Lessons from HIMSS22

This week in Orlando was a time to reconnect and gather with friends to “Reimagine Health” at HIMSS22. According to a HIMSS spokesperson, the total estimated attendance for HIMSS22 is roughly 28,000, including both onsite and virtual registration. The main value of the conference this week was in gathering together, meeting friends in person, and sharing hugs after over two years of isolation as a result of COVID-19. HIMSS CEO Hal Wolf highlighted the urgency of health equity. Former Disney executive Ben Sherwood celebrated the power of storytelling. AWS’ Dr. Taha Kass-Hout and GE Healthcare’s Vignesh Shetty discussed the need to break down information silos, in order to move the industry forward. From addressing clinical burnout to understanding value-based care, this week’s conference asked attendees to reimagine healthcare. We were not onsite, but attended virtually. Here’s a few of our takeaways from the digital conference taking place in Orlando:

Technology Should Support People

Much was discussed this week about the need for peaceful coexistence between vendors, all working toward a common goal of supporting clinicians and patients. How do we reduce burnout, improve health equity, and increase the availability of data to support population health goals? We need to remove the burden of desktop medicine, allow physicians and clinicians to operate at the top of their license, and not just in front of computer screens. Taking care of patients should be the number one priority, not inputting information into disparate systems that are incapable of connecting data points. What that means may not be an entirely new platform, but we need to recognize the importance of including patient generated health data (PGHD), wearables, apps, and devices so that we can create a more comprehensive health record, improving health outcomes. We need better regulatory initiatives that support patients, not EHR vendors. Healthcare and HealthIT are at an inflection point, and it will take the desire to work together across vendor lines to change the current challenges and improve healthcare.

Interoperability

Another topic of much discussion this week was interoperability in healthcare. Yes, we’re still talking about it. No, we’re not there. In fact, we haven’t made huge strides over the last 20 years. Steven Lane, MD, Clinical Informatics Director for Privacy, Information Security and Interoperability at California-based Sutter Health, moderated a discussion revolving around interoperability issues beyond standards and technology. The panel discussed the need for patients and clinicians to be involved in how products are being designed and developed, so that greater usability and benefit can be realized. Dr. Lane noted the role of competition in limiting interoperability, whether it’s competition between Health IT vendors or between provider organizations. There continues to be a sense of creating walled gardens, not enhanced data sharing between systems and provider organizations. There’s an increased desire from patients to contribute to their health records. Healthcare delivery takes place outside the four walls of a provider office, yet how we aggregate and include PGHD into the health record needs to address the barriers and challenges to workflow, physician time constraints, and general communication issues. Sending one blood pressure reading per day via your iPhone to the patient portal creates even more work for clinicians. There has to be a way to include these data points without being overly intrusive to clinical workflows and time constraints.

Retail, Patients, Apps, and Devices

Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP, SVP and Aetna Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health, explored how the healthcare industry should think differently about patients, transforming them into empowered healthcare consumers. Dr. Rhee shared how CVS Health is addressing this shift through its strong retail DNA, digital offerings, and clinical solutions so that every patient and family has access to healthcare services with a focus on health equity. The overall theme during the online sessions was, “keep it simple.” Don’t try to boil the ocean. When you’re building something new, think about scalability, the end-user experience, and the outcomes you’d like to achieve. As Paul Amadeus Lane, Founding Member of the Tech Access Group at the United Spinal Association stated, “do the right thing.” With connectivity, access, patients, and solutions. There is no one-size-fits-all in healthcare. It’s a team sport. Design well, disrupt when needed, and continue moving forward. That’s what we think of in this year’s theme, “Reimagining Health.” How do we humanize the experience, at every opportunity?

How Do We Help?

Boston Software Systems has been the global leader of healthcare-specific RPA solutions for 30 years. We’ve made it easier to migrate data from disparate EHR silos, portals, and kiosks, and send the information to the right system, for the right user, at the right time. We’ve powered the revenue cycle claims management process, eliminating weeks of waiting for reimbursements, and allowed providers to continue ‘business as usual’ despite the limitations of a global pandemic. Our 2022 KLAS score was at 93.8% out of 100 in customer satisfaction. We’d love to help you reimagine health, by sharing our successes with you. Let’s chat for 30 minutes, continuing the discussions that began at HIMSS22. We look forward to helping you reduce tasks, improve manual processes, and increase bottom line revenue in the coming year.

