Intelligent automation in healthcare: The day-to-day business impact

  • February 07, 2024

Every significant business move comes with both an opportunity and a measurable outcome. Most of the time we like to talk about return on investment (ROI) in terms of revenue, and for good reason.

Other forms of ROI are just as valuable:

  • Improved employee satisfaction, which leads to less cost associated with acquiring new talent
  • Greater customer satisfaction, leading to less churn and more recurrent revenue
  • Getting home sooner for people throughout the entire organizational structure

Our 2023 ServiceNow Insight and Vision Report shows how industries are moving toward improved ESAT and CSAT goals, impacting their top and bottom lines. Integral to those improved revenues is intelligent automation.

Intelligent automation in healthcare has several lines, from its implementation to revenue. Some lines are as straight as an arrow; others are more circuitous. No matter which line you follow, it leads to a better version of the organization you already have.

Automating repetitive tasks

Everything — and we do mean everything — that is repeated regularly deserves to be automated. Approvals can follow a specific algorithm for criteria checks in patient care, billing and insurance, imaging, or any other area. Think of every time you say the word “routine,” and you can replace it with “automated.” Now, how much faster and more efficient will your processes be?

Automating the mundane isn’t always about decreasing headcount — it’s about freeing up professionals who need to think critically and take care of unique situations. Professionals in the healthcare industry want to be the person in the room who can respond to an individual’s needs.

When healthcare professionals are asked to act like assembly-line workers, their morale takes a nosedive that often results in weeks, months or even years of less-than-their-best work before they finally separate.

Here’s a quick overview of just a few of the repetitive tasks that you can automate:

  • Authorization and eligibility verification
  • Handling insurance claims
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Referral programs
  • Making payments
  • Patient journeys and clinical workflows
  • Data management
  • Inventory control
  • Regulation observance

How many items on this list each take a full-time employee … or even a team of FTEs? What tasks could those employees be doing to move the business forward if they weren’t doing these repetitive tasks?

Intelligent automation isn’t about getting fewer people to do the work — it’s about getting more people to do specialized work that matters.

Perform audits and find opportunities easily with RPA

Years ago, search engine providers learned how to create “bots” to “crawl” webpages throughout the internet, cataloging keywords and phrases to improve the search experience. It’s time for your healthcare organization to benefit from the technology that made search engines valuable.

With Robotic Process Automation (RPA), you can have your own set of “bots” that are capable of auditing, indexing and cataloging parts of your business (within HIPAA-compliant parameters) for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.

How many headaches does the billing department have due to coding errors? And what is the time and personnel commitment to resolve those issues so that you can get paid? What would happen to revenue numbers and your employees’ work life if bots indexed and audited superbills to catch errors before the insurance company gets the chance?

Chances are, you already have half a dozen different areas where you’d love to deploy bots to increase compliance, security, revenue and cost savings. The next step would be to get an idea of how much you could gain, both in hard and soft returns and decide when to implement such a tool.

Patients get faster answers and less anxiety.

The people sitting in your waiting rooms aren’t at their peak physical condition — and on top of that, their anxiety is through the roof. They’re burdened with financial anxiety, work anxiety, treatment anxiety, family anxiety and a litany of other cares and concerns that are likely contributing to their physical ailments and impeding their healing process.

Now imagine that you’re a mother sitting with her sick five-year-old daughter, and instead of waiting for hours to know if her insurance company will approve a procedure, she knows within five minutes.

Best care scenario: Everything is a go, and that mother has less anxiety about what care her daughter will get. Worst case scenario: The mother knows what her options are and aren’t, and she doesn’t have to wait for hours, hungry and missing work, only to be told no.

What changes when your healthcare system is known as the place to go for faster answers, more accurate billing and doctors who focus on patients instead of processes? Those are the kinds of soft returns that turn into dividends.

What do you want to improve?

Your employees don’t want to do robotic work. Your patients don’t want red tape at a moment in their lives when they need to feel like someone cares about their health, at least as much as they need healthcare. Your administrators need not to feel hopeless about being asked to do more with less.

While no silver bullet exists for any problem, there are measurable and attainable solutions. If you’re ready to make progress toward happier employees, relieved patients and larger margins, then it may be time to consider ServiceNow with NTT DATA.

Our experienced team of healthcare-focused ServiceNow experts can help you implement solutions such as hyperautomation and low-code integrations to reduce the amount of repetitive human work dramatically.

Download the 2023 ServiceNow Insight and Vision Report to learn how healthcare organizations prioritize service management to boost employee experience.

For a quick preview of the report, check out the infographic here.

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Darren Allen

Darren Allen is the Principal Sales Consultant Director for NTT DATA’s ServiceNow Practice with a decade of program and cloud applications management experience. He has worked with ServiceNow Solutions for 4+ years and has a proven track record of leading client-first implementations for both ServiceNow and Salesforce products. Darren is adept at providing roadmaps, guidance, and support throughout platform expansion and adoption. He is committed to ensuring delivery satisfaction throughout the engagement process.


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