Exploring the Role of Intelligent Automation in Modern Healthcare

Automation in Healthcare

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Automation in healthcare holds promise for enhancing patient care through efficiency gains and technological advancements. For instance, automated reminders and drug interaction alerts are already improving outcomes. As automation evolves, hospitals can achieve more with fewer resources, benefiting both efficiency and patient care. Looking ahead, automation may help alleviate the healthcare workforce shortage. Despite its potential, the full impact of automation on healthcare outcomes and costs remains unclear. Automation, although reshaping various sectors, including healthcare, has witnessed slower adoption due to vague definitions and task prioritization issues. This originates from a lack of clarity between healthcare business owners about what are the actual benefits of automation in healthcare or when is the right time for them to automate.


When Is the Right Time for Automation in Healthcare?


Identifying which tasks to automate first can be challenging for healthcare organizations. Tasks that are time-consuming but infrequently performed are prime candidates for automation. Evaluating tasks where the effort outweighs the benefit is crucial in the time-sensitive healthcare industry. 


Hospital appointments are maintained on a waitlist to systematically serve patients. Often burdened with workloads or surge in patient administrators this practice may go haywire. Automating the entire appointment scheduling system ensures systematic queuing of patient requests without any conflict arising from manual lapses.


There are various types of workflows existent in a healthcare organization related to billing, appointment scheduling, inventory management, and data access and control. Automating these workflows can save time and money at large. 


Automation in Healthcare


Role of Automation in Healthcare


Automation in healthcare offers several benefits impacting each and every workflow of the healthcare industry from account settlement to optimizing treatment plan. Following are some significant benefits of automation in healthcare:


Automated Account Settlement


Traditional healthcare billing processes are often complex, time-consuming, and prone to errors. Manual data entry for services, medications, and insurance coverage can lead to inconsistencies and delays in account settlements. IoMT devices can eliminate the need for manual data entry from charts and handwritten prescriptions minimizing errors and speeds up billing processes. Based on data from IoMT devices, electronic health records (EHR), and insurance information, automated systems can generate accurate and personalized patient bills. Automated systems can send patients timely e-notifications and SMS alerts about their bill amount and due date. 


Claims Settlement


The healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, leading to a surge in claim submissions and complex policy changes. Paperwork-heavy processes and manual data entry create bottlenecks, causing lengthy wait times for both providers and patients. Manual review is susceptible to human error, leading to claim denials, frustration, and potential revenue loss for providers. Integration of billing systems with insurance providers allows for real-time eligibility verification and pre-authorization, reducing claim denials and delays. ML algorithms can analyze historical data to predict claim denials and identify potential fraud attempts. This proactive approach allows for earlier intervention and cost savings.


Appointment Scheduling and Management


Patient scheduling and management are vital aspects of a smooth-running healthcare practice. Traditionally, these processes have relied heavily on manual tasks, leading to inefficiencies and frustrations for both patients and staff. Fortunately,  automation in healthcare offers innovative solutions to transform appointment management into a seamless and time-saving experience. Automated systems can send personalized SMS or email notifications to patients about upcoming appointments, reducing appointment no-shows.Eliminate unnecessary waiting room time with self-service kiosks or mobile apps. Patients can confirm arrival, update insurance information, and even complete pre-visit questionnaires electronically, freeing up staff for more complex tasks. This can potentially reduce effort by 50%, as patients handle routine tasks themselves.


Healthcare Workflow Management


Healthcare workflows are intricate ecosystems encompassing diverse elements – from remote patient monitoring to inventory management. Traditionally, juggling these aspects relied heavily on manual processes, leading to inefficiencies, communication gaps, and ultimately, compromised patient care.  Automation in healthcare facilitates the seamless sharing of accurate and up-to-date patient information across all points of care. This eliminates the need for duplicate data entry and ensures all stakeholders – doctors, nurses, specialists – have a holistic view of the patient’s medical history. Automated systems can facilitate instant communication and relay critical information to all involved healthcare professionals. For instance, automated alerts triggered by abnormal vital signs from remote monitoring can reach physicians immediately, ensuring timely intervention.


