automation solutions have seen marked reductions in cost and overall improvements in productivity.

Revenue Cycle Management in Healthcare

Automation gathers and analyzes relevant information from multiple sources, applications, websites, databases, and checks for accuracy, analyzes for completion, and routes as needed in Epic, Allscripts, Cerner, MEDITECH, McKesson, GE Healthcare, CPSI, Siemens, and revenue cycle management systems, alleviating the tedious manual input of repetitive information from disparate systems. Regardless of business logic constraints, revenue cycle management tasks are managed in a fraction of the time it takes an employee, working 24/7 with 100% accuracy. Everything from pre-authorizations to claims management, secondary claims, Medicare status checks, and bundling, automation provides the power of a digital workforce utilizing business logic to provide a seamless experience without human interaction. Debts languishing in accounts receivable can bog down a healthcare institution and negatively impact the bottom line. Automation helps hospitals and health systems #bridgethegaps left by vendors, and poor interoperability between applications and payers. In addition, healthcare automation helps with the unique “workarounds” that delay reimbursement and puzzle most vendors.

EHR/EMR Data Migrations

In EHR/EMR data migrations, automation is used to bring over all of the data the hospital or health system needs for an optimal implementation, reducing workflow bottlenecks, improving project timelines, and enabling staff to concentrate on patients rather than manual data entry. But it’s not just about bringing the data over, it’s about making sure it’s clean, actionable, and available in the new system on day one, eliminating time drains and preventing revenue losses. Intelligent healthcare automation brings over all of the data you need from disparate systems and updates the patient record or scheduling system with no employee effort. HL7 projects are more labor and cost intensive. Healthcare automation is the missing piece to ensure the data is not only available, but integrated in the new system, providing a unified view, accurate validation, and tested for end-user performance.

Project-Specific Departmental Tasks

Intelligent automation (IA) projects can be implemented for improved processes in hospital labs and externally-linked facilities, dramatically improving efficiency and reducing data-driven user fatigue. In clinical laboratories, efficiency equates to reducing the number of process steps. Automation in healthcare can be tailored to the needs of a lab, to expedite workflows, and optimize the use of personnel and equipment, improving lab safety and allowing staff to spend more time on abnormal or critical results. Value-added steps may include checking various systems for information, comparing past values for increases / decreases, and documenting changes.

Security and HIPAA

The multiple layers of federal and state regulations, combined with quality reporting, accreditation, and licensure, adds to a redundancy of data capture and documentation in healthcare. By taking the human out of the loop and automating data sharing and processing tasks, the likelihood of mistakes leading to security vulnerabilities is substantially reduced in hospitals and health systems. In addition, healthcare automation technology takes place on your system, not on a third-party system, so there is no web browsing, no vulnerable plugins, and no unauthorized access.

Hospital/Health System Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019, we saw widespread industry consolidation in healthcare. Everywhere from hospitals and health systems to physician practices, telehealth, pharmacy, payor, and the consumer market, mergers and acquisitions grew approximately four times higher in the second quarter of 2019 when compared to the previous year. The rise in mergers and acquisitions means merging electronic health records (EHR) across disparate systems. Automation merges disparate data silos, creating faster implementation and improved connectivity.

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!

How Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Fits Into the Future of Healthcare

Is RPA New to Healthcare?

No, robotic process automation (RPA) has been available for almost 30 years. The power of RPA is working behind the scenes to move data between applications or from file to the application. It replaces back-end solutions that used to take months, or even years, to complete. The healthcare RPA approach is faster to implement and used to automate workflow tasks to remove the burden of redundant manual data entry. This approach is now commonly referred to as “workflow automation” or employing a “digitized workforce.” There are many vendors who would like you to think it’s the “latest great thing,” maybe even calling it artificial intelligence (AI), but leading vendors like Boston Software Systems have been doing this for decades.

Is RPA the Future of Work?

RPA enables organizations to effectively automate tasks, streamline processes, increase employee productivity, and ultimately deliver a satisfying customer experience. Venture capital investments are driving the rebranding of this automation technology. Some new organizations with significant funding are adding other features to workflow automation, like mobile analytics dashboards or user-friendly interfaces. Regardless of the added accessories, the core of what it takes to successfully deploy a healthcare RPA solution is the ability to work with all of the applications across the organization, regardless of vendor constraints. It is now possible to intelligently optimize how work gets done – by humans – across the enterprise from a central end-to-end platform. This “future of work” is quickly expanding in healthcare due to an increasing demand for operational efficiency.

