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How AI-powered automation supports health care workers and improves patient care

News
Article

Technology can streamline administrative tasks, freeing clinicians to spend more time for patients

Hand pointing to AI symbol ©Suriyo-stock.adobe.com

©Suriyo-stock.adobe.com

While flu season is always a busy time for health care workers, this year is especially demanding as hospitals continue to face COVID-19 cases along with an increase in respiratory syncytial virus. These are compounded by the continuing nationwide shortage of health care workers due in large part to crisis levels of burnout.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vital Signs, nearly half (45.6%) of all health care workers surveyed said they suffered from burnout often or very often.

To alleviate some of this stress on their employees, health care organizations are turning to AI-powered automation to support patient care and lessen the burden of operational and administrative workloads. AI-powered automation combines the agility and speed of enterprise automation with new generalized AI and specialized AI capabilities. With this technology, organizations can streamline time-intensive reporting and other bureaucratic tasks, freeing clinicians from activities that cause them stress and allowing them to devote more time to patients.

Offloading repetitive manual tasks

A major challenge health care workers face is excessive paperwork and massive amounts of tedious administrative work. From updating patient records, scheduling follow-up appointments, or completing insurance paperwork, employees already short on time can easily get bogged down.

Automation can help health care organizations eliminate these time-intensive chores. For example, many of the routine tasks that medical professionals have on their plates, such as data entry, scheduling appointments, and revising and filing records, are tasks perfectly suited to AI-powered automations.

Employees can even create automations for specific tasks they find to be the most repetitive and time-consuming. For example, ApprioHealth, a provider of health IT services for government agencies and other organizations, has automated data entry processes and reduced its backlogged claims by 96%. By implementing this technology, employees have more time to focus on patient care and find the breathing room they need to care for themselves.

Improving the patient experience

With AI-enhanced automation health care organizations can improve the entire patient experience, starting before the patient even enters the office. Onboarding a new patient requires time for insurance verification, referrals, and appointment scheduling. These tasks can be accelerated with AI-powered automation, which ensures more efficient and accurate processes.

Reducing costs and increasing speed

Automation software is designed to take repetitive, time-intensive tasks and complete them almost instantly, which also saves health care organizations money. Instead of tapping understaffed and overworked clinicians, or trying to hire additional employees amidst a shortage, technology can help empower existing staff. The healthcare automation market grew from $57.24 billion in 2022 to $63.41 billion in 2023, as growing numbers of organizations have seen the value of implementing technology to combat the challenges the industry faces today.

Automating routine tasks can lead to more efficient health care delivery. InHealth, the UK’s largest specialized provider of diagnostic and health care solutions, uses automation to help with onboarding staff, billing processes, and revenue cycle management. After less than a year, InHealth accomplished the same tasks with nearly 21,000 fewer hours of work.

Implementing automation gives health care workers time back in their day, boosting productivity and workplace satisfaction, which are critical to reducing burnout in the industry. Additionally, the more time and money an organization saves, the more they can use those resources to provide the best quality treatment for their patients.

AI-powered automation offers an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the practice of health care. Implementing automation helps health care organizations lower the cost of care, become more proficient in data driven decision-making, gain a holistic view of processes through data, and empowers workforces with increased capacity that improves the employee experience. Health care organizations—no matter their size or specialty—should explore how AI-powered automation can help them deliver improved patient care around the clock.

Jason Warrelman is vice president, Global Services & Process Industries at UiPath

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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health