HIMSS 22: Reimagine Health

The theme of HIMSS22 this year in Orlando is, “Reimagine Health,” and we cannot think of a more appropriate theme for gathering together after two plus years of being apart. It’s a time to ‘reimagine’ health, healthcare delivery, health equity, and our need to strengthen global preparedness and response to COVID-19 and future epidemics. As was noted this week at #ViVE2022 in Miami, it is a perfect time to take stock of where we are and what we’ve learned, to build back stronger organizational foundations. The key will be finding ways in which people, technology, and best practice guidelines can support clinicians, patients, and healthcare innovation.

Some of the Featured Speakers and Keynotes at a Glance

This year’s HIMSS22 Opening Keynote, Daring Greatly: Leading and Succeeding in the Age of Disruption, will feature Ben Sherwood, former co-chair of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney | ABC Television Group.

Angela Duckworth, Founder and CEO of Character Lab, and a pioneering researcher on grit, perseverance, and the science of success, will deliver the closing keynote.

Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, will discuss President Biden’s vision to build a healthy America, and ensure that all Americans have health security and access to healthcare.

Accelerate Health Sessions on Tuesday March 15th, will include sessions on emerging care models, startup and enterprise partnerships, the expanding role of influencers in healthcare marketing, and the future of healthcare IT through the venture capital and investment lens.

HIMSS Interoperability Education Sessions will include sessions on expanding the global health IT ecosystem, the use of FHIR® to accelerate innovation, women leading health IT interoperability, and additional sessions on medication management and scaling interoperability in a time of crisis.

John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, will touch on topics such as leadership, conscious capitalism, the challenges COVID-19 has presented to businesses and the innovation that has come out of those challenges, during his keynote as part of the Executive Summit.

As leaders of elite military teams, former fighter pilot Jim “Murph” Murphy and his wingwoman, Jen “Steel” Johnson, will deliver a keynote titled, “Top Gun and Healthcare,” on Friday, sharing inspirational stories of how they created a culture of discipline and trust to execute flawlessly in the unforgiving, rapidly changing world of military aviation.

Michael Phelps, widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, will close out the HIMSS22 keynote sessions by exploring the importance of advancing mental health initiatives to transform health and well-being.

Don’t Forget to Pack These Essentials

Make sure to take several masks, for the plane as well as for crowded venues. And, don’t forget to take an extra phone or battery charger, as you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to lose or misplace your one and only. Shoes are probably the most important aspect of packing. Comfortable shoes make the entire difference when you’re walking the convention floors every day (and parties at night). It’s always a good idea to pack a travel size bottle of acetaminophen, just in case you need it, as it’s impossible to order via room service. And to help you find conversations on your favorite topics during HIMSS22, as well as join the right conversation at the right time, be sure to use the hashtags as referenced in the HIMSS Hashtag Guide.

On-Site Health and Safety Measures

HIMSS22 will proceed with a COVID-19 vaccination required approach for all attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and HIMSS staff. In accordance with current prevailing public health guidance all attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and HIMSS staff will be required to wear masks during HIMSS22 while on the HIMSS22 campus (this could change), and increased cleaning protocols will be implemented for high-touch areas and/or demonstration products.

The following protocols will be in place for your safety during HIMSS22:

  • All primary venues utilize hospital-grade air ventilation systems.
  • All primary venues utilize approved cleaners in all high-touch areas.
  • Socially distanced seating options will be provided in all venues, including at all education sessions and networking events.
  • Exhibit hall will include wider aisles with booths spaced farther apart.
  • PPE will be available throughout the HIMSS22 Campus.

The Digital Pass and the Full Pass grant access to all HIMSS22 Digital content presented on the platform, as well as video recordings of several in-person keynotes. These on-demand videos will be available within 24 hours of their live presentation in Orlando and can be viewed on the HIMSS22 Digital platform until April 30, 2022.

About Boston Software Systems

Don’t limit your RPA and digital transformation discussions only to on-site vendors. We won’t be in Orlando, but we’re always eager to speak with you. We can schedule time before, during, or after the conference. At Boston Software Systems, we state our truths and keep our promises. And we deliver fast with implementations in weeks, and no on-site disruption, just customer success.

KLAS gave Boston Software Systems solid A’s in company culture, loyalty, operations, and value, in the “Best in KLAS 2022” report. Our suite of automation solutions provides a digital workforce for EHR/EMR data migrations, revenue cycle management, and organizational efficiency.

Powering Digital Transformation in the Revenue Cycle

Automation technologies in healthcare are changing the way people work, by powering completion of mundane, tedious tasks, allowing humans to focus on higher-priority items that require empathy, conversation, and communication. It’s not Artificial Intelligence (AI), but rather automation technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Intelligent Automation (IA), that accelerate cash flow and positively impact net revenue for hospitals and health systems. Between $0.25 – $0.33 cents of every dollar you spend on medical care goes to pay for back office costs, like those in the healthcare revenue cycle. The pandemic kicked revenue cycle teams into “emergency preparedness mode.” How does automation continue to simplify the process and reduce administrative costs?