Digital Health: Strengthened by Robots

Organizations can now intelligently optimize how work gets done, which means radically enhanced efficiency, increased employee performance, a reduction of operational risks, and improved response times. For 30 years we have been the leader in providing 100% automation focused workflow support to healthcare enterprises. Our RPA platform can reliably automate processes across clinical, business office, finance, operations, and IT departments in hospitals, health systems, and provider organizations.

Boston Software Systems is behind the scenes with some of the leading data application vendors and consulting firms in healthcare. This partnership provides the end user with a 360 degree view of data embedded within partner technology. By connecting to disparate data sources, healthcare automation drives richer, faster, more accurate data throughputs, with complete alignment to existing workflows. Users build bots in weeks and scale on-demand, meeting critical timelines and increasing return on investment.

What Kind of Healthcare Automation Projects Have We Already Accomplished?

This list below is what just one client was able to achieve by partnering with Boston Software Systems. Dozens of systems represented were enhanced with automation. And these were accomplished within weeks.

Claims Status Checks

EOB Download

Password Updates

Failed Claims Checking

Patient Estimator

Security Checks

Eligibility Checks

Charge Capture

Change Management

Pre-Authorizations

Supply Chain

Accounts Receivable

Missing Codes

Pharmacy Checks

Secondary Billing

Insurance Verification

Lab Codes

Payment Posting

McKinsey states, “RPA is a promising new development in business automation that offers a potential ROI of 30–200 percent—in the first year.” We are seeing this and more from our many healthcare automation deployments.

What About the Reliability of the Automations When Something Changes?

In healthcare, RPA mimics repeatable human processes. By deploying RPA, companies can automate rules-based activities. Yet, an RPA company needs to be able to adapt to the applications, the way the application is deployed, and the environment. The challenge is building the connection to an application that will reliably work yet is agile enough to manage. Our experience results in comprehensive understanding, faster deployment, and more successful projects. Working with thousands of clients across hundreds of applications provides us with a unique understanding of potential issues and how to mitigate them before they occur. In addition, the use of monitoring dashboards and daily reports provide customer teams complete control and a thorough understanding of the automations’ activities and performance.

Why Boston Software Systems?
We have connected to and worked with almost every application in healthcare either directly or through our healthcare partners. Our experience spans Epic, Allscripts, Cerner, MEDITECH, eCW, Greenway, McKesson, GE Healthcare, CPSI, Siemens, and more. If it’s a healthcare application, system, or solution, you can bet Boston Software Systems has a history with them.

We have learned the nuances and intricacies about each of these applications enabling a more efficient, streamlined process. Techniques, expertise, and the thousands of connections we have created over the decades, gives us a strategic advantage that continues to be at the core of how we provide value-add solutions to our clients.

This clear advantage allows us to deliver an automated and efficient workflow process with 100% accuracy, reliability, and scalability. Because we are focused most on our customers, we continue to keep the deployment of our platform as simple as possible. We don’t require special hardware or connectivity.

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!

Top Healthcare Technology Trends in 2020

As we wind down 2019, it’s time to head to the crystal ball and predict the biggest healthcare technology trends for the coming year. Not surprisingly, 2020 will continue to focus on digital transformation. For patients, this means a greater focus on prevention, quality, and access, while for providers it translates to improvements in technology to allow greater focus on high-touch tasks, reduced time for clerical needs, and improved insight from patient data. The underlying promises remain the same: meaningful accessibility, greater efficiency, and an improved patient experience.

Let’s take a look at the Top 5 Healthcare Technology Trends for 2020.

AI and Machine Learning

Automation technologies will continue to dominate healthcare and include a diverse set of capabilities, from robotic process automation (RPA), to continued development of artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). All are becoming key investments for CIO’s looking to increase capability and contain cost while improving productivity in day-to-day operations. In 2010, medical data doubled every 3.5 years. In 2020, it is projected to double every 73 days. The digitization of healthcare is producing more and more data, while hospitals and provider organizations still struggle to unlock its full value. McKinsey estimates that there could be as much as $100 billion in annual savings for medicine and pharma by leaning on artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to process the increase.

