RPA in Healthcare: The Path to Operational Efficiency Through Intelligent Automation

21st July 2022

Operational efficiency is a main objective for any healthcare organisation, large or small. Luckily, technology offers some powerful tools that are being leveraged to enhance performance by streamlining manual processes. Robotic process automation (RPA) could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) represents the next frontier for the healthcare industry. But while intelligent automation sounds great in theory, many healthcare leaders are left wondering: What does this all mean?  

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at RPA to help you get past the jargon. We’ll make it crystal clear on how robotic process automation is making healthcare systems more efficient, faster, and more importantly, patients satisfied.

First things first, let’s demystify the concept.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

RPA isn’t a physical or mechanical robot, so don’t worry, we’re not talking about new age artificial intelligence waiting on us hand and foot. In fact, there really aren’t any robots involved. Deloitte defines Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as “the automation of rules-based processes with software that utilises the user interface and which can run on any software, including web-based applications, ERP systems and mainframe systems.”

Simply put, RPA uses software to execute tasks that once required human input—such as extracting data, filling in forms, and sharing files—offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional process approaches.

I know this may sound a little boring, or extremely exciting, depending on who you are, especially when you compare it to actual robots disinfecting hospitals and assisting nurses, but it’s by design. Often, the most impactful innovations start out simple and small. RPA is about automating mundane and repetitive tasks so that organisations can improve their processes, increase efficiencies, and ultimately reduce costs.

Benefits of RPA in healthcare

In healthcare, there are several repetitive processes and decisions that rely on the availability of accurate data—patient onboarding, scheduling, referral management, billing, and claims management, to name a few. While efficient data processing and data sharing are essential, manual entries can be cumbersome, error-prone, and costly.

With the push to decrease costs and streamline processes, healthcare organisations are positioned to benefit greatly from RPA.

How healthcare leaders can implement RPA:

  • Reduce administrative costs by automating repetitive, time- and resource-intensive manual tasks.
  • Increase the speed of processes, such as care coordination, by automating everyday tasks.
  • Improve data accuracy, reporting and compliance by reducing human error, ensuring validity, and following best practices.
  • Improve staff productivity by automating tasks that don’t require human action, freeing up resources to focus more on patient care.
  • Improve the patient experience with person-centred care, supported by informed decisions and greater visibility across the entire care continuum.

Use Case: Mitigating Administrative Burnout with Automation

Over the past two years, the healthcare industry has been hit hard by the Great Resignation, and staffing shortages are having a significant impact on health systems. Highly skilled workers are quitting in droves, citing burnout and high stress as contributing factors.

Now, more than ever, health systems need to function as optimally as possible. Too often, we see highly specialised workers being deskilled as they face mountains of administrative tasks that require their input and processing to ensure proper patient care. Reducing unnecessary administrative burdens presents a real, meaningful, and practical opportunity to impact healthcare workers and their patients positively.

As access and placement are automated, referrals and patient handoffs not only become more streamlined and safer – but RPA also frees up these specialised workers, enabling them to focus on mission-critical health and care requirements.

Ready to take the first step towards RPA?

If you think RPA is the right process solution for your healthcare organisation’s needs, or if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. As a leading provider of patient flow technology, Strata Health has vast experience and expertise on RPA implementations across the healthcare sector. Contact us today to book a demo.

By Clint Schick, Chief Executive at Strata Health UK

About the Author: Clint Schick

With a passion for innovation and more than 18 years of health technology experience, Clint Schick is a pioneer in patient flow software solutions for health and social care organisations across the UK.

As the Founder and Chief Executive of Strata Health UK Ltd, Clint and his team align with the unique needs of clients at both the executive and front line levels, exceeding expectations in enabling whole system integrated care. Clint is well-versed in digital health technologies, patient flow, resource management, data integration, and system interoperability. He takes great pride in seeing his work make a difference in patient experience and outcomes.

Preceding his tenure at Strata Health, Clint held senior management roles with multinational organizations, including William Neilson/Cadbury’s, SC Johnson, Dairyworld Foods and Saputo Inc. As Director of International Business at Dairyworld Foods, Clint increased the company’s global business exposure from five countries to more than 20, and was directly responsible for nine strategic business units that delivered combined revenue of C$200 million.

Clint is a recent graduate of Oxford University’s Programme in Continuing Professional Development, holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba, and has been a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) for the past four years.

Discover more about Strata Health:

With over 20 years of experience in the patient care industry, Strata Health is the leading provider of intelligent, digital tools for resource allocation, patient transitions, and patient flow innovation. Strata Health supports healthcare clients on three continents, helping over 1.5 million patients worldwide get the care they need faster. Their software solutions are improving the healthcare experience for patients, clinicians, and health jurisdictions around the world.

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