Claims Status Checks

A huge win for revenue cycle teams is automating the claims status process. In the past, a human staff member would need to log in to multiple payer websites, or call them, for updates to claims statuses. Because revenue cycle items can be found in multiple, disparate databases, “our staff was spending 50% of their time just making sure the payers received the claims,” said Brad Cox, Director of Patient Accounts at Northwestern Medicine. The average hospital processes tens of thousands of claims every month. Revenue cycle team members spend countless hours going out to multiple portals to see which claims require follow-up. This manual process pulls people away from higher value work. Instead of manually going through claims one by one, RPA can automate the workflow. One customer stated, “No response claims status checks revealed a 330% ROI in the first year. And that goes into perpetuity.” When a provider manually runs a claim status check, on average it takes 15-19 minutes per claim, and costs providers $7.00 – $10.00. By automating the process, there is an instant savings in time and labor.

Denial Management

Claim denials represent an operational speed bump for hospitals and health systems. Denial management costs hospitals roughly $262 billion (yes, billion), each year. By the time a claim reaches a denied status, the provider has lost at least two weeks in reimbursement. To minimize delays, hospitals and provider organizations can improve the process and #bridgethegaps that exist between system vendors, billing systems, and other data silos, areas that should work easily (but don’t), giving human workers back their time, and providing relief for some of the mind-numbing tasks in the revenue cycle. This shift allows staff to focus on higher priority items that require communication or a personal touch, improving productivity and employee satisfaction.

Before submission, automation can handle the tedious tasks of claims management including:

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

After submission, automation can handle additional tasks including:

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

Eligibility Checks

Checking patient eligibility can require applying more than 250 complex business rules to data found in 30+ fields about co-pays, co-insurance, deductible amounts, etc. Automating the process saves over 80% of the processing time, sifting through volumes of data and applying rules-based processes to claims so that humans can spend time working on other tasks. Automation relieves the burden of data integrity by ensuring accuracy and increasing efficiency in the healthcare revenue cycle. The return on investment (ROI) can be upwards of 350% in the first six months. Here’s just a few of the savings our clients achieved:

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

Boston WorkStation has been reducing the “cost to collect” in hospitals, health systems, and provider organizations for over 30 years. In a world where problems are getting more complex, problem-solving skills say everything about a company. We built and retained a loyal customer base by treating our customers well, and giving them a reason to do business with us again (and again). We keep our promises, and remain true to the level of service our clients have come to expect from us. We’ve worked with all EHR vendors and applications, and provide automation services onsite or in the AWS cloud. Give us a call. We’d love to discuss our successes with you.

Boston WorkStation Ranks 2nd in Best of KLAS 2022 Awards

KLAS Research released their annual “Best in KLAS 2022” report this week on Software and Services. The Best in KLAS designation is reserved for the software and services market segments that have the broadest operational and clinical impact on healthcare organizations.

By working with thousands of healthcare executives and clinicians, KLAS gathers data on software, services, and medical equipment to deliver timely reports, trending data, and statistical overviews about the healthcare industry. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. Founded in 1996, KLAS has been providing transparency to the healthcare industry for over 20 years.

Boston Software Systems ranked 2nd in the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) vendor category for the second consecutive year, coming in with an impressive overall score of 93.8.

With the average category score for KLAS-rated RPA services at 91.1, Boston WorkStation surpassed competitor rankings with a final score of 93.8 out of 100. This was three points higher than our 2021 scores. Boston WorkStation was given high scores in overall product quality and driving tangible outcomes at scale, by automating and simplifying complex, labor-intensive processes across multiple areas of the healthcare ecosystem.

Based on current surveys from 16 unique healthcare organizations, the feedback from our customers was overwhelming in terms of the following:

  • 100% of Boston WorkStation customers stated that Boston Software Systems keeps their promises.
  • 100% of Boston WorkStation customers stated that Boston Software Systems does not charge for every little thing.
  • 100% of Boston WorkStation customers stated that the product works as promoted.

Here’s a sample of the feedback received:

Vice President:

“I would absolutely recommend this product to others. It is a great alternative when we have a remedial task coming out or need something that we don’t have the staffing for. The COVID-19 pandemic was a great example of that. It hit the healthcare world like a ton of bricks. The product was extremely helpful during that time. There is a certain level of build and time that we have to give to the system, but I would absolutely recommend it or any type of automation tool to another healthcare provider. We really like the product.”

