The healthcare industry saw the worst amid the pandemic, but the crisis brought several valuable lessons. The most critical one was to prioritize patient experience over everything else. But that’s easier said than done because clinics, small practices, and large hospitals bear the burden of multiple and complex administrative processes.
Automation technology is a game-changer in this context as it can take over repetitive tasks, freeing providers to concentrate on patient care. According to a 2020 survey, 90% of large healthcare organizations stated that they have an automation strategy in place. It was a massive increase from only 53 percent in 2019.
The numbers are equally impressive on the revenue front, with the global healthcare automation market size touching $35.2 billion in 2022. The revenue is projected to reach a staggering $90.88 billion by 2032. Undoubtedly, missing out on the healthcare automation bandwagon is not a choice for providers and organizations.
At this point, you must be selective about the processes you should automate. You can start with the following areas when leading your practice on the automation journey.
Appointment Scheduling and Reminders
Appointment scheduling is perhaps the most cumbersome process for healthcare organizations. Whether you run a small clinic or a chain of hospitals, you may struggle to manage schedules, fit in patients, and handle no-shows. Automating the appointment scheduling process can help you overcome these woes.
An online scheduling system can be a savior. According to Zippia, 68% of patients say that they prefer medical providers with online appointment booking and cancellation platforms. Besides patient convenience, it reduces the workload on administrative staff. Integrating reminders via SMS, email, or phone calls into the system is even better because it can decrease no-show rates.
Revenue Cycle Management
While patient care should be the primary goal for healthcare providers, revenues are critical to fuel the business. Revenue cycle management (RCM) is a complex operational area covering the financial aspects of patient care.
The cycle includes everything from the first appointment to the final payment. You can imagine the sheer complexity of the process when treating hundreds or thousands of patients monthly.
A revenue cycle management company can automate the entire process to reduce your workload. Additionally, automation minimizes the possibility of human error and enhances the financial health of healthcare organizations.
According to Millin Associates, automation of revenue cycle management in healthcare comprises two key elements:
Streamlining Billing and Invoicing
An automated RCM solution generates accurate patient invoices with relevant information such as treatment codes and insurance. Additionally, it can send electronic invoices to patients, creating a transparent system where patients do not worry about billing surprises.
Automated Claims Processing
Automated RCM systems eliminate the burden of manual processing of insurance claims. Manual processes are error-prone and time-consuming, while automated systems ensure accuracy and speed up the reimbursement process.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) Management
Did you know that nearly 9 in 10 office-based physicians in the US adopted an EHR system as of 2021? By now, automation of health records is probably ubiquitous across the country. That’s because the transition from documents to electronic health records (EHR) offers many benefits to patients and providers.
Automated EHR systems are capable of updating patient records in real time without human intervention. They can even empower healthcare providers with patient-specific critical information such as medication interactions and allergies. Additionally, they serve as the foundation of collaborative care by facilitating secure data sharing among different providers and facilities.
Patient care is not just about treating them when they are at your clinic or hospital. It is about providing long-term care, including ensuring they take the right medications at the right time. Beyond adherence, medication management also entails preventing adverse reactions. The process can be complex for facilities treating many patients simultaneously.
Automated medication management systems can reduce the burden on providers and ensure the best patient outcomes. You can trust the system to send timely medical reminders to your patients and provide dosage instructions. An advanced one can even send alerts to providers when a dose is missed by a patient. Prescription refill reminders are also a valuable feature these systems can offer.
Automation in healthcare can be empowering for providers as it takes them the extra mile with patient care. By automating these processes, you can minimize the need to address administrative challenges.
At the same time, you don’t have to stress about revenues and profits because automation streamlines the business part of running a medical facility. With everything else being taken care of, you can give all your attention to patient well-being.
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