Robotics

Robotic applications connect humans and machines and perform tasks with excellent precision, increased productivity, and in some cases, greater patient safety than regular procedures. Robotic technologies can be used to perform surgeries, disinfect patient rooms and operating suites, manage pharmacy medication dispensaries, and reduce risks for patients and medical personnel. They can aid in laboratories, supply rooms, physical therapy suites, and remote patient monitoring devices. In 2020, robotics continues to make way into mainstream healthcare by increasing productivity and changing the way healthcare is delivered, monitored, and conducted.

Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring services are being realized by mainstream healthcare as a significant part of an expanding digital portfolio for managing access, overcoming geographic and socioeconomic barriers, and expanding chronic care services. For 2020, the AMA recently added six new “e-visit” CPT codes, and CMS finalized policies to increase plan choices and benefits. The most recent change allowed Medicare Advantage plans to include additional telehealth benefits. Telehealth can reduce the cost of care by eliminating the physical barriers that prevent patients from managing their health, and in some situations, seeking treatment in the first place.

Wearable Tech

The wearable industry is expected to reach $240 million in 2021. Devices to measure blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm, and sugar levels continue to dominate the buying market. The Internet of Things (IoT) is fostering a new generation of “quantified self” devices in 2020, connecting healthcare silos, enabling remote patient monitoring, and unleashing the potential of real-time tracking. Worldwide spending in the wearable technology market will increase by a third in 2020, with smartwatches leading the rise. According to revenue, headsets are in the number two spot.

Genomics

Genomics has progressed from an emerging discipline to a vital area of biomedical research and a growing component of medical care. Innovations in clinical research will drive our ability to predict, treat, and combat imbalances and diseases with greater precision, and improved outcomes. Simple blood samples may soon help us detect cancer and optimize disease management, through the use of genomic medicine. The future is bright for genomic research, advanced clinical trials, and precision medicine.

As healthcare technology enters 2020, one thing is certain: technology is a key building block for the infrastructure of the healthcare delivery system. Technology provides us with greater efficiencies, more precise therapies, and the ability to connect care across geographical, social, and physical barriers. And although technology is vital, it must align to people and process, in order to identify barriers and provide usable solutions. A key component of healthcare technology in 2020 will rely on this connection.

Regardless of the innovation, the delivery mechanism, or the product, we must connect the technology to the people who use it. Let’s create sustainable partnerships within our communities, across vendor solutions, and system silos for maximum use and positive change. Let us know how we can help you realize your healthcare automation potential in 2020.

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

Cheers to all for a happy, healthy 2020.

About Boston Software Systems
Since 1985, Boston Software Systems is the dedicated leader in healthcare automation. Hospitals, health systems, and providers have streamlined data management and improved accuracy while reducing costs and administrative burden. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, while optimizing usability and user satisfaction.
Our exclusive healthcare experience offers a thorough understanding of the unique challenges of HIPAA, PHI, and security. We have thousands of connections working with all applications and vendor systems, and provide 100% US-based support.

Automating the Prior Authorization Process to Reduce Time, Eliminate Inaccuracies, and Save Money

Hospitals and physician offices are forced to use a tedious and inefficient referral authorization process. Because of the number of different payers and plans in any market, there are multiple portals with varying requirements for revenue cycle operations. An obstacle to accuracy is information residing in multiple systems, making it difficult to reconcile or link to the right patient record. The workflow is clunky, error-prone, and defaults to an inefficient time drain, usually managed manually. When corrections are necessary, this loop of information gathering needs to be repeated again, adding a layer of complexity to what should be a simple process. The best way to improve the prior authorization process is to infuse an intelligent automation solution in the workflow. The manual process, which took an average of forty five click-throughs on various screens and check boxes, is seamless and requires no manual intervention!