Analyst:

“If I place a panic call to Boston Software Systems and ask them to help me out because the world is on fire and I have got to get things figured out, they will get up with me. The people at Boston Software Systems will help me do what I need to do, and that is worth its weight in gold in this industry. With other vendors, it has taken me a month to finally get a very simple answer because they kept shoving me off to a call center. It is not like that with Boston Software Systems.”

Director:

“The vendor absolutely does what they say they will do. Unlike a lot of other vendors that are entering this space, Boston Software Systems actually knows healthcare. They can interact with us. I really like that this system works as if it were a human being sitting at a terminal. With those other systems, the information is great, but we can’t act on it. With Boston Software Systems, the system analyzes things exactly as a person would. It takes the same steps that a person would. The only difference is that the system runs 24/7/365.”

Director:

“We use the system to its fullest capabilities. We automated a process during COVID-19, and I don’t think we could have kept up with our volume without the system. We have had a lot of success. We run multiple use cases and scripts every week.”

The annual Best In KLAS awards are based exclusively on feedback gathered from client interviews and reflect excellence in customer experience, value, performance, and relationship. Thank you, KLAS Research, for taking the time to speak with our customers. Quality is an integral part of our company culture and we look forward to every opportunity to improve, year over year.

About Boston Software Systems

Boston Software Systems is the global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions for the healthcare industry. With over 2,800 global customers, Boston Software Systems is the only RPA company with a 30 year focus in healthcare. Our automations run thousands of times in hundreds of hospitals, health systems, and partner technologies, every day. Our suite of automation solutions provides a digital workforce for EHR/EMR data migrations, revenue cycle management, and organizational efficiency, working 24/7 so you don’t have to. Boston WorkStation has ranked 2nd in the KLAS RPA category in both 2021 and 2022.

Unlock Greater Value in the Revenue Cycle

As the U.S. continues to battle the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare leaders are discovering automation is more than just a technology tool. Using automation at an enterprise level can lower costs, accelerate digital modernization, and reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats. There’s nowhere this comes into focus more than in healthcare.

Automating mundane business practices doesn’t require a robot, but it does offload manual redundancies, by making sure data is entered accurately, or increasing the completion of 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. Automation increases efficiency by boosting productivity, reducing errors, improving efficiencies, and thereby reducing the levels of burnout, which we know is the top reason for the great resignation. Automation adds value to the process by taking the repetitive, routine tasks, applying business logic, and completing the follow-up actions, allowing staff to concentrate on items that require higher-level, human-to-human interaction.

Where to Apply RPA in the Revenue Cycle

Benefit and eligibility checks, as well as ​prior authorizations​, are perfect areas for 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. It’s a very labor intensive process, and 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 sacrificing cost, time, or people.

Automation Fact vs. Fiction

Myth 1: One myth that is easily dispelled is that automation will take away healthcare jobs. Nothing is farther from the truth. Human workforces will be relieved by automation and enabled to take on higher value tasks rather than manual copy/paste/input data. When deployed successfully, automation empowers people and increases the amount of time available for patient-facing opportunities.

Myth 2: Another myth is that you need Artificial Intelligence (AI), not Robotic Process Automation (RPA), for the greatest benefit. Revenue cycle automations are actually RPA-powered, not AI-powered. A few vendors would like you to think it’s a long and expensive process to onboard automation. It’s not. We’ve been doing this for 30 years, and we onboard clients quickly, receiving 5-star customer service reviews.

Myth 3: RPA is difficult to scale. Actually, not true at all. We recommend starting an RPA project in one area, realize the benefit, then roll it out to additional areas within the organization. We concentrate on customer success, and that’s why our approval ratings are so high. Boston WorkStation 20 is a flexible, scalable solution that uses intelligent automation aspects to improve RPA success.

Leverage Technology with Automation

In a CFO survey conducted by ​Black Book​, 92% of survey respondents believe the CFO of the future must do a better job leveraging technology and staff with IT skills for health providers to succeed financially. Automation is a great place to start, as it provides a measurable and fast ROI. It’s easy to implement, usually within 30 days, and the impact is tied directly to dollars-in-the-door. Automation reduces the amount of time spent on decision-making and improves the administrative workflow, speeds days in A/R, and increases revenue almost instantly. By automating revenue cycle management tasks, you can significantly streamline and advance financial processes, allowing people to focus on what’s at the heart of their jobs – advancing patient care.

Why Boston Software Systems?
90% of our projects are developed and deployed in under 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 claims processing. We have 30 years of well-documented success in the healthcare revenue cycle. We keep our promises and work hard to maintain customer loyalty by going that extra mile. Contact us to schedule a free assessment.

