6 Use Cases of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Healthcare


RPA in healthcare

In today’s world, the healthcare sector is constantly juggling high costs, mass concerns of patients, and strict regulations. Due to this pressure, the quality of healthcare and urgency of treatment is affected. This is why RPA in healthcare is essential to automate healthcare operations and accelerate patient care practices. In healthcare organizations, many repetitive tasks and decisions entirely depend on the accuracy of patient data. For example, patient onboarding, follow-up checks, issuing bills, generating reports for physicians, processing prescriptions, etc. are some of the repetitive tasks that are commonly done by all healthcare organizations. Such conditions in healthcare organizations raise the demand for RPA in healthcare case studies for improving efficiency, reducing costs, and upgrading overall patient care facilities.  

The pandemic has increased the value of RPA use cases in healthcare. It has been estimated that the use of RPA in the healthcare sector will only increase, with the global market size to top $10.7Bn, at an average CARG rate of 33% in the next seven years 

With the spread of COVID-19, doctors and also clinics started providing online consultations to patients while implementing RPA as the only solution. There are many advantages of RPA in healthcare. Among them, these 6 RPA use cases in healthcare demonstrate how ground-breaking RPA technology is.   

  • Storing Electronic Records and Data Sharing  

Health data can come from multiple sources such as insurance companies, practitioners’ chambers, health record databases, third-party portals, appointment scheduling software, and many more. Many countries do not have centralized health data. This is why the data has to be compiled in a single unit with the help of significant resources. RPA can play a major role in this task by minimizing the use of resources for the administration that involve time-consuming procedures. Healthcare organizations spend nearly 2.1 billion dollars annually on poorly performed and error-prone manual data handling. RPA can provide an all-in-one solution to strengthen the effectiveness and accuracy of data management in the healthcare industry.  

RPA can play a vital role in ensuring electronic data sharing in healthcare abiding by privacy laws, by controlling permission and access rights, for example. RPA can detect risks promptly and act against cyber-attacks preventing data loss and corruption. This boosted cyber security enabled by RPA will be appealing to healthcare institutions especially those who were previously faced with security breaches like NHS who lost an estimated amount of 92 million pounds after becoming a victim of Wanna Cry ransomware attack in 2018 

  • Scheduling Appointments  

Scheduling appointments is quite similar to storing electronic data in the healthcare sector which is a time-consuming process. RPA bots can easily streamline the online scheduling process by scanning incoming data and arranging appointments on the basis of relevant data such as symptoms, availability of the doctor, previous medical records, location or most convenient time, etc. This will not only free healthcare professionals from onerous tasks but also result in higher satisfaction for the patients. 

For example, East Lancashire NHS Trust in the UK at present uses RPA to schedule appointments for the 15000 referrals they receive every month. This is how they save more than 83,600 sheets of paper now. This frees up time for around two and a half full-time employees who can concentrate on redirecting other important resources. To summarize the whole thing, it can be said that RPA will make appointments easier and save time for doctors and other healthcare professionals. This shall further strengthen customer relations.  

  • Handling large-scale payments, claims, and bills 

RPA can be very useful to speed up settlements of health payments by combining the costs of tests, medicines, food, and doctors’ fees into a single sorted payment. This will be extremely convenient for healthcare professionals because they can avoid billing errors and produce precise invoices. Moreover, RPA can be organized to send personalized reminders to patients via email if there is a delay or any issues with payments.  

Similarly, RPA can be helpful in processing time-consuming medical claims. An RPA bot can efficiently do the work of nine full-time employees faster by examining the status of a health insurance claim within 12 seconds as compared to 85 seconds of a human employee. RPA can prevent unwanted financial loss because it was seen that about 25% of claim denials take place due to admin errors such as registration, and eligibility issues. Each claim roughly costs about $118 which can be reduced by RPA. A US hospital has used RPA to check the eligibility of payors and assess any missing information that was obstructing the payment and processing of claims.  

  • Tracking valuable Assets 

Hospitals all over the world are struggling to procure valuable assets, especially after COVID-19. Tracking important resources such as ventilators, defibrillators, and medical pumps became an urgent issue for healthcare professionals during the pandemic. Nurses were found to spend around 6000 hours a month looking for lost equipment, taking up a lot of precious time. Moreover, if they failed to locate essential assets, this can affect patient care and result in the delay of treatment.  

RPA is able to ensure that assets are easily located by healthcare professionals, verify the equipment inventories are accurate and up to date, and check the condition of assets to make sure that they are replaced when damaged. For example, Intellibuddies is supplying hospitals with check-in and check-out RPA to guarantee effective stock and equipment inventory management. Another example of an RPA use case can be found in the UK-based start-up T-Systems which uses RPA to plan various health strategies, one of which performs the task of tracking the time and location of organs to assure seamless transplant operations to patients.  