By removing the manual redundancies in data entry, the referral coordinator is able to spend time in other tasks that require the human coordination of patient care. Workload stress and data burden is reduced because the repetition of tedious tasking is eliminated. CPT and ICD codes can be easy to key inaccurately. A simple code variation has a huge implication and causes a delay in processing the referral, causing a delay in the patient’s continued care. Automation ensures 100% accuracy and speeds up the authorization process so the patient can continue care sooner and the hospital or physician organization can be paid faster. Automation can further be used to make corrections to claims in seconds, requiring no manual re-entry of data for a small error on the part of the requesting entity. The codes are corrected and are ready to re-submit automatically.

A survey by the American Medical Association found 75% of providers reported “seeking prior authorizations put a high or extremely high “burden” on the practice.” The time associated with prior authorizations can vary between 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the complexity and the phone vs. portal. Multiply that times the number of prior authorizations per week and you can see the value in automating this time-laden process. Patient care is delayed by 1-3 days on average, which can be a critical factor in care coordination, or even in possible re-admissions. What was intended as a means to manage the utilization of healthcare resources: people, time and dollars, has turned into a labor-intensive, time-consuming, and costly burden, adding up to $7.00 to the cost of the data manipulation and increasing the time it takes for “dollars in the door” at medical practices and hospitals.

Providers allocate substantial staffing resources to manage re- submissions. The lack of industry standards increases preparation time. Health plans often deny prior authorization requests due to incorrect, incomplete, or inconsistent patient identification. The technology exists to make this a fully-automated process. Boston Software Systems’ workflow automation platform enables revenue cycle managers to complete routine jobs efficiently and with 100% accuracy. We have worked with revenue cycle systems such as: Epic Systems, Soarian Financials, athenahealth, Cerner, Star, MEDITECH, Greenway Intergy, Prime Suite, Allscripts, eCW, NextGen, McKesson, and more. In all applications, Boston Software Systems has been able to drive increased profitability and maintain a patient-focused revenue cycle.

Give us a call. Let’s work on automating your revenue cycle tasks, resulting in improved outcomes, reduced cost, and a happier administrative staff.

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

About Boston Software Systems
Since 1985, Boston Software Systems is the dedicated leader in healthcare automation. Hospitals, health systems, and providers have streamlined data management and improved accuracy while reducing costs and administrative burden. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, while optimizing usability and user satisfaction.
Our exclusive healthcare experience offers a thorough understanding of the unique challenges of HIPAA, PHI, and security. We have thousands of connections working with all applications and vendor systems, and provide 100% US-based support.

5 Myths About Automation in Healthcare

Automation, RPA, AI… it seems these are the buzzwords of 2019. Many leaders, inside and outside of healthcare, have indicated interest in applying automation as part of their organization’s strategic goals, and why not? Get more done with less, sign me up! As hospitals and patient care organizations are increasingly implementing enterprise EHRs and dealing with ever-changing government, state, and insurance mandates, automation becomes a great partner to bridge the gaps left by the big vendors, allowing more time to take care of patients and manage related services.

Despite the increase in news coverage and conversations about automation, it seems there is still a lot of confusion around what automation actually is, the capabilities of automation, and the myths surrounding it. Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths.

Myth 1: Automation Only Works Well For Simple, Repetitive Tasks

There is no denying automation works great for simple, repetitive tasks, but it doesn’t stop there. Automation can be applied to work across applications, websites, programs, databases, and more, using various inputs, converting data, and even using complex business logic and decision-making to meet the needs of your healthcare organization. At a high-level, automation follows the same process and steps as an employee performing the manual workflow, and is capable of performing just a few steps to several hundred steps. Automation can be leveraged to perform a portion of a workflow or the entire workflow, and can do so 10 times faster and 100 times more accurately, with no down time for nights, holidays, or weekends.

Myth 2: The Majority of Automation Projects Fail

While this may be partially true, the statistics are not the same across vendors or industries. Most studies conclude projects fail because they do not accurately identify a specific business objective that automation can solve. Furthermore, automating poor processes or processes with a low ROI are the ones most likely to fail. At Boston Software Systems, we do things differently. With 30 years of healthcare-focused automation experience, we have a proven track record and thousands of successful automations running every day. We partner with your organization to determine the best projects for automation. Having an exclusive healthcare footprint provides us with a unique advantage over other vendors as we understand your processes, the importance of protecting patient data, and the strong standards necessary for automation success.

