Automation has transformed almost every aspect of our lives. It has been adequately employed in other industries like manufacturing and transportation, but very slowly and perhaps, differently in the healthcare industry. There are numerous benefits that automation is bringing in healthcare. For instance, it results in improved efficiency and synergy in all the processes involved in the delivery of services.
The medical billing process is the backbone of healthcare revenue cycle management, but many healthcare providers face challenges in accurately and efficiently billing patients for their services, with an estimated 30 to 40 percent of medical bills containing errors. And those mistakes can be painful--one mistake in medical billing can result in thousands of dollars in mishandled costs for both physicians and patients. The medical billing process requires outstanding communication across departments and payers, as well as ensuring that vital information is correctly captured in each step of the procedure. Efficient medical billing is critical for optimizing healthcare revenue cycle management and driving value-based patient care, but effectively streamlining the process is currently a pain point for the healthcare industry. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is also intensifying the importance of resource effectiveness and quality improvements, and artificial intelligence (AI) can support it in doing so.
Patients' wellbeing should be the central focus of healthcare. Studies show that doctors spend almost half their time on data entry and more than half of their workdays managing records instead of caring for patients. Add this lost time to the fact that healthcare in the United States is already understaffed – averaging 2.5 healthcare practitioners to every 1,000 patients – and it's easy to see that something's got to give to bring focus back to what really matters: actual patient care. Automation technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), offer a chance to relieve overburdened healthcare practitioners of the time-intensive administrative work detracting from time spent with patients. RPA software allows users to configure "bots" to take on repetitive tasks by emulating and integrating the actions of a human within digital systems to perform a business process, eliminating often repetitive tasks from a person's workload.
US healthcare lags far behind in the adoption of cloud computing. Is the industry with its regulations and mission critical nature too complicated for cloud solutions? Is it just a matter of time? How will the future unfold and what are its implications today? Juxtaposing the ongoing history of cloud with a deeper dive into the healthcare industry can help us unlock story of the healthcare sequel of cloud computing.
The health industry in the UK is under immense pressure, with staff shortages and funding restraints leading to unsustainable heavy workloads and low retention rates. It is clear that digital transformation is key to supporting healthcare professionals by relieving the administrative burden, reducing unpaid staff overtime and improving employee job satisfaction. The early August pledge of £250m for NHS artificial intelligence is one step towards realising this metamorphosis that has been detailed by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock's Future of Healthcare document and the NHS Long Term Plan. Artificial intelligence and automation already play a role in health. A highly publicised example of this is Ai-assisted robotic surgery to perform complex procedures.