Providing a Digital Workforce for Revenue Cycle Optimization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#ReThinkRCM #smartHIT #DigitalHealth

Looking for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Solutions at HIMSS20?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Burnout Adequately Addressed in Healthcare?

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

How’s It Going?

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

Should Technology be a Better Enabler?

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

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

How Can We Improve?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Automation in Healthcare: Providing the Missing Piece of Usability

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

Performance and Analytics

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

Lab Integration

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

Registration and Patient Access

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

Patient Portal Integration

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

Population Health

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

Why Add Boston WorkStation

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

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

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

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

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

Build the Business Case for a Digital Workforce in Revenue Cycle

By adding a “digital workforce” to the revenue cycle, healthcare organizations are empowered to organize, streamline, and accelerate processes to improve accuracy, shorten reimbursement timeframes, and minimize inconsistencies. A key element to revenue cycle digitization is the strategic application of automation. By automating process tasks, revenue cycle managers can eliminate errors and tackle the most challenging data management situations, allowing staff to concentrate on higher-priority areas that require human involvement.

How Does Automation Provide a Digital Workforce?

Automation simplifies the “back and forth” that human workers experience when they have to access information in multiple systems, applications, or on multiple screens. It cuts through the complexity and finishes the task, the same way an employee does. The difference is in time and accuracy. In manual data entry, a person may be required to check several different screens, systems, or databases to retrieve the information needed to complete the task. By offloading this “tedious tasking” to a machine, or “digital employee,” the same information can be processed in a fraction of the time searching multiple databases, applications, web programs, as needed. Multiply this by the thousands of process tasks in the health system and it’s easy to see the savings.

Key attributes include:

  • No disruptive changes in existing user interfaces, software, or systems
  • Eliminates the complexity of manually checking multiple systems to update, organize, and toggle between screens, databases, etc.
  • Improves the accuracy and speed of processing
  • Quickly performs short or long manual data entry, complex calculations, sorting, and processing data from intertwined systems
  • Exceptions are channeled into reports for precise assessment, remediation

Where is a Digital Workforce Being Used Within Hospitals and Health Systems?

Even the smallest health system has its chokepoints involving extensive, redundant manual data entry, and other financial data management processes that demand staff time and close review to confirm accuracy and completeness. The highest value areas for using automation to create a digital workforce include:

  • Anywhere data is regularly saved, transferred, or downloaded
  • Payer-related reimbursement, resubmission, and reporting
  • Multiple, repetitive manual daily entries
  • Cumbersome band-aid workarounds (technical or human) to move data
  • Financial transaction reporting

How Do I Get Started?

Revenue cycle tasks are a great way to begin with a digital workforce in healthcare. Here’s the process:

  • Schedule a 30-minute initial call to gather some information
  • We’ll provide a roadmap for the process, timelines, goals, and costs
  • Receive a dedicated project manager to guide you through the process
  • Enjoy the savings! Within 30 days, you’ll “go live” and realize an immediate improvement in time and savings

Is There a Measurable ROI?

A digital workforce generates immediate and long-term benefits; positively impacting financial fitness and organizational productivity. A digital workforce directly improves business process and workflow, employee satisfaction, and long-term sustainability. Its attributes combine to achieve immediate and long-term goals such as:

  • Accuracy of revenue management data and functions
  • Consistent, high-level performance 24/7 regardless of staff workloads
  • Speeds turnaround of claims, claim denial re-submissions; improves cash flow
  • Reduces claim denials, decreases write-offs, speeds payment processing
  • Improves reporting capabilities; maximizes data quality and financial monitoring

Our clients save hundreds of hours and millions of dollars with the addition of automation in the revenue cycle. By automating the tedious tasking that goes along with revenue cycle management, employees are able to concentrate on higher-priority items that require a human component. When health systems reduce claim denials and re-submissions, claims are moved through the queue faster and dollars in the door are improved, which means less stress for the entire organization.

Healthcare faces a lot of obstacles on a daily basis. The addition of intelligent automation to repetitive, routine tasks frees up humans to concentrate on more important things. Interactions with people!

About Boston Software Systems
Since 1985, Boston Software Systems has been a dedicated leader in healthcare automation. We #bridgethegaps left by other vendors and payor systems because there’s never enough time, enough staff, or fast enough turnaround in terms of revenue. By automating financial processes, transparency is increased and risk is reduced. Revenue cycle is a complex process made smarter through the use of intelligent automation, allowing people to work more efficiently and organizations to improve the bottom line. Overcome the challenges of revenue cycle management with a systematic approach grounded in 30 years of experience.