RPA Master Stories with Matt Hawkins, EVP Boston Software Systems

We were invited to participate in a LinkedIn live event this week called, “RPA Master Stories.” Hosted by Derek Gerber, SVP, at Explainify, RPA Master Stories is a collection of inspiring interviews with the leading experts in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA) technology. Guests share their automation experience, talk about the state-of-the-art RPA and IA technology, and discuss the future of RPA.

Over 500 automation enthusiasts gathered together on Wednesday, to hear Matt Hawkins, global EVP at Boston Software Systems, in a lively discussion about healthcare RPA. Here are a few highlights:

How Does Automation Support Healthcare Workers

As healthcare organizations move forward into a post-pandemic world, they are exploring strategies and solutions to transform the way we work. They realize that a strategy is needed to support healthcare’s human workforce. COVID-19 forced many health care organizations to revisit traditional ways of work. In the year of increased resignations, work from home, and COVID-19, nothing is more important than supporting your human workforce and building resilience for the future of work. What we’ve found with most organizations is that while they might have a core EHR, there are hundreds of additional applications that people are responsible for, and getting the data to and from these applications expediently is a problem for most hospitals and health systems, who are challenged with far more important issues, like saving lives.

The 2022 Healthcare Staffing Issue

Matt noted, “every day in healthcare there is more work, and only so many people to do it. You can’t hire quality people fast enough in 2022. Having a digital workforce allows you to bridge the gaps between people, process, and systems, without placing an additional strain on people.” Hospitals continue to be overloaded with a large number of symptomatic COVID-19 patients. There are staff shortages and hospitals are running low on supplies yet again. Reimbursement continues to be an issue while the amount of paperwork necessary to be reimbursed escalates. Efficiency has to be found, and this means getting through the mountain of work faster, with fewer errors. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) brings this efficiency to the healthcare enterprise.

Don’t Try and Tackle Mount Everest

In a large healthcare enterprise, with a few hundred people working in the IT department, we needed to find a way to automate some of the many tasks across multiple business units, because IT could not field all of the data requirements they had internally and externally for reporting agencies. As good as their EHR systems were, their communication with secondary and tertiary systems had to be improved. They needed something that was lightweight, scalable, flexible, and didn’t have to go through the HL7 interface side of things. We began by looking at the “low hanging fruit” tasks that could be automated within 60 days, without interfering with existing workflows. The revenue savings generated within these 60 days was then used to onboard additional automation projects. That’s the way large healthcare organizations were able to “self-fund” their automations, without capital expenditures.

How Fast is Boston WorkStation Implemented?

90% of our projects are complete in less than 30 days. Having 2,800 clients in the global healthcare segment allows us to be really good at what we do. Because of our domain expertise, we can bring the same value to any organization. We know the systems, we understand how to work with any EHR, and we can point out where to achieve the maximum benefit for the least cost to the healthcare organization. We implemented 30,000 automations in one organization. This project required only two people for oversight support roles moving forward. Having a healthcare-only focus allows Boston Software Systems to be more accurate and cost-efficient, because we know exactly where to apply digital employees for the greatest return on investment.

Get Started, Realize Success, Then Tackle Additional Projects

In our initial meeting, everyone was skeptical. Then, once we came back in 30-days with the initial automations, and everyone saw the success, we quickly had 17 other automation projects in the queue. By allowing them to start small and realize success, they now have a documented process in place to evaluate additional automation projects. We didn’t start by boiling the ocean. We identified one area in which automation could bring a fast ROI. After that, it was easy to uncover additional projects based on the same methodology.

What’s Next for Healthcare?

The pandemic caused an entirely new set of challenges for healthcare. Organizations have found that they need to be ready to pivot, and pivot quickly. The only way to do this is to have an automated workforce standing by and ready to pitch in whenever needed. We’ve increased the speed to build and deploy automations faster, with our latest release of Boston WorkStation. The reuse of content objects lets us speed deployment times, eliminating the need for highly-skilled developers to onboard automations. We’ve brought the technology to a place where it can be managed by analysts, not programmers.

Thank you to Explainify, and to Derek Gerber, for allowing us to participate in RPA Master Stories on LinkedIn. You can access the full interview here.

The CIO’s Secret Weapon: Automation

Operational continuity in the age of COVID-19 has been difficult for healthcare CIOs. They have been tasked with implementing new technologies like telehealth, while maintaining the safety of their teams and shifting to a work from home environment. In order to prevent long-term disruption, CIOs expect a bigger emphasis on increasing operational efficiency in 2022 while continuing to hold budgets down. The “future of work” depends on the flexibility to work from anywhere, and to redefine IT priorities, focusing on resilience, rebound efforts, and future growth.

