Despite the rise in technology adoption in healthcare, the post-acute care industry has been slow on the uptake. This is in part due to a poor understanding of the technology and a lack of insight into the merits. It is a well-known fact that every dollar spent on operational inefficiencies is a dollar that cannot be spent on care delivery and improving patient outcomes. The post-acute care system in the US is overrun with rule-based, repetitive administrative tasks that take up an inordinate amount of time. These documentation tasks often cut into the hours of the operations teams leading to overburdened staff unable to work at the top of their license. Automation fits in as the perfect answer to this problem.
RPA or Robotic Process Automation is a system of recording tasks where machines are instructed to execute rule-based tasks precisely. Robots (or bots) find logical steps and perform repetitive, labor-intensive tasks utilizing the same systems that post-acute teams utilize with no human intervention. RPA, when implemented correctly, comes in as a boon for post-acute care organizations, functioning as a digital assistant that performs all of the tasks just as humans would only faster, more accurately, and efficiently. It allows for the organization's medical teams to focus on business-critical functions and deliver better patient outcomes. RPA, in conjunction with AI, can help automate post-acute care workflows such as intake management, claims and denials, RCM, record management, and a plethora more waiting to be found. In just the intake management process alone, post-acute care teams stand to save hundreds of hours working on tasks such as managing referrals, checking eligibility, audits, and more. These processes can be performed substantially faster and more efficiently through automation. All that time saved can now go towards providing a better, more fulfilling patient care experience.
According to market studies, the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market is expected to reach $5bn by 2024. The healthcare segment is expected to be one of the fastest-growing sectors over this forecast period. Moreover, with more and more provider networks focusing on interoperability as a key requirement while considering their referrals, it has become paramount for post-acute care organizations to focus on upping their technology game. RPA is not a band-aid fix to the situation either since it can be easily scaled along with the organization's tech infrastructure owing to its tech-agnostic nature. RPA is easily implemented with the help of the right partner, at almost zero technology overhead, and exhibits tangible ROI from Day 1.
In conclusion, RPA is a technology that directly aligns with the core values of lowering the cost of care and improving staff experience to build on and go beyond the only bottom line, better patient care. While there are several players in the RPA for the healthcare space, Element5 has built RPA based workflow automation solutions, specifically for post-acute teams. Now all that's left to be seen is how the post-acute care leaders rise to step forth on this evolutionary journey.