Inventory Tracking


Maintaining accurate inventory levels in a healthcare setting is crucial. Stockouts of vital medications or supplies can delay critical procedures and compromise patient care.  Automation can monitor inventory levels in real-time using connected sensors or barcode scanners. Intelligent systems can then predict usage patterns and automatically trigger re-orders when stock reaches pre-defined thresholds. This ensures a steady flow of essential supplies and eliminates the risk of stockouts. Automated systems can track expiry dates and generate alerts well in advance of expiration. Barcode scanning at receiving docks can expedite data entry and reduce errors. Additionally, automated dispensing systems can be integrated with electronic health records (EHR) to ensure accurate medication distribution to patients based on their prescriptions.


EMR Maintenance


In the healthcare world, patient information is the cornerstone of quality care. Traditionally, managing this information meant mountains of paper charts and a reliance on manual data entry. This not only created a logistical nightmare but also posed risks for errors and inefficient data retrieval. Automation in healthcare allows for seamless integration with various data sources. For example, lab results from connected equipment or patient information from online forms can be automatically uploaded into the EMR system, eliminating the need for manual transcription and minimizing the risk of errors. Speech recognition software allows physicians and nurses to capture data in real-time, saving them valuable time and improving documentation accuracy. Extracting relevant information from progress notes, discharge summaries, or other documents can be time-consuming. Automation tools can be trained to identify specific data points and populate them into the EMR, streamlining data collection and analysis.


Data Ingestion


Healthcare generates a wealth of data, but traditionally, much of it resides in paper charts, siloed systems, and disparate sources. This fragmented data landscape hinders effective case management and  data-driven decision making. Intelligent document processing (IDP) utilizes optical character recognition (OCR) and machine learning to automatically extract data from paper-based charts, prescriptions, and other documents. This ingested data can then be seamlessly integrated into centralized core systems like electronic medical records (EMR), creating a more holistic view of patient information. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots act as tireless digital assistants. They can be programmed to automatically collect data from various sources, such as lab results systems, insurance portals, and appointment scheduling software. This eliminates the need for manual data aggregation, reduces errors, and ensures a consistent flow of data into analytics platforms. By automating data collection from multiple sources, RPA bots minimize human error and inconsistencies. This improves data quality, making it a reliable foundation for data-driven analytics.


Real World Use Cases of Automation in Healthcare

CDHP’s AWS Journey to Enhanced Medical Data Extraction

The CDHP (Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan Inc.) case study showcases how the organization leveraged Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enhance its ability to extract valuable medical data. By modernizing its infrastructure and adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) capabilities on AWS, CDHP automated its data processing pipeline, improved efficiency, and made its infrastructure more agile. Through services like Amazon Comprehend Medical, CDHP could extract health data from medical text, normalize information from various sources, and analyze it to derive insights for better member care. This transformation enabled CDHP to process vast amounts of electronic medical records efficiently, providing quality care that is both affordable and easily accessible to its 400,000 members in Upstate New York.


Efficient COVID-19 Test Result Delivery: How Digital Workers Support Bupa Care Homes


Digital workers, also known as “virtual robots,” play a crucial role in promptly delivering COVID-19 test results to Bupa care homes. These virtual robots assist in processing test results efficiently, ensuring that notifications are swiftly sent to individual care homes. By automating this process, the virtual robots help streamline the communication of critical information, enabling care homes to take necessary actions promptly based on the test outcomes. This automation not only accelerates the delivery of test results but also enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of managing COVID-19 testing within Bupa care homes.




As automation evolves, we can expect even more sophisticated applications.  Imagine AI-powered systems that automatically populate medical history details based on insurance claims data or chatbots that answer basic patient inquiries, further reducing administrative tasks.  By embracing automation, healthcare organizations can navigate the ever-changing world of claims processing with greater efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness, ultimately leading to a smoother and more positive experience for everyone involved.


Automation in Healthcare

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