Robotic Process Automation: An Overview

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the technology that allows the software to mimic human actions or interactions and execute business processes. Organizations are facing increased demands on resources, pressuring them to produce more with diminishing or overburdened personnel and RPA is a promising solution to overcoming these challenges. RPA has proven to boost business capacity and provide significant savings in many industry sectors. Although it is a resource that can be used in most, if not all, industries, healthcare has embraced this technology as market demand increases.

Benefits of RPA

One of the primary benefits of robotic process automation is the cost savings created by decreased demand on resources. Once tasks are automated, not only are they finished more quickly, but they can also be completed around-the-clock at a considerably more affordable rate than the cost associated with manual processing. You see significantly greater output for considerably less, resulting in an improved bottom line.

One key attribute of RPA is that it can be used to automate mundane, rules-based business processing tasks that allow staff to devote more time to higher-value work. Also, RPA can provide scalable solutions that avoid the need for adding staff or providing additional training as organizations grow.

Below are several key areas where RPA is making an impact:

  • Increased operational efficiency – The US Census projects that by the year 2030, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in the nation’s history. The increased processing demands generated by data such as medical records and reimbursements is ideally suited to RPA solutions. While patient cases increase, the healthcare industry is being challenged with handling growing rates of inventory, creating and supporting digital patient files, optimizing appointment making, and carrying out billing and claims transactions.
  • Better scalability than macros – RPA is also scalable and can be augmented with cognitive technologies such as machine learning (ML) and natural language processing. For call centers and customer service operations, this is important since RPA can be used to provide answers to customers in natural language.
  • A complement to workflow tools – Workflow tools streamline a company’s business systems by way of automation. Automating some of these processes such as repetitive tasks, follow-up communications, and notification of uncompleted tasks serves to increase productivity. Relegating these monotonous and time-consuming tasks to robots frees employees to focus on higher priority jobs.
  • Data analysis – An organization may configure computer software as a bot to obtain and then analyze functions for handling a transaction, manipulating information, activating responses, as well as interacting with other electronic systems.
  • Accuracy – While tedious, manual repetitive tasks often require 100% accuracy. By applying rules bases RPA organizations can ensure these are completed consistently and accurately each and every time.

Healthcare IT, RPA and the future

The Gartner consulting group estimates that the RPA market will reach $1 billion by 2020. A byproduct of this robust adoption is that there will be reduced demand for employees to staff shared business service centers. With any emerging technology, there is a learning curve associated with its adoption. RPA provides simple and effective solutions but determining how to effectively deploy it can be complex. In some cases, more advanced solutions such as workflow orchestration and unstructured data capture are required to optimize the value of RPA.

HCIM’s leading edge solutions uses IntelliRPA® technology backed by expertise with healthcare payer operations. We can help you assess how RPA and other technologies can be implemented for your specific business requirements. To learn more, please complete the contact form on the right side of the page.