Focus on What Matters

Opportunities have increased for automation and digital transformation technologies as CIOs continue to grapple with the fallout from COVID-19, and the great resignation. Automation has stepped up as a great enabler of people, productivity, and business continuity. Brad Cox, Director of Patient Accounts at Northwestern Medicine said, “We had three days to transition everyone to a work-from-home (WFH) environment, with kids, pets, and the challenges of life. Many of these people had never worked from home before. We had to relocate desks, computers, and people. While we focused on people, automation took care of everything else.” The promise of automation is to help people get more done with less. CIOs will continue to integrate new automation projects to focus on the needs of a hybrid workforce, and manage big data across multiple, disparate environments.

Minimize Mental Processes

CIOs seeking to impact their healthcare organizations in 2022 will double down on automation and actionable technologies. With a minimal amount of time in a day, many have already adopted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to improve time-draining tasks, so that staff can focus mental processes on higher-value work. A recent survey conducted by Gartner states that more than 80% of organizations have continued or increased their spend on automation. 2022 will see CIOs renewing their focus on issues that include:

  • Governance, Cybersecurity, and Privacy
  • Revenue Cycle and Claims Management
  • HR and Change Management Processes
  • Population Health and Health Equity Goals
  • Data Migrations and Integrations
  • Materials Management and Supply Chain Processes

RPA Continues to Experience Rapid Growth

RPA was once again noted as the fastest-growing segment of the enterprise software market, notching a 38.9% increase to hit $1.9 billion in revenues, according to Gartner. The majority of this growth is not driven by organizations adopting RPA for the first time, but rather by teams that are expanding their existing RPA footprint. As we enter a new year, it’s more critical than ever for CIOs to prioritize systems and/or business processes that improve collaboration, increase productivity, and improve the employee experience. The purchase of low-code and no-code tools that are flexible, agile and scalable, like Boston Workstation 20, will continue to increase over the next year. Software “bots” will complete repetitive tasks, system integrations, and multiple transactions from the task level to the enterprise level in 2022.

Building the Scalable Automation Enterprise

The role of automation in a scalable healthcare environment is to reduce the amount of labor required to manage and maintain growth. Employers agree that productivity and engagement do not depend on an on-site workforce. The flexibility of hybrid and remote work environments will continue to drive the future of work. For this reason, it will be important to scale automation tools across the healthcare enterprise. With continued diligence and planning, healthcare can be ready to act when the post-pandemic future arrives.

At Boston Software Systems, we have been successfully aligning technology processes with people for over 30 years. We built and retained a loyal customer base by treating our customers well, and giving them a reason to do business with us again (and again). We keep our promises, and remain true to the level of service our clients have come to expect from us. We’ve worked with all EHR vendors and applications, and provide automation services onsite or in the AWS cloud.

Improving the Customer Experience in 2022

Today’s consumers expect a lot from brands. The customer experience (CX) involves everything from the level of service a company provides to the usability and support of its products. It deepens with the “handoff” between sales and support, and carries the weight of the brand’s success, by building deeper connections, greater value and continued loyalty. A tight “fit” is necessary for today’s technology services and solutions. Gaining a short and long-term competitive advantage depends on your ability to focus (and achieve) reachable goals. What messages can highlight your strengths as a company? Here’s a few ways to keep customers engaged during the coming year.

Personalization

Expect 2022 to see a renewed focus on product personalization. By investing time and energy into the use of technology services, brands can develop closer, more personalized experiences with their customers at scale. This is a trendy topic in 2022, and one that allows a company to expand its competitive advantage. There is no one-size-fits-all in technology services. There’s not a set rule of thumb for the level of support a company provides, so expect to see a lot of companies leveraging the opportunity to “reach one, teach one” through personalizing the customer experience. By better understanding how people, processes, and technology intersect, companies can create a deeper connection, and greater brand loyalty. It’s important to “meet customers where they are,” and personalize the customer experience across physical and digital channels. McKinsey reports that companies that are able to personalize the CX across channels can expect up to 15% revenue growth.

Improve Contact Resolution Rates

Getting in touch with customer service should be easy and fast. And resolving issues with one call is paramount to achieving customer experience success. Embody an “active listening” model in which you repeat and confirm the information received. Isolate the problem, so that you can effectively work on a solution. Don’t just deliver information, teach your customers how not to repeat the same situation. At Boston Software Systems, our customer support team receives feedback from every support call. By being authentic, keeping our promises, and resolving issues on the first call, our marketing team receives weekly acknowledgements like the following:

“I cannot thank you enough for your assistance with the medication acknowledgement script. You were so determined to make it work and it is working great! Thank you for your time and diligence. I hope that you forward this to your supervisor to ensure they know how wonderful you really are at your job.“

Make sure that your internal teams work cross-functionally, to create effective interactions at all points of the customer journey. Providing customers with the tools they need to make their lives easier not only improves usability, but it ensures continued success.

