HealthWare Systems Blog
5 Myths About Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare
Posted on Friday, August 7, 2020
Robotic process automation (RPA) is an innovative and effective technology that utilizes software robots (also called “bots”) to automate redundant, human-based processes.
Unfortunately, there are many myths about robotic process automation in healthcare. Below we dispel some of the more prevalent misconceptions that may be keeping your organization from implementing RPA and attaining its many benefits.
Here are 5 common myths about robotic process automation:
RPA Myth #1: RPA Involves Physical, “Human-Like” Robots
The software robots, or “bots,” employed in robotic process automation are figurative. RPA does not make use of tangible robotics. It is computer software that observes the activities performed by a human user and is programmed to replicate those actions (more efficiently and accurately than a human could). You can think of each metaphorical robot as an individual user with its own (virtual) workstation.
RPA Myth #2: Robots Will Replace Human Workers
One of the biggest myths about robotic process automation is that robots will steal jobs away from human beings. In reality, software bots make humans’ jobs easier and RPA even has the potential to create new (and better!) job opportunities for human employees.
Bots don’t necessarily take over entire positions; they take on the repetitive, monotonous tasks that humans usually dislike doing anyway (or that have already been outsourced). This saves valuable time that human workers can instead devote to more fulfilling, higher-level objectives. In the case of healthcare employees, RPA enables staff to focus on patient interactions and delivering quality care.
Because it largely eliminates dull, manual responsibilities in favor of the rewarding aspects of the profession, robotic process automation in healthcare can significantly increase job satisfaction.
RPA Myth #3: Robotic Process Automation Is Expensive
Actually, robotic process automation saves organizations money in many measurable ways:
- RPA decreases operational costs as software robots don’t require hiring, training, office space, or a paycheck.
- RPA increases efficiency and speeds up workflow because bots can work faster than humans and don’t need breaks or vacation time off.
- RPA prevents errors, deficiencies, and security/compliance threats by limiting the opportunity for human error.
- RPA is easy to deploy since bots interact directly with other software applications and websites through the existing user interface provided.
In delivering a better performance at a lower cost, robotic process automation offers a high return on investment.
RPA Myth #4: RPA Is Useful for Some Industries, But Not for Healthcare
There is increasing demand for automation in healthcare. RPA meets this need by streamlining organizational workflows and alleviating administrative burdens across a healthcare facility’s entire operation.
Sample use cases of robotic process automation in healthcare include:
- High-volume data entry
- Order transcription
- Benefits verification
- Prior authorization
- Interactions with payer websites and clearinghouses
- Cash posting
- Progress note reporting
- Vendor integration
- Interoperability challenges
- And many more
RPA Myth #5: RPA Is Just a Trend
Robotic process automation is not just a trend; it’s the future for most industries and especially for healthcare. Research posted by Gartner in May of 2020 found that 50% of healthcare providers in the U.S. will invest in RPA in the next three years (a major jump from 5% today).
According to their study, the COVID-19 crisis has contributed to RPA adoption as healthcare organizations now have further need to maximize resources and reduce costs. Out of 161 finance executives Gartner surveyed, almost 25% said they expect they’ll be spending more on RPA during the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, their research showed that 20% of all patient interactions will entail some type of AI enablement (within clinical or non-clinical processes) by 2023, which is an increase from the fewer than 4% that do so today.
Applying Robotic Process Automation at Your Facility
Now that we’ve cleared up some of the confusion regarding robotic process automation in healthcare, the next step is determining how your facility can make the most of this valuable technology.
Contact us to schedule a consultation or for more information about robotic process automation in healthcare.