Myth 3: It’s Mad Science

This myth is often promoted by automation vendors who claim they invented some game-changing technology in recent years. Truth be told, automation has been used for decades to help organizations increase productivity. It is more capable and more accurate today than at any time in the past. Not mad science, just evolved and proven technology to interact with your applications and perform the same workflows as your employees, but faster and with greater accuracy. With advancements in AI in the next several years, automations will only become more advanced and powerful to accomplish larger and more complex tasks.

Myth 4: Automation Doesn’t Work with Your EHR

This simply isn’t true. At Boston Software Systems we have worked with nearly every EHR vendor large and small, and many other vendors’ ancillary systems in all departments, including revenue cycle and finance, human resources, and operations. Automation helps staff and providers to bridge the gaps left by system vendors who don’t deliver on interoperability claims, leaving providers and staff struggling to complete time-consuming manual workflows. Not only does automation work with your EHR, it maximizes the usability of your applications from day one of go-live.

Myth 5: Automation is Difficult To Manage, Maintain, and Requires Coding Experience

While our automations are based on coding language, advancements in user-facing applications allow for easy scripting of processes and “low code” use for build and maintenance. Most often the best automation builders are those who are close with the business process being automated and do not have extensive technical or coding backgrounds. Our automation platform is scalable and as your organization builds a library of automations, the effort to build new automations continues to decrease. Dashboard integration allows easy monitoring and management of automations from a central point along with powerful reporting that allows your team to always be in control and aware of all automation processing. Should assistance be needed, solutions and support teams are 100% US-based and available to assist with all of your needs.

Don’t be fooled or intimidated by the myths, automation is a powerful tool, enabling you to accomplish more, for less cost, and with greater accuracy. With the right automation partner who understands your healthcare organization’s unique needs and workflows, and has a proven track record for success, you’re just a phone call or email away from boosting your organization’s productivity.

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

About Boston Software Systems
Since 1985, Boston Software Systems is the dedicated leader in healthcare automation. Hospitals, health systems, and providers have streamlined data management and improved accuracy while reducing costs and administrative burden. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, while optimizing usability and user satisfaction.
Our exclusive healthcare experience offers a thorough understanding of the unique challenges of HIPAA, PHI, and security. We have thousands of connections working with all applications and vendor systems, and provide 100% US-based support.

Power a Digital Workforce for Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management costs consistently rank as some of the largest expenses for healthcare and hospital systems. What can be done to better manage rising costs and tighten up cost structures?

Here are five examples of applications and processes where a digital workforce, supplied through intelligent automation, is most effective:

Charges to Cost Centers, Order Processing

Updates to databases, order entry checks, and purchase orders can be checked, verified, and completed using an accurate, always available, digital workforce. Tasks ranging from maintaining a correct record of the purchase history, payment method, and volume of order, to updating files, can be improved with automation.

Routine and Ad-Hoc Reporting and Performance Analytics

Automation can be used to explore data in existing reports and extract meaningful insights, or to create a report “on the fly” by gathering information from a table, file system, database, or chart. Business process automation is used to deliver deeper insights about your users and reveal actions you can take to improve the supply chain or materials management process. Through the use of a performance dashboard, you can display the areas in need of improvement or those that are performing optimally.

Data Migration and Integration

Many times, data lives in multiple, disparate systems, that is needed for supply chain metrics. The format of data that your existing platform outputs might be quite different than what is required from your legacy system. The ability to standardize data elements across platforms may involve lots of manual work that is easily repeatable, if using an automated, digital workforce. Whereas repeated, manual manipulation increases the likelihood of human errors that can be difficult to identify later on.

Vendor Management

Contract monitoring, updating vendor files, and changing passwords or system access, is something well-suited for an automation platform. Vendor management applications, such as staffing, temporary and permanent staff as well as contract and contingent staff, are easily conducted through intelligent automation. In addition, automation assists with the periodic checking of vendor access use and cleanup based on organization rules to help increase security and reduce risks to sensitive data, without the need for manual review.

Inventory Management

As hospitals are forced to tighten their belts, staff are pressured to address inventory management. Unfortunately, this is often a manual, time-consuming process of inefficiency and errors. Automating these tasks enables health systems to trace and track inventory and devices used each day in a healthcare setting.

