Automation has revolutionized the way the world thinks about productivity. Removing the need to perform rote tasks gives us the time to engage in more analytical ones. Automated businesses have the time for creative problem solving, and that translates into increased profits. Automation results in a 30% rise in deal closures, but it also saves lives in healthcare.
Removing some of the risks of human error and improving patient compliance improves medical outcomes exponentially. Moreover, it achieves those results in many healthcare niches, from health insurance and records maintenance to health monitoring and pharmaceutical trials.
Appointment Scheduling and Record-Keeping
An ordinary doctors’ practice spends 20 hours or more a week on administrative tasks. Automation has risen to resolve that problem through data entry, record maintenance, and patient monitoring. Its power to save lives has been particularly evident in a post-COVID landscape, which has required doctors to process more patients than ever.
Many practices that once relied on pen and paper have taken the plunge into automation. As a result, bottlenecks and points of failure have been minimized. In addition, vaccination rollouts and patient education have become more efficient.
Software robots and process automation have also helped doctors to handle regulatory reporting and portable records. For example, today’s patients can activate their intake files to track their appointments en masse.
Accuracy in Clinical Trials
Automation makes light work of data entry and annotation. It also processes study setups and handles submissions, so researchers no longer must handle spreadsheets manually. As a result, clinical trials have become faster, more accurate, and more open to analysis. The latter task is critical to outcomes. Software robots can convert datasets more comprehensively than ever before. They’ve also helped pharmaceutical companies to shorten the time between trial conclusions and taking products to the market.
Early Disease Detection
Automation and artificial intelligence are a powerful pair. When patient data can be instantly digitized, it can also be put through comprehensive analytics. Old fashioned patient files have transformed into big data tools that can predict and detect diseases.
Early disease detection translates directly into earlier treatment, and that saves lives. But, unfortunately, medical diagnostics have never been this precise.
Today’s doctors juggle many patients a day, so appointments are becoming increasingly short. Unfortunately, that leaves precious little time to check up on patients’ treatment compliance, but automation has your back.
Doctors can retrieve patient data faster with digital tools at their side, but machines can also handle treatment management. For example, mobile apps and other software can remind patients to schedule follow-up appointments and fill prescriptions.
Automation also combines multiple systems into one, which allows doctors to audit data more accurately. This helps them to pick up compliance problems they no longer have the time to handle manually. For example, missed prescription refills are easily tracked with software, so doctors can focus on their follow-up time where it counts the most.
Medical bills and insurance reimbursements create reams of untraceable paperwork that ultimately needs to be entered into computing systems. Machines can handle the job faster and more accurately.
They’ll even handle invoices via purchase-to-pay solutions—a skill your suppliers will be grateful for. These speed up cycle times and results in more affordable transactions. But, most importantly, it limits fraud.
Privacy and HIPAA Compliance
HIPAA compliance is a massive time drain. A full-time employee takes an average of six months to achieve compliance in a typical doctor’s office, so automation is desperately needed. In addition, today’s digital tools can handle security policies, risk assessments, and health information processing, so it’s easier than ever to maintain HIPAA security standards.
The software can now handle cloud business-associated agreements to boot, so doctors never need to worry about the safety of their cloud-based responsibilities again.
Manual diagnostic machines and lab work leave plenty of room for human error. Pipettes and test tubes break. Patient samples become contaminated. Manual diagnostic machines are damaged.
When all these tasks are machine-handled, diagnostics processes can place the focus where it counts: on test outcomes. In addition, automated machines can handle their work faster than humans so that doctors can shorten the time between testing and treatment.
Machines have made specimens easier to trace and costs easier to stomach. Automated clinical laboratories can also handle many tests and analyses—a benefit that’s as important in clinical trials as it is at a doctor’s office.
Automated workflow tools can codify repetitive tasks, thereby erasing the potential for human error. Their most important assets, however, are the hours they save for doctors and researchers. There are skills that no digital technology can manage, so automation’s most important benefit is the time it saves for responsibilities no software will ever be able to achieve.
Paul Towler is the technical operations director at SmartOffice, a software automation provider who helps companies with their document management systems.