By William Sandy, digital marketing, Nintex.
The healthcare industry is already well on its way to digital transformation. While many industries are still taking the first steps on their transformation journeys, most healthcare organizations sit a few stages ahead on this path. This is partly due to significant and widespread regulatory changes around patient data (e.g. HIPAA) – healthcare organizations have had to adopt to new ways of working to stay compliant.
Other factors driving the early adoption of new technology include the rise of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), new competition from organizations like Walmart, and a general shift in patient expectations, who now demand a lot more from healthcare services, especially when it comes to digital, mobile and online services.
In this ever-changing and competitive environment, healthcare organizations must look to continue their digital transformation drive to keep up. Speed and efficiency are central to digital change, and health organizations need to streamline their most important processes if they are to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Two areas for automation in healthcare
Two essential areas where healthcare organizations should look to automate their processes include:
- Administrative services
- Informational services
These are critical to the healthy functioning of a healthcare organization but also present an incredible amount of potential for big wins when it comes to process automation.
1. Administrative services
Administrative processes are at the heart of every healthcare organization. There are a lot of administrative processes that are key to the successful running of the organization – from taking patient surveys so that patient care is held to the highest standards to the day-to-day management of all employees so that they can perform to the best of their abilities in a fast-paced and often stressful environment.
Administrative procedures must be put in place to ensure compliance, including making sure that protocols are up-to-date with the latest compliance regulations and that employees have all the necessary training.
A closer look: Physician contract management
Physician contract management is an essential area of a healthcare organization’s administrative services. Healthcare organizations rely on contracts with independent physicians to ensure that hospitals are fully staffed.
The process of on-boarding new physicians has been traditionally paper-based and involved multiple points of approval. This was a time-consuming process that could slow down the hiring of new doctors. Instead, automatically create contracts then securely store and route these to the right people at the right time for review. With capabilities to add e-signatures, you also can create workflows that take the hassle out of managing physician contracts.
2. Informational services
Managing patient and employee data is one of the key responsibilities of healthcare organizations – this is true both in terms of compliance, as a lot of this data is sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII), but also for creating patient experiences that are as quick, easy and as stress-free as possible.
Medical records must be kept securely and in line with compliance regulations – automating the processes that underpin how an organization stores and manages this data will make sure it does not suffer from data leaks, cyber attacks or unintentional human error.
A closer look: Patient admissions
The last thing patients need when they are visiting the hospital is a drawn-out and arduous admissions process. They want to see a doctor and be treated as quickly as possible.
Healthcare organizations can automate the process of patient admissions, removing clipboards, pencils, and with these, patient frustration. Instead, they can replace with dynamic and intelligent forms which are quick, easy-to-use but ensure that patient data is stored in the right places in accordance with compliance regulations.
Streamline processes, remove information silos, reduce costs, improve regulatory compliance, and provide better services for your customers.