Employing a digital workforce allows companies to replace tedious human processing involved in the supply chain with fast and 100% accurate information. This enables better collaboration and communication between disparate applications, eliminating conflicting information stored in multiple data silos. Improve your supply chain management within your healthcare system today. Give us a call to discuss.

#bridgethegaps #usability #emr #ehr #supplychain #ai #automation #machinelearning

About Boston Software Systems
Since 1985, Boston Software Systems is the dedicated leader in healthcare automation. Hospitals, health systems, and providers have streamlined data management and improved accuracy while reducing costs and administrative burden. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, while optimizing usability and user satisfaction.
Our exclusive healthcare experience offers a thorough understanding of the unique challenges of HIPAA, PHI, and security. We have thousands of connections working with all applications and vendor systems, and provide 100% US-based support.

To Create Success, Focus on the End User

How do you measure success? Some measure it by outward appearances, a salary package, job title, or a new house. Others focus more attention to inward measurements of success like a level of satisfaction, good health, a depth of well-being and a heart filled with compassion. The latter definitions are much like our vision for patient-centered healthcare.

A Pathway to Improve Care

The “Triple/Quadruple Aim” provided us with a vision and a pathway to improve success. The problem we encountered was in aligning incentives to people and process. The Quadruple Aim included the following four pillars of success:

  • Improve the Health of Patients
  • Improve the Health of Populations
  • Reduce the Cost
  • Improve the Work-Life of Those Delivering Care

These regulatory measurements of success gave us a compass to point the way, yet the inability to close the gaps like interoperability, lack of standards, and the additional time necessary to complete tasks is disparate EHR system silos.

How Do We Put Success into Action?

JAMA says, “The Triple Aim done right is more than goals; it can be the basis for cultural change that can be put into real action.”

This cultural change requires our efforts to place people at the center of organizational improvement. By creating greater efficiencies based on role-based user workflows, we can improve the process, reduce the cost, and eliminate the waste in healthcare. At Boston Software Systems, we #bridgethegaps by enabling healthcare to:

  • Migrate all the data needed in application migrations
  • Automate routine, repetitive tasks in revenue cycle, EHR, reports, and operations
  • Eliminate “chasing the data” in disparate system silos

As we progress, so do our criteria for defining measurements. Don’t be afraid to change the way you measure success. In healthcare we’ve learned, through hard lessons, that the name of your software doesn’t matter as much as if it works for your users and organization. You may not recognize “Boston Software Systems” because we are so deeply embedded in many partner systems that we operate below the radar. We focus solely on creating process improvements by using automation that improves success for the end user, and we’ve been doing it for 30 years.

There are numerous opportunities to apply automation technology for success:

  • Organizations can streamline and automate the execution of repetitive business processes, which improves quality, security, and efficiency
  • Repetitive, rules-based processes are perfect areas to optimize with automation
  • Revenue cycle, data migrations, scheduling, labs, pharmacy, and more

The Boston Productivity Dashboard

Another way to measure success is with the use of the Boston Productivity Dashboard. It provides custom views, reports, and analytics so healthcare executives, directors, and managers can better manage the performance data for their particular business needs. More importantly, the dashboard delivers drill-down capabilities for exploring the data behind the metrics. The dashboard gives you the ability to configure your personal, group, or departmental dashboard for performance and process monitoring, allowing for quick detection of process bottlenecks and problems. From these dashboard views you can track problems, investigate, and improve processes and success. This is the art of the personalized exception report.

Focus on the end user when affecting change in your organization. It is only then that you can create and sustain success.

#bridgethegaps #usability #emr #ehr #rcm #ai #automation #machinelearning

About Boston Software Systems
Since 1985, Boston Software Systems is the dedicated leader in healthcare automation. Hospitals, health systems, and providers have streamlined data management and improved accuracy while reducing costs and administrative burden. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors, while optimizing usability and user satisfaction.
Our exclusive healthcare experience offers a thorough understanding of the unique challenges of HIPAA, PHI, and security. We have thousands of connections working with all applications and vendor systems, and provide 100% US-based support.