RPA helps alleviate healthcare customer pain points
Let’s take a look at a general care hospital in Europe with nearly 2,000 employees, 70,000 emergency visits and 300,000 outpatient annually. This healthcare provider had an increasing client base and struggled to maintain a supportive operational infrastructure. Of course, it was essential to keep up the same standard of patient care it previously delivered. The hospital faced numerous labor-intensive challenges, many of which stemmed from inefficient macros and a reliance on the manual labor of employees.
Like many other healthcare providers, the hospital was still highly dependent on paper records such as patient medical files and financial documents. Transferring these paper files into a digital database by hand was time-intensive and involved significant human error. Even more so, keeping digital records up-to-date manually for every change in medical or financial information was nearly impossible to maintain because this prevented employees from spending the necessary face-time with patients.
Another pain point was inventory management. The hospital monitored the supply levels of every inventory item, right down to syringes, gloves, and needles, based on anticipated demand and previous use. Yet, an inefficient inventory tracking system meant that 20-30% of its supplies went unused. The hospital was also faced with significant proportions of appointment cancellations, which were especially costly if the empty space could not be filled. Due to these no-shows, many other patients were unable to access services in the time-frame needed.
RPA increases control of operations
The hospital turned to RPA in order to regain control of its operational processes and significantly improve the patient experience. Through RPA, the hospital was able to eliminate a significant number of internal functional silos and provided its patients with increased transparency. Automation streamlined the supply chain by determining optimal inventory levels based on previous needs and patterns in the demand, especially through the use of real-time reporting. At this point, the hospital was using software robots for roughly 80% of claims and billing, thereby reducing processing costs from $4 to $1 per claim.
Patients welcomed the change. More than 75% of them (across all age groups) wanted to use innovative and functional digital services. The increasingly digitized infrastructure supported by RPA was a success. Patients were able to access their medical histories, billing information, and appointment scheduling and reminders from a unified online platform, which resulted in optimized appointment turnout and more timely payments. While RPA provided operational improvements for the hospital, the patients were the ones who most significantly benefited.