Never Stop Improving

Companies with great customer experiences have higher referral rates and customer satisfaction scores. This translates to higher customer loyalty and retention. Once you follow through on providing an outstanding customer experience, your investment will pay off as an advantage over the competition. Engage through multiple channels such as social media listening, customer feedback requests, and suggestions. Gather requests and comments, and use a form for future product enhancements. According to Forbes, “getting CX right is no longer a luxury, but a critical business priority.” Every member of your team has a role to play in the customer experience, so hire authentic, honest, and transparent people. With the right CX strategy in place, it not only helps to improve the present day customer experience, but also makes your organization customer-centric for the long term, and this is the best word-of-mouth marketing there is.

Why Boston Software Systems?

At Boston Software Systems, we remain true to the level of service our clients have come to expect for over 30 years. No one in the company is unapproachable. We keep our promises and work hard to maintain customer loyalty by going that extra mile in everything we do. We’ve worked with all EHR vendors and applications, and are available on-site or in the cloud. We hope to work with you in the coming year.

Top Healthcare Technology Trends for 2022

There is no one-size-fits-all approach in healthcare. There are many challenges, roadblocks, and ever-changing conditions. This was especially evident in the last year as we worked to support people and improve healthcare processes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we position CIOs and other HealthIT executives for continued challenges in 2022, we look at trends and services that will drive growth opportunities, limit duplication of effort, and propel healthcare forward toward a new era of connectivity. Top of mind initiatives are those that improve working conditions and scale digitization.

Accelerating the Use of Digital Technologies

As acknowledged during the last year, digital connectivity is more important now than ever. With more employees working remotely, tools, applications, and processes are critical to supporting business continuity. Brad Cox from Northwestern Medicine noted, “It took us about 3 days to transition to a fully remote workforce. We moved people, desks, and hardware to kitchen tables and a work-from-home environment. While all of this was going on, automation allowed us to maintain ‘dollars in the door’ without an increased burden on people.” COVID-19 has pushed healthcare over the technology tipping point. The move to a digital-first environment in 2022 will require healthcare organizations to optimize tools and services, and reduce the cost & time required to complete most processes. As data volumes continue to explode and the need to connect meaningful information will increase, 2022 will see a continued spike in digital technologies.

The following list contains just a few of our most popular automation projects during the last year:

Revenue Cycle Optimization

Automation solves productivity drains in the revenue cycle by checking for errors, completing manual tasks, addressing quality control gaps, and reducing the cost to collect. An automated process drives efficiency and boosts bottom line revenue. Automation merges data from competing system silos, ensures there are no duplicates, gaps, or missing information, and corrects issues like incomplete claims data before the claim ever hits the queue. Most revenue cycle optimization projects provide a significant ROI within the first year, upwards of 300%. With a scalable, flexible RPA vendor, it’s easy to begin in one area, realize the benefits, then scale to additional areas throughout the healthcare organization.

Connecting Data Across Silos

Boston WorkStation helps people bridge the gaps left by EHR system vendors who don’t deliver on interoperability claims, leaving providers and staff struggling to complete time-consuming, manual workflows. Our clients have used Boston WorkStation to connect telehealth silos, to improve the vaccine distribution, scheduling, and billing, and for continued supply chain issues. Hospital and health system CIOs are leading their organizations by implementing tools like RPA to organize, input, and expedite data, remove roadblocks, and improve administrative efficiencies. Meaningful data is paramount to improving healthcare outcomes. By reevaluating the use of technology tools like RPA, healthcare organizations will be better prepared for the future, and the challenges that accompany it.

Identification of Patient Groups

Unpredictability and constant change are the new normal in healthcare. Boston WorkStation helps healthcare organizations fill gaps created by the labor shortage, optimizing administrative processes so that people can devote time to higher priority tasks, like patient and payer communications. RPA ‘bots’ improve accuracy and support human workers by identifying patient groups for vaccine distribution, SDOH initiatives, and population health goals at a high-volume and speed. When data is siloed, it’s difficult for clinicians to address systemic biases and serve the needs of marginalized patients and communities. By eliminating these roadblocks, organizations can unlock greater value, enabling meaningful decisions to be made based on accurate information.

