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How RPA Can Improve the Healthcare Industry
Warming Up to RPA
Technological innovations tend to gradually unfold within the medical industry, and professionals in the field can’t help but notice the benefits and the challenges of a digital workforce and operational strategy. It’s clear digital technologies have cemented their place in boardroom discussions…but it’s also evident that medical companies will need some time to warm up to the idea of implementing automation.
An estimated 60% of respondents in an EY survey “believe looming advances in technology will require their companies to retrain and redeploy existing employees,” whereas 53% “believe it will create opportunities and necessitate hiring new talent.” However, similarly forward-thinking ideas about digital transformation aren’t embraced by medical institutions universally.
In fact, some have seen and continue to see technological development, including RPA, as a burden. Many see digitization as a threat to their business models, and thus, are more hesitant to adopt emerging technologies. In order to shed light on automation in the medical industry, we need to consider the ideological skepticism surrounding RPA, assess some potential applications of the software for finance companies, as well as the value proposition RPA brings.
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RPA’s Value Proposition
To gain a clearer understanding of the value of RPA, let’s first consider the technology’s emerging role through a few example applications and use cases.
Take the perspective of a publicly traded oil and gas company based at the Gulf Coast of the United States with 5,000 employees and $10 billion in yearly revenue – faced with slow operational processes, inefficient and timely relationship management with customers and partners, and middling digital optimization in the back office, the oil and gas company used the automation capabilities of RPA to:
Analyze data patterns
Because they constantly record and monitor their actions, RPA software robots collect vast quantities of data—everything from a customer’s purchasing preferences to insights on the efficiency of internal business operations. Still not impressed? RPA robots can easily reveal the amount of time it takes to process an order, quantity of outstanding transactions, as well as the processes that generated exceptions and required further human intervention – without breaking a sweat.
While large amounts of data are produced by RPA, they can also be analyzed. The company in question, for example, used RPA to help identify patterns among sensor information and drilling data contained within daily drilling reports. Through RPA’s analytical capabilities, the oil company was able to make better informed decisions for drilling wells and reduce process bottlenecks to increase operational efficiency, improve employee utilization, and reach higher levels of back-office productivity.
Improve Accounting Processes
Accounting processes generally take up a lot of employee time and stay extremely repetitive, with employees often working over weekends trying to close the books at the end of each month. A company can use RPA to automate several different financial processes that use a lot of time an energy, such as:
- Recording journal entries
- Monitoring revenue and expense accounts
- Preparing financial statements
- Reconciling balance sheet accounts
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
Automation can help ease the process, only requiring finance analyst intervention when exceptions are generated and the employees then alerted, freeing their time for more constructive tasks requiring human ingenuity. Not only can automation help streamline a generally manual process, it enables a company to get better visualization of the process and their finances by providing analytic insight with recorded data.
Streamline Joint Ventures
Joint ventures, while necessary to help meet regulatory requirements, mitigate risk, and share resources – including access to technology, often involve the integration of various systems and platforms between companies. This can lead to serious IT chaos and cluster headaches. On the other hand, trying to maintain separate and incongruent systems can cost a business a lot of time and money.
RPA can meet in the middle and bridge the systems gap by interacting with different applications through the presentation layer, streamlining interactions between various customer databases, inventory systems, etc. This solution requires no system re-haul and can keep audit logs of various interactions.
RPA in the Healthcare Industry
Struggles with mixed data formats and legacy systems will soon become a thing of the past for medical companies as they move toward RPA-centered digital transformations. HIPAA privacy rules, PCI standards, tax laws, and other regulations necessary to keep an medical company secure are easily obtainable with RPA.
Some standard uses for RPA in healthcare include simplifying patient appointment scheduling based upon specific criteria (e.g. diagnosis, doctor, location, etc.), speeding up account settlements, and streamlining claims management processes. Many organizations also find RPA useful for recording data and generating reports for audits – while also using the underlying data gathered by the ‘bot’ to generate useful analytics.
RPA Is a Great Fit for:
- Claims processing
- Regulatory Compliance
- Policy Cancellation
- Form Registration
- Insurance Quote Generation
- Proposal Generation
- Policy Generation
- Claims Payout
- Interacting with Legacy systems