  • Scrutinizing the data and diagnostics 

Undoubtedly, hospitals need to collect huge amounts of data from patients on a daily basis which often remains unchanged. RPA can be used to analyze the data and yield valuable findings which are customized for the patients. This process is useful to healthcare professionals to make treatment and diagnosis precise for the patients. These insights are convenient for professionals and beneficial for improving patient care facilities with more accurate treatment and diagnosis. For example, a Dublin hospital has implemented RPA to input and examine test findings and patient disease codes. This automation process helps the hospital to save roughly three hours of work a day and gives valuable patient insights.  

Besides, RPA can be used in the fast-growing telehealth services to conduct online screening processes and support other diagnostic processes. This will contribute to health services trying to cope with the situation of COVID-19. For example, Canadian telco Telus in collaboration with Babylon health has made a smartphone app that engages in RPA along with AI technology to effectively respond to patient needs. 

  •  Post Treatment Care 

Another positive aspect of RPA is that it can effectively handle post-discharge care, letting the patients recover safely at home after leaving the hospital. For example, RPA can give reminders to patients for taking medicines on time, eating proper nutrients, or following a diet. Also, RPA can notify patients of doing specific healthcare tasks such as measuring blood pressure, checking oxygen levels, and informing the hospitals when the need occurs. This will improve the relationship of patient parties with hospitals and also release the pressure on hospital beds for healthcare providers.  

Why is RPA important for the healthcare industry? 

With the constant pressure of reducing costs, boosting the speed of systems, managing operations, and facilitating patients with better care, RPA can revamp the entire system. The healthcare industry can immensely benefit from the RPA in the following ways: – 

  • Minimize administrative costs of the hospitals by automating the repetitive and manual tasks that are time consuming. This will streamline the workflow of the healthcare industry.  
  • RPA bots can make appointment scheduling effective by recording crucial data received in an appointment which includes location, time, data, doctor’s name, claims, etc.  
  • RPA can improve accuracy of the data, tasks and management of clinical settings by reducing chances of human error, ensuring duties and ultimately enabling hospitals to provide the best customer service.  
  • Implementation of RPA in healthcare case studies can uphold the productive spirit of healthcare employees. When certain repetitive and miscellaneous tasks are automated then the employees can stay more focused on other advanced activities.  
  • RPA can improve the treatment experience of patients because of accuracy in decision-making, reduced costs, and transparency in patient records. This will also benefit the reputation of healthcare organizations.  

The proper implementation of RPA in healthcare requires a holistic approach to determine the automation activities, look for the resources required to put forward the process, and what else is needed to expedite the entire implementation process.  

The Future of RPA in Healthcare 

As already mentioned, the successful implementation of RPA in the healthcare industry requires a holistic approach and proper plan. A 2019 McKinsey Report reveals that RPA in healthcare is an emerging automation technology that has the capability to renovate the entire system. This means RPA automation trends will continue to grow and will play a major role in the healthcare sector in the coming years.  

Concluding Remarks 

No doubt RPA is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and will continue to extend possibilities. But there are also potential challenges involved in the process of implementation of new automation trends. But the benefits are rewarding since it will speed up the workflow of the healthcare staff and most importantly, they can give better attention to the patients. With increasing demands in healthcare, RPA can simplify tasks at the doctors’ end and extend greater help to the entire industry. This is why it can be said that the positive aspects of RPA exceed the challenges associated with it. With proper planning and resources required to assist the task of implementation of RPA, the challenges could be crushed. So, thinking of starting with automation for your healthcare organization? And why not? Intelligence in processes paves the way for smart business. Get in touch with our experts at Webuters. Our trained professionals are there to help your organization’s legacy systems to successfully incorporate advanced automation that will ensure efficiency and better ROI.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How robotics is used in healthcare? 

RPA robots assist healthcare professionals in surgeries, streamline workflow and logistics in hospitals and improve patient care and treatment facilities in hospitals.  

What are the three benefits of RPA in healthcare? 

The major three benefits of RPA in healthcare are: – 

  1. Enhance Productivity 
  2. Ensure accuracy  
  3. Reduce costs 

How RPA can be used in healthcare? 

RPA can be used by healthcare professionals to automate repetitive manual tasks, reduce costs and increase the workflow, such as triage, through automation of mundane tasks.  

How automation improves healthcare? 

Automation allows healthcare professionals to get more work done productively in their typical shifts while reducing stress levels. Due to the increase in efficiency, healthcare facilities do not demand overtime from human employees.  

What are the use cases of RPA in healthcare? 

  • Electronic records and data sharing 
  • Easy appointment scheduling 
  • Managing large-scale payments, claims, and bills 
  • Tracking assets 
  • Data analysis and diagnostics 
  • Post-treatment care