Moving Forward in 2022

As we (hope to) place the pandemic in our rear view, 2022 comes with its own set of challenges. Data silos reduce data integrity and validity, leading to inconsistencies between departmental data and increased vulnerability to cybersecurity breaches. As data ages, it can lose its accuracy and integrity. We are going to see a greater need for healthcare technologies that scale effectively and integrate sustainability, delivering actionable insights when and where they are needed the most. By discontinuing manual administration and change management processes through smart automation technologies, healthcare organizations can manage complex systems more effectively and secure the user experience through improved accuracy and resilience.

Why Boston Software Systems

With continued diligence and planning, healthcare can be ready to act when the post-pandemic future arrives. At Boston Software Systems, we have been successfully aligning technology processes with people for over 30 years. We built and retained a loyal customer base by treating our customers well, and giving them a reason to do business with us again (and again). We keep our promises, and remain true to the level of service our clients have come to expect from us. We’ve worked with all EHR vendors and applications, and provide automation services onsite or in the AWS cloud.

In a world where problems are getting more complex, problem-solving says everything about a company. At #BostonSoftwareSystems, our people are passionate about listening, teaching and supporting long-term RPA goals. Give us a call in 2022. We’d love to connect with you.

Will Healthcare Recover in 2022?

Hospitals aren’t expecting a return to normal anytime soon. According to the 2022 report by Kaufman Hall, 20% of hospital executives surveyed said they were “extremely concerned” about their financial viability until an effective vaccine or treatment is available, and another 50% said they were “moderately concerned.”

Approximately 1 in 3 physicians, APPs, and nurses surveyed in a recent AMA study, revealed they intend to reduce work hours as an after effect of #COVID19. 1 in 5 physicians and 2 in 5 nurses intend to leave the practice altogether.

Executives said they are worried about the expected changes in payer mix, with 70% of hospital and health system leaders anticipating an increase in self-pay consumers and Medicaid beneficiaries post-COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic gravely impacted provider revenue streams and payer mix. It is imperative that hospitals and health systems continue to pursue new strategies as we enter 2022.

Revenue Cycle Budgets Are Expected to Decrease

With expected commercial payer losses, hospitals and health systems will tighten the purse strings in order to remain financially stable in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital technologies will continue to be a necessity, though the benefit to cost ratio will be under consideration. New projects will be scrutinized to ensure they unlock long-term performance improvement goals. According to HFMA, “27% of executives predict they will use advanced health IT, including predictive analytics and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), to reduce costs.”

Hospitals and Health Systems Plan to Tighten Costs

The findings show that very few healthcare CFOs (12 percent) planned to reduce or defer spending on the digital transformation of their financial systems. As the nation struggles with the continuing COVID-19 public health emergency, hospitals and health systems will become even more creative in finding new ways to reach patients as well as employees, through automation. We’ve already seen this with WFH teams and telehealth applications. As the world faces a new wave, with the variant numbers continuing to rise, healthcare resilience becomes a major concern. While digital technologies will continue to be a necessity, they must be methodically selected to ensure they provide long-term performance improvement. Automation can reduce manual interventions, connect data from disparate systems, and improve the “cost to collect,” thereby empowering the revenue cycle staff to get more done without additional resources or on-site management.

Automation is Expected to Increase

Physicians, clinicians, and administrative staff members are constantly challenged by data management overload. Administrative tasks take up a considerable amount of time in hospitals and healthcare organizations. By automating data entry from disparate systems, improving things like legacy system sunsetting and vaccine registration and administration, clinicians and administrative staff can “bridge the gaps,” and reduce the amount of time spent on duplicate tasking. The key to running an efficient healthcare organization is automation. When you automate administrative tasks that don’t need to be performed by a human being, you’re reducing costs and improving staff morale.

Changing Organizational Demands

The great resignation changed the healthcare landscape in 2021. Efficient systems and services are the key to future success. Moving forward, people are more likely to see themselves as members of a vibrant, innovative profession than members of an organization. Helping people to build work into their lives, rather than the other way around, will become the highest priority. As we move forward with this new business model, the traditional method of looking at last year’s metrics won’t work when planning 2022.

Moving Forward

As revealed by the AMA survey, the traditional method of looking at last year’s metrics won’t work when planning for 2022. There have been so many unprecedented challenges during the past year. The future of our workplaces is uncertain at this time. As we enter a New Year, the healthcare industry must work toward meeting the needs of patients, physicians, nurses, and administrative staff. At Boston Software Systems, we know what you can do today to empower the workers of tomorrow. Give us 30 minutes. We’ll share our success stories from 2021, and better prepare you for the challenges of the coming year.