The International Society of Automation defines automation as “the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.” It’s being utilized across multiple industries, including healthcare.
In addition to enabling healthcare providers to streamline multiple aspects of their business, it allows them to improve care, lower costs and reduce medical errors, which costs the United States approximately $20 billion annually and results in roughly 100,000 deaths each year. Other benefits achieved in healthcare through automation include improved patient monitoring and management, enhanced clinical precision, more comprehensive reporting, faster data retrieval and boosted employee satisfaction.
Reducing Costs by Automating Repetitive Processes
Used to minimize or eliminate repetitive and labor-intensive manual, paper-based administrative and clinical processes, automation allows healthcare providers to spend more time on direct patient care. By automating repetitive analyses and procedures, it increases productivity and efficiency for healthcare professionals working in physician practices, health systems and hospitals.
Although poorly-designed technology can impede physician workflow, many clinicians prefer the use of technology for administrative purposes. One reason is that it can help lessen physician burnout by streamlining clinician workflow, getting rid of inefficiencies, improving resource utilization and eliminating bottlenecks that stall patient flow. Technology solutions that employ automation improve provider documentation and increase accuracy, revenue and reimbursement.
We’ve compiled some statistics that indicate the growing use of automation in healthcare and the advantages it offers:
- The global medical automation market is expected to reach about $93 million by 2028.
- A survey of almost 600 chief financial officers and revenue cycle leaders at hospitals and health systems across the country found that more than half plan to implement automation technology by the end of 2021.
- Approximately 40 percent of the tasks performed by healthcare support occupations can be automated.
- About one-third of the tasks performed by healthcare practitioners and technical occupations can be automated.
- If the medical industry automated all of the processes tracked by the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), it could save $43.39 on each patient encounter ($29.84 for providers and $13.55 for plans).
- More than 40 percent of healthcare executives rank automating business processes such as administrative tasks or customer service as their first choice for investment in AI technology.
- Automation can reduce turnaround times for insurance claims by as much as 75-85 percent.
- Almost 85 percent of businesses in the United States see the use of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) as essential to competitiveness.
- Of the $372 billion spent on administrative complexity with the U.S. healthcare system, an additional $16.3 billion could be saved through workflow automation.
- The area of healthcare with the greatest cost savings opportunity is through eligibility and benefit verification automation, which saved the medical industry $85.6 billion in 2019.
- More than 90 percentof chief financial officers and revenue cycle managers feel it’s important for automated tools to be used in their revenue cycle.
- Roughly 90 percent of large healthcare organizations have an AI and automation strategy, an increase from 53 percent in 2019.
RingRx Automation Applications
At RingRx, automation is an integral part of our products and services. For example, our fully-automated on-call system routes calls to the right physician on the right device. Physician practices of all sizes can integrate our patient-centered communication app with their billing system to automate calls for outstanding bills, thereby improving their revenue cycle management. For physician practices that want to bolster management decisions, RingRx makes it easy to automate data downloads for real-time analytics.
RingRx Outreach can be used to send automated communications to patients to increase engagement while saving time and improving efficiency and productivity for practice staff. Our system can even be integrated with a practice’s fax server to automate inbound faxing, thereby eliminating a time-consuming administrative task.
Another example of automation at work at RingRx is the On-call system. Fully-automated, it can reduce operational costs by replacing more expensive medical answering services.