When a patient approaches the hospital with an acute emergency condition, what should be the possible waiting time for the patient to access emergency care? How long should the patient wait for the hospital to provide access to a bed and physician? Healthcare
How much time may an insurance company take to say ‘yes’ to provide approval so that the patient gets admission immediately, without losing time? These are critical questions, often not answered satisfactorily, and automating the healthcare workflow can reduce delays in many ways. Let us examine workflow automation use cases in the healthcare sector.
How should Hospitals Reduce this Waiting Time?
Except in areas where human intervention is essential, automating the administrative, operations, finance, billing, and insurance sections within the healthcare unit offers an enhanced user experience.
Automating Administrative workflow
Hospitals can reduce the delays involved in manual operations in providing emergency care by improving healthcare workflow automation. The patient must be allowed to book an online or telephonic appointment before he reaches the hospital. Getting access to an ambulance for patients who need emergency care is equally critical, and this facility must be part of the online patient appointment booking.
Hospital administrative staff must be able to fill in patient details by uploading any valid identity proof to the system. Workflow automation helps hospital administration to auto-fill patient information by collecting details from the uploaded or the existing document into the primary fields. Hospital staff can save time by auto-filling the patient’s first name, last name, email address, residential address, and phone number.
Automation of Healthcare Operations
Hospital management must have to spend time arranging a variety of services for the patients manually. Workflow automation of certain routine operations that don’t demand an expert intervention can be automated to reduce the burden on the hospital administrative staff and offers a quality patient care experience.
Hospital Bed Occupancy Management
If a patient needs in-house treatment, mandating the patient to stay in the hospital, the hospital staff must have the bed occupancy details at their fingertips. The patient need not wait for the hospital staff to check the details. Upon onboarding, the patient will get a bed without losing time.
Patient Emergency Care Management
If a patient approaches the hospital for emergency care due to an accident or acute chest pain, the emergency care provider must not wait for blood reserves and emergency medicine. The emergency care unit must get equipped with data on available blood reserves and the medicinal inventory.
A patient’s preliminary screening prior to accessing specialist care is essential for collecting basic data such as blood group, blood pressure level on arrival, weight, whether or not the patient is diabetic, and the past medical history if any.
Approval From the Insurance Agency
On typing the patient’s name on the device, the insurance agency must be in a position to get the details including the patient’s insurance policy No, premium opted, and the patient’s eligibility for claiming a certain amount of medical coverage. The insurance agent must not waste time on verifications. The industry sources are working on an automated insurance approval mechanism that won’t take more than five minutes to get the approval for the patient/hospital’s request.
Integrated Digital Medical Record Maintenance
A patient undergoes multiple screenings and scanning. The patient may submit samples of blood, urine, stool, layers of skin, hair, and any other organ sample for a biopsy. Clinical laboratories, on examining the samples issue reports, images, and impressions as copies which may be paper-based or film-based. Digital copies of the clinical and lab reports and the images in their digital form reduce the cost incurred for printing them. Automation streamlines patients’ medical records on a centralized repository and the electronic signature protects patients’ data from getting tampered with.
Automating healthcare services exempts the physical presence of the patient or the patient’s attendant. To produce them personally to a physician or a healthcare expert for diagnosis. The doctor can access patient medical records digitally on any device remotely, including a mobile phone. A physician need not maintain medical records, by manually entering them every time. Automating medical care reduces the burden on the frontline healthcare providers like doctors, nurses, and clinicians.
Effective Medical Infrastructure Inventory Management
A surgeon need not wait for the availability of an operation theatre, and a patient should not lose time waiting for a wheelchair or a stretcher. Medical teams can schedule surgeries as expected with better inventory management of devices, tools, diagnostic machines, and medical or healthcare infrastructure. Workflow automation helps hospitals add efficiency and enhance the patient experience during their stay in the hospital.
Efficient Pharmacy Management
A pharmacist within hospital premises or outside can access the medical prescription to deliver medicines and other required medical care. The presence of the patient is not mandatory for the chemists and druggists to execute the doctors’ prescription.
Final Bill Settlement Made Easy
Automation integrates all the departments within the hospital, and the finance or the billing department can quickly calculate the overall expenditure the patient incurred during his stay in the hospital. This practice reduces errors and confusion in calculating the final medical cost to the patient. Who will be anxious to procure money for the final bill settlement. In many instances, Patients will be waiting for hours to get their final bill. Workflow automation reduces the friction among the patient, healthcare providers, and the insurance agencies responsible for making payments.
Smooth Patient Exit
Complete healthcare automation enhances a customer experience from the point of a patient getting admitted to the hospital throughout the patient’s journey till exit. While several brick-and-mortar companies have already started initiatives in this direction. It is high time for the healthcare industry moving toward a complete digital transformation and workflow automation.
Workflow automation of the healthcare sector depends on building healthcare infrastructure. Including the latest scanning, imaging, and reporting machines to treat chronic, acute. And contagious diseases that demands a solid healthcare infrastructure, well-trained staff, and an efficient medicinal inventory.
The global healthcare automation market may grow 8.415% in 7 years, with profits amounting to $63 million by 2026. According to Precedence Research, the global clinical workflow solutions market was $ 8.26 billion in 2021. And will reach over $ 23.99 billion by 2030. A McKinsey report predicts an increased demand for healthcare assistance. And the market for medical robotics alone will reach 20 billion USD by 2023, growing 50% per year.
Workflow automation of the health sector not only benefits patients in getting quality care. But also helps the industry make revenue with an increased demand for efficient healthcare services.