The Benefits Of Robotic Process Automation For Cost Reduction – There are multiple tasks in the revenue cycle management of any healthcare facility that are highly repetitive. In the past, these repetitive types of tasks were manually completed, which when happening during with higher patient volumes, such as seen during the pandemic, quickly overwhelms the staff. As backlogs develop, patients become frustrated, billing and coding errors increase, and staff leave their positions, further compounding the problem.
A solution to these types of issues that also helps to reduce the cost of operation is to implement robotic process automation or RPA. Robotic process automation is a software solution that can manage repetitive types of tasks throughout a healthcare facility, freeing up the staff to focus on more complex issues. At the same time, using RPA helps increase efficiency, improve workflow, and ensure patients have a better overall experience.
RPA relies on artificial intelligence. This allows the software to continually learn the rules and protocols to become more accurate and efficient based on the specifics of the task. The most common uses of RPA in today’s healthcare facilities include:
- Data entry for patients – data can be obtained through the RPA to automatically collect and enter administrative data for patient records, medical billing, and payer claims. Data is automatically entered without human error and is available only to authorized individuals throughout the system.
- Scheduling appointments – scheduling and managing appointments through RPA helps to reduce missed or canceled appointments. It also provides automated reminders to patients, something that is increasingly important in patient surveys.
- Medical Billing and Claims Processing – using an automated process eliminates data entry errors that are a significant issue. In addition, the use of RPA dramatically increases workflow and speed while also flagging any information that is not correct or not in compliance with standards.
- Interoperability – using RPA allows the software to automatically digitize and move information to a database while still providing the required protection for the patient.
- Managing data security and privacy – the system is designed to ensure the confidentiality of the data, including limiting access to data to only authorized individuals approved through the system. All access to patient data and audits are logged through the system, with alerts to signal a potential breach for immediate investigation.
- Patient support – RPA systems provide patients with a better overall experience. This includes automatic appointment reminders, online responses to inquiries, and even patient reminders and follow-ups after the visit.
The Cost Savings
The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) reports that the use of RPA has the potential to provide over seventeen billion dollars in savings for administrative tasks in the revenue cycle management process.
Healthcare providers using the system see faster billing cycles, fewer denials due to coding and billing errors, and an improved workflow. At the same time, patients in these facilities had access to relevant information as well as a better experience with the RPA in place.
The staff at these facilities can focus on the patient as their time is no longer consumed by mundane and repetitive tasks. This leads to a superior patient journey where patients get the personalized service they need for complex issues.