Harnessing the Power of RPA to Tackle Emerging Healthcare Challenges
For nearly three years, COVID-19 catapulted the healthcare industry into the eye of a gathering storm.
On the technical side, cloud migration, AI adoption, and analytics modernization picked up momentum; on the business side, staff shortages grew, budgets were tight, and regulatory changes loomed. Meanwhile, against this tumultuous backdrop, healthcare organizations have a dire need for efficiency and better patient experience. This is where robotic process automation (RPA) comes in.
This blog post addresses the critical challenges healthcare organizations face in the post-pandemic era and how Eggplant can help solve them with RPA. (You may also check out our fireside chat where Redpoint Summit Founder Chuck Schneider shares his advice on how to unlock the power of RPA in healthcare.)
Emerging Healthcare Industry Challenges in the Post-Covid Era
The healthcare industry has many manual and paper-based processes, making improving efficiency more complicated. Recall the last time you visited a hospital or doctor’s office. Did you fill out a paper form in the waiting room?
A 2020 study by Stanford Medicine found that at least 1 in 3 tasks should be automated, whether it is registering new patients, scheduling appointments, loading data to electronic medical record (EMR) systems, or organizing medical documentation.
Unfortunately, the efficiency issue is exacerbated by three unique challenges in the post-pandemic world:
Healthcare Challenge #1: The Big Shortage
During the first COVID-19 wave, the healthcare industry lost about 1.5 million jobs due to temporary closures of clinics and restrictions on non-emergency services.
Today, as a result, there is a massive patient backlog. However, healthcare employment remains below pre-pandemic levels in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the burnout rate of physicians has been pushed to an all-time high of 63%.
Yet the strain hasn’t let up. Mercer predicts the industry will face a critical shortage of over 3 million workers within four years.
Healthcare Challenge #2: Complicated Regulations
Healthcare regulatory compliance today is more complex than ever. A few weeks ago, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just released two final guidances on device post-approval studies and postmarket surveillance to ensure a higher degree of device efficacy and patient safety.
Healthcare organizations need to navigate multiple layers of ever-changing federal, state, and regional regulations. In addition, the rise of telehealth brings many more unanswered questions about data governance, cybersecurity, and privacy.
One way organizations can stay on top of evolving regulations is to become audit-ready. This level of preparedness requires a more scalable and practical approach to handling testing, operational, and compliance matters.
Healthcare Challenge #3: Digital Transformation
Telehealth, AR/VR devices, and blockchain electronic health records are just a few examples of digital innovations in the healthcare industry. Software testing teams face additional pressure to support digital transformation in a heavily regulated landscape.
If they keep relying on manual processes, they are very likely to risk spending too much time on repetitive test cases and falling behind. “Software systems are getting more complex. They're huge. There are hundreds or thousands of use cases, and you can't cover everything at a quality level without an automation strategy,” said Chuck Schneider, Founder of Redpoint Summit, in the fireside chat.
RPA to the Rescue
Luckily, there’s three good news!
First, healthcare organizations that want to improve their efficiency while navigating emerging industry challenges can do so with RPA. The technology is increasingly mature – regardless of industry, most organizations have seen a positive ROI within 6 to 9 months of RPA implementation. At the industry level, RPA is estimated to save $150 billion every year because of reduced administrative burdens, quality control improvements, and more data-informed insights.
Second, RPA is a solution with low-code requirements. Healthcare organizations do not need to hire a team of professional software engineers to deploy it. Even clinicians and non-technical workers can start running RPA if they find specific tasks repetitive and time-consuming.
Finally, as a technology, RPA is becoming mainstream. According to Gartner, 50% of US healthcare providers are ready to invest in RPA by 2023. We’ve seen providers benefit from RPA in saving much time on patient data input, such as handwriting, emails, images, and scans. In addition, RPA can also streamline patient communication when appointment scheduling systems become burdensome for the staff. More specifically, RPA can free up staff time spent on notifying patients about appointment changes, rescheduling, and medication reminders. On top of that, RPA can solve system integration headaches, enabling massive data to flow securely and reliably across multiple new and legacy systems.
RPA in Healthcare, the Eggplant Way
At Eggplant, we continue to empower various healthcare organizations, such as the NHS and FUJIFILM Software Co., to optimize efficiency and patient experience. And we wanted to make it even easier to achieve the dual goals by enabling advanced RPA and AI-driven test automation in one solution. This is where Eggplant aims to get two giggles from one tickle.
The first giggle is that you can speed up the testing of any platform non-invasively. Eggplant’s patented AI-powered engine can auto-generate test cases without access to source code and drive end-to-end testing for any software, device, or system. Your team can quickly uncover unexpected user journeys, enhancing software functionality, user experience, and integrity.
The second giggle is that you can implement RPA using the same testing assets within the same low-code platform. Testers do not need to learn two different languages or rewrite tests for the RPA suite, while your department can avoid paying either for a second product or per bot for all.
As the national healthcare system grows increasingly strained, RPA is a simple and affordable solution that can help organizations become more resilient in uncertain times and more competitive in the digital future. We’d love to play a role in helping you supercharge your RPA journey. Take Eggplant for a spin via our latest interactive product tour today!
Catch up on other RPA-related resources:\
- Get a free copy of the ultimate RPA playbook to plan your FY23 automation strategy and stay ahead of the curve.
- Join our webinar to discover how RPA technology combined with AI can help alleviate healthcare worker burnout. With RPA 2.0's advanced features, healthcare providers can automate end-to-end workflows, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks.