Make It Count: Why Increased Patient Count Requires More Automation of Administrative Tasks

solaradmin | November 20th, 2020

If you have ever interacted with the health care system in the United States, you have likely encountered several examples of unnecessary administrative complexities.

From filling out multiple intake forms to sorting out insurance bills and even transferring medical records from one provider to another – the processes are typically inefficient and tedious.

This layer of complexity in administrative tasks, with the associated higher costs, is often cited as one of the top reasons the U.S. spends twice the amount per capita for all types of health care services compared to other countries. This is true even though utilization rates are similar.

Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the inefficiencies are costing even more and resulting in patient care falling through the cracks! Now is the time for all types of healthcare organizations to consider making an investment in automation.

How Automation of Healthcare Administrative Tasks Can Benefit Any Provider
As new tools and software programs are taking hold, having the best infrastructure to support high-performance computing – dependable, fast, and with the ability to handle a lot of data – is essential.

Besides radiology, automation can have a huge impact on both administrative and operational areas. Learn more here.

Faster Access to Data to Enrich EHRs
Vendors are continually working to modernize the capabilities of EHRs. The goal is to enable these programs to generate and extract data in real-time (or as close as possible) by using new application programming interfaces and novel methods for harnessing data.

With these efforts, it may help minimize cases of physician frustration and help improve patient care as practitioners can access the information needed at the right time and in the right setting.

Improved Ordering
For many physicians, an extremely time-consuming process is the process used for ordering in the EHR. Just a decade ago, a doctor could write the medication onto a prescription pad in just seconds, compared to the multiple clicks it now takes to complete an order. AI and predictive technologies can make a huge impact when it comes to driving efficiencies.

Smarter Billing
Today, there are players who are working diligently to automate various decision-making efforts, including pre-authorizations by using machine learning. By implementing AI deployments in your revenue cycle applications, it will help organizations generate bills faster, with the goal to ultimately give these bills to families or patients before they leave the practice or hospital.

This is critical for the higher-deductible health plans, which require higher upfront payments from patients.

Adaptive Staffing
Health systems are starting to use machine learning to help optimize and adjust staffing to provide support for the fluctuating patient volumes in the emergency departments. The goal is to help reduce wait times for urgent services.

By using the historical data that is across multiple sources, healthcare organizations can understand when they need to staff up to handle a larger influx of patients. This may be needed for the flu season and unforeseen pandemic like COVID-19. It may also be necessary to increase other support staff during warm weather to ensure a smooth patient experience in the ER.

Labor Savings
When automation is used to replace tasks that are manually intensive, they can be handled much better by machines, which results in huge time savings for any healthcare organization. This does not have to eliminate actual workers but instead elevate them to a higher functioning role that makes use of the clinical expertise they have received training for.

Improved Consistency and Quality
Automation tools do not have the same issue of human error or fatigue, which means they help to provide a more consistent basis of care. Increase automation in the areas of order entry, decision support, and medical records appeared to result in a reduction of cost, complications, and even deaths.

Reduced Waste
Using spreadsheets and paper along with other workarounds that are needed result in a huge workload and a lot of waste. For example, instead of playing phone tag with a patient who has been discharged in the few free minutes between hospital nursing duties, automation can help patients and nurses connect more efficiently.

Increase Outcome Predictability
When a patient follows a standardized care path that is supported by automation, it is much more likely they will remain on track and achieve a predicted outcome. Also, automation will help detect if a patient has deviated from the recommended care plan so the care team can take action or intervene.

Higher Throughput
When a nurse has the support of automation tools, they can handle a much larger population of patients at the same time. Rather than scaling your staff headcount up or down based on patient volumes, with automation, you can scale in flexibility to address groups of all sizes.

Data-Driven Insights
When technology is used for automating processes, it can provide you with a wealth of data on a continuous feedback loop that can be used for optimization and performance improvement. With each cycle, automation systems can be used for collecting data related to how the process is working and use the information to improve the program.

Automating Administrative Tasks Provides an Array of Benefits for Healthcare Organizations
As you can see, automating administrative tasks can provide an array of benefits for your healthcare organization. The key is to get it right.

Automation is the future of healthcare and if you are in this industry, you cannot afford to ignore this trend.

If you need more information about automation for your healthcare organization, contact us. Our team can help you with the automation solutions that you need and ensure you achieve all the benefits here and more.