Robotic process automation ( RPA ) technology involves software tools that can partially or even fully automate manual, rule-based and repetative human activities.
In healthcare, the potential of RPA robots can be used for extraction and analysis of data, claims processing and appointment scheduling. RPA tools offers great opportunities for life sciences organizations to transfer some administrative burden and even assist clinicians in decision making about patient care.
Experts suggest that something as basic as a chat bot can be used to answer the yes or no questions, and there are healthcare specific chatbots that have proved 90% accuracy.
In the future, these bots might also be able to call patients, notify patient arrivals, prepare medical records and even predict costs.
There are fears that these bots will have the potential to take away some healthcare jobs. Gartner has predicted that the worldwide RPA market will hit a whopping $1 billion this year. If used correctly, these tools will complement the workplace functions and instead of taking away the jobs, it will redirect human skills.
RPA-curated information can be used to make strategic decisions and help in providing better care for patients and support for research. For administration too, RPA can address some claims and biling functions and help in reducing processing costs. According to Deloitte, RPA can extract and analyze data warehouse information to help health organizations measure progress based on real-time, rules-based analysis.
But like any other technology, healthcare is also resisting the use of RPA. Less than 50% healthcare organizations are making use of automation to its current potential. Experts suggest that healthcare organizations must have a pilot to gain comfort and executive buy-in. This will give them an idea on how they can drive initiatives by using automation.
To deploy RPA successfully, business must follow best practices like staff education, detailed research, audit of security and identifying a strong use case.