Let’s have a conversation about how a digital workforce, powered by healthcare automation, can help solve your revenue cycle challenges: 866-653-5105

Hospital and Health System Mergers and Acquisitions – Achieve Organizational Goals Using the Power of Automation

Value-based care, reduced reimbursement rates, and increased competition push hospitals and health systems to consider strategic affiliations in order to survive in today’s challenging healthcare landscape. The same reasons for mergers and acquisitions, place healthcare organizations under considerable pressure to manage performance, quality of care, and curb financial costs. The need to integrate multiple disparate systems, quickly and efficiently, presents challenges that cause many to reconsider M&A deals. A recent study by NEJM found that “conceptually, hospital mergers and acquisitions could lead to improvements OR deterioration in quality of care.” There are many factors to consider. Acquiring hospitals might transfer managerial, clinical, or operational expertise to the hospitals that they acquire. Yet with multiple systems, disparate data silos and increased complexity, this does not always translate to improvements in usability, operational success, or even greater savings.

Automation Provides the Missing Link to Merger and Acquisition Success

Organizational efficiency is a key consideration in hospital mergers and acquisitions. It’s inevitable that along with the changes, there will be the necessary alignment and migration of systems and data. Short-term, issues may arise with the data migration. Most EHR vendors are unwilling or unable to migrate all of the necessary data like appointments and schedules, medical histories, preferred pharmacies, and more. The result is staff must manually capture the data, migrate manually, or re-capture from patients to fill in the gaps. This causes a backlog of tasks, taking away from the patient experience and introducing possible patient safety risks. The NEJM study emphasized how “diseconomies of scale (e.g., bureaucracy) could divert resources away from investments to improve care, and consolidation could weaken competitive pressures for hospitals to provide high-quality care…” When performance issues require less attention, there is more time to improve the patient experience. Automation provides the missing link to improved usability, allowing you to meet revenue objectives, while focusing on the patient experience, more closely aligning projections to M&A realities.

Performance and Economy

Hospitals and health systems are multidimensional patient care and business entities laden with data driven decision making and overlapping processes impacting a variety of stakeholders. Unfamiliar technologies, such as a new EHR system, can make routine tasks even more time-consuming and error-prone, according to an article published in JAMA earlier in 2018. Adding intelligent automation closes the critical gaps between systems, organizing and accelerating the flow of data. This added efficiency allows staff to devote time to providing higher levels of care, rather than struggling to keep up with additional complexities.

Some of the benefits of healthcare automation include:

  • A reduction in the administrative data burden on staff, provides a quick ROI
  • The ability to offload tasks, big and small, that detract from the patient experience
  • Implementation within all existing systems and software, reducing complexities
  • Identifies data entry errors, duplicates, and omissions for increased safety
  • Uniform, consistent, and accurate documentation for records and reports

Strategic Assessment

Many hospitals and health systems realize that successfully completing a merger can be complex, especially when the merging entities are large, with multiple EHR systems. During mergers and acquisitions, it’s important to concentrate on shared data issues across facilities and identify common challenges shared between all organizational entities. Examine individual and shared processes constricting data flow in and between facilities. Begin with the data migration itself. Examine staff-heavy, lengthy and constrained processes and procedures which:

  • Require the use of multiple disparate programs, systems, servers, and applications
  • Require manual data input, such as appointments, schedules, and medical histories, taking additional time, and restricting usability
  • Inhibit clinical care coordination, patient safety issues, and lab integration
  • Cause delays in clinical decision-making, actionable insight, and usability

Where to Start

With proper planning and execution, automation can advance timelines, increase system performance and reduce costs. Even areas with the most specialized applications eventually link to mainline data networks sending, sharing and storing clinical, financial, operational and technical data. Areas to center on are any pain points where manual data entry, sorting, compiling and contrasting data is required. In mergers and acquisitions, such areas might include:

  • Revenue cycle management (managed care claims, banking/financial transactions)
  • EHR/EMR platform migration, integration, optimization
  • Purchasing, inventory control, materials management, supply chain management
  • Scheduling (patient appointments, staff, procedure, facility)
  • Interdepartmental data sharing (laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, etc.)

Strategically Deploy Automation

Once the targets are identified, qualify them according to greatest overall impact for the collective organization. While these can be shared processes or procedures in each of the facilities, be certain to carefully consider those shared processes between facilities that interconnect with the host organization:

  • Prioritize those which impact performance and the patient experience
  • Define the objectives to be reached in applying automation to these processes
  • Create timelines and implement automation initiatives across the healthcare organization
  • Establish best practice guidelines to apply on a routine basis and for situations created by future mergers and acquisitions

“The hospital industry has consolidated substantially during the past two decades and at an accelerated pace since 2010”, as referenced in the NEJM article. This places hospitals and health systems on the defense at a pivotal time. It’s vital for the ongoing health of the organization to reduce clinical and administrative complexities during transitions, to obtain cost savings and improve patient outcomes.

Why Boston Software Systems?
Boston Software Systems is a dedicated leader in healthcare data migration and workflow automation. We have worked with all of the leading EHR vendors achieving documented success and quick ROI. Live up to the projections outlined with your initial merger or acquisition plans.

Our 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. Achieve savings and improve the patient care experience with Boston Software Systems.

#bridgethegaps on on your M&A journey with intelligent automation solutions.

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!