The world could finally see a glimmer of hope amidst the pandemic, as more countries are rolling out vaccination programmes. And now, the attention will turn to the recovery and a return to normal operations. Supply chains will play an integral role in this effort and might emerge in a different shape. But, COVID-19 might leave a lasting legacy in many areas, including in the areas of demand and supply in critical sectors like healthcare.
While the vaccine is expected to quickly heal the logistics and supply chain sectors, the remains of COVID-19 pandemic has brought immense pressure to the healthcare system. Healthcare is expected to have a more sharp focus and better plan to anticipate any related epidemics in the future. This does not come without reason, because the efforts of implementing automation throughout the healthcare business process are seen to increase overall accuracy and productivity.
Emerging digital technologies, such as Intelligent Process Automation, Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Analytics are available to healthcare providers to adopt so they can achieve greater levels of operational efficiency. The automation has also helped bring a concerted focus on improved patient care. It is expected that healthcare will bring up more reliable and efficient automation to prepare for future unprecedented times.
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Cutting healthcare cost through automation
According to the 2019 CAQH Index, lack of automation for administrative transactions costs the healthcare industry more than $350 billion annually due to its complexity. 12 percent of this annual administrative cost is associated with conducting administrative transactions tracked by the CAQH Index. Of the $40,6 billion spent on these transactions, $13,3 billion of existing annual spending on administrative transactions could be saved by completing the transition from manual and partially electronic to fully electronic processing. The progress that healthcare industries have already made to automate these administrative transactions has saved the industries over $102 billion annually, indicating that automation does not only help patient care but also can cut the healthcare cost to save for health improvement.
Areas where automation plays its roles
In order to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs, healthcare providers should take a holistic approach to enterprise automation. According to the Index, there are three key areas where automation plays a significant role while generating expanded ROI. The areas include are as follow:
- Revenue cycle management and claims denial – Using AI-enabled data technologies, automation of a denial analytic dashboard can be used to track claim denial patterns and automating follow-ups to increase overall clean claim rates.
- Provider supply chain – Automating supply chain activities and integrating them with revenue cycle operations is a critical step to drive more accurate group purchasing decisions, improve distribution methods, and optimise costs.
- Contact centre – Automating this function directly results in increased ROI, as well as a 90 percent increase in overall efficiency. Automation is the first step in the shift towards multi-channel support, self-service, and personalised experience.
Automation is an integral step to streamlining complex manual workflows in every sector, especially healthcare. It also helps curb inefficiencies in supply chain logistics and contact centre operations that cause unnecessary spending, thus freeing up valuable healthcare resources for other uses. All in all, automation allows providers to focus on their primary objective, providing efficient and quality care to patients.
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