RPA FAQs: Role of Automation in Improving the Healthcare Industry

09 May, 2020 | Blogs

The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market is expected to reach USD 2,467.0 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 30.14% between 2017 and 2022 (MarketsandMarkets). Despite its growing popularity and mass proliferation, the question about its value proposition remains. Before implementing RPA, companies across industries want to understand how RPA bots can boost efficiency and productivity, its impact on the organization’s value chain, and the nuances of implementation. This blog is our attempt to take out the complexity of RPA strategy and implementation in the healthcare industry by answering the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). 

RPA FAQ #1. Why should healthcare institutions care about RPA?  

RPA is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the operational technology industry. The reason behind this meteoric growth is its multiple advantages and benefits, including boosting efficiency and productivity ultimately has a positive impact on the bottom line. 

RPA FAQ #2. What is the reason behind using RPA to improve the healthcare payment process? 

The healthcare industry is complex and inundated with back-office processes that need human intervention to interact with patients, suppliers and third-party provides. These processes vary from billing, patient scheduling, claims processing, underwriting, and updating database of hospitals. Even though many healthcare companies are automating their processes on their own, there is a huge volume of work that still requires human intervention. Therefore, more and more institutions are embracing automation technologies like RPA to streamline some manual processes, increase efficiency and accuracy, have faster turnarounds, and improved customer relationships. 

RPA FAQ #3. Are there any studies that prove RPA’s positive impact on the healthcare system?

With healthcare costs increase every year, many healthcare providers have deployed RPA to save cost, effort, and time. This is further corroborated by a report published by Alsbridge states that processing a healthcare claim without a bot can costs around $4, while the cost-per-claim drops significantly to $1.25 when done through RPA systems. The same study highlights that turnaround time also reduces by at least 50% when RPA is used for claims processing. 

RPA FAQ #4. What are the other areas where RPA can be used in the healthcare industry?

Automation in the healthcare industry is beyond just removing paperwork or reducing the turnaround time, although these tasks are also a huge part of the demand for RPA. Other areas where RPA can be used are data entry and migration, patient scheduling, billing, and claims processes. Read about these and other uses cases of RPA here.

RPA FAQ #5. What are the specific benefits of RPA in the healthcare industry?

There are several specific benefits of RPA in the healthcare industry, including higher appointment turnout and fewer cancellations, elimination of errors while entering patient records, enhanced patient experience, and automated monitoring of accounts payable/receivable.

RPA FAQ #6. How to choose the right RPA approach?

RPA needs vary greatly from one organization to another and its true potential can only be realized if you know the process where you’d like to minimize process-oriented work. The first step is to identify that process and understand the RPA operating model that will best suit your company. There are several RPA providers like Nuummite Consulting that can help you identify the process and help you plan RPA implementation and execution strategies. 

Before you jump into a proof of concept, assess the processes to see if they are rule-based, score them on their importance and level of complexity, and then prioritize. Consider factors like volume, number of FTEs, average processing time, whether the data is structured or not, etc.

RPA FAQ #7. Will RPA lead to job cuts?

Perhaps the most common misconception about RPA that has hindered its adoption is whether this technology will lead to massive job losses. The answer is a big no. The idea behind RPA deployment is to automate repetitive manual processes, lower costs, and create faster and accurate processes. It does not mean to negate the need for human intervention. While RPA will replace mundane tasks done by people, it will still require humans to make strategic decisions to complete these processes.

In other words, RPA and humans will work together and the nature of the job performed by humans will change, with the tasks pivoting towards analytics, strategic decision making, and maintaining client relationships. 

RPA FAQ #8. Does RPA have a positive impact on real-time business needs?

RPA can be deployed to achieve real-time business needs even though it is primarily considered to be mid-to a long-term solution. For instance, when RPA is implemented at a contact center, it can make it easier for human agents to access multiple applicants within seconds and resolve queries faster.

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