An overworked healthcare employee appears with the words “Is RPA the Solution to Healthcare Staffing Shortages?”

Addressing Healthcare Staffing Shortages with RPA

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HealthWare Systems Blog

Addressing Healthcare Staffing Shortages with RPA

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Healthcare staffing shortages for both clinical and non-clinical positions are creating major challenges for the healthcare industry and the COVID pandemic has exacerbated the issues in numerous ways.

Here are some of the trends fueling healthcare staffing shortages and/or making it difficult to fill open positions:

  • The long-standing burnout crisis has become even worse due to the demands of the pandemic and has led to healthcare workers quitting or retiring early.
  • Some healthcare workers who choose not to follow vaccine mandates are placed on leave, terminated, resign, or retire early.
  • Employees who test positive for COVID (and some who are exposed or experience symptoms) must quarantine and miss work. They may also remain home to care for sick family members or children.
  • If any non-clinical positions went remote as a result of the pandemic they can now potentially be filled by applicants from anywhere in the country, pressing healthcare organizations to compete for employees on a much larger, nationwide basis.
  • Healthcare staffing shortages place additional responsibilities and stress on healthcare employees, requiring them to work longer hours and contributing further to burnout as well.
  • Non-clinical staff may be asked to assist clinical staff, leaving less time to complete their regular job duties.

Addressing Healthcare Staffing Shortages with RPA


RPA (robotic process automation) can help strained organizations complete key tasks that may be left unattended during staffing shortages.

Robotic process automation is the use of software robots to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks. For example, RPA can be applied to insurance verification, coverage discovery/insurance scrubbing, prior authorization, 835/ERA/EOB posting, document delivery to payer portals, real-time note posting, high-volume data entry, order transcription, progress reporting, medical records aggregation, credentialing, and much more.

RPA alleviates many burdens for overworked healthcare employees, allowing them to focus on higher-level objectives and interactions with patients and leaving them with a more manageable volume of work.

Furthermore, as new COVID variants continue to emerge and force infected healthcare workers to stay home, it’s clear that a major benefit of software robots is that they never need sick days (or vacation days, or any time off). In fact, software robots not only work 24/7, but can also execute tasks more quickly than humans. RPA is the perfect solution for preventing workflow interruptions and delays in the midst of healthcare staffing shortages.

An overworked healthcare employee appears with the words “Is RPA the Solution to Healthcare Staffing Shortages?”

Solve challenges related to healthcare staffing shortages with RPA.

More Reasons to Choose Robotic Process Automation


Two common myths about RPA are that it’s difficult to implement and that it’s expensive. In reality, RPA is easy to employ. It requires minimal IT support or participation, and software robots interact directly with other software applications and websites utilizing the user interfaces that already exist. Utilizing AI, software robots can even adapt to special use cases and outliers to carry out virtually any scenario or work process.

Robotic process automation also saves organizations money. Below are just a few of the financial benefits of RPA:

  • RPA increases efficiency and speeds up workflow.
  • RPA reduces deficiencies and security/compliance threats by limiting the opportunity for human error.
  • Software robots don’t necessitate hiring/training costs and time.
  • Software robots won’t ask for a raise and don’t need benefits or other competitive job incentives to accept an open position.

RPA delivers a high return on investment by providing a better performance at a lower cost.

Getting Started with RPA


CDC states:

“Healthcare facilities must be prepared for potential staffing shortages and have plans and processes in place to mitigate these shortages.  These plans and processes include communicating with HCP (healthcare personnel) about actions the facility is taking to address shortages, maintaining patient and HCP safety, and providing resources to assist HCP with anxiety and stress.”

HealthWare Systems can help your organization mitigate these healthcare staffing shortages by applying RPA to your processes and analyzing your users’ activities to identify and automate redundant tasks. We have many free resources available to you, including:

Contact us to set up a free consultation on how to apply RPA at your facility. We can help you address healthcare staffing shortages and relieve overworked employees of monotonous manual labor. Learn more about RPA, the future of healthcare, today!


By Stephanie Salmich

A patient is shocked and angry to receive a bill that is substantially in excess of the patient payment estimation she was given.

Patient Payment Estimation Requirements Under the No Surprises Act

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HealthWare Systems Blog

Patient Payment Estimation Requirements Under the No Surprises Act

Posted on Saturday, December 4, 2021

Does your facility have the proper tools to meet the patient payment estimation requirements under the No Surprises Act?

In 2022, the No Surprises Act will require providers or facilities to inquire about patients’ insurance status when scheduling and “provide a good faith estimate of expected charges for items and services” to uninsured/self-pay patients. Uninsured/self-pay patients are those who do not have benefits for an item/service under a health plan or who choose not to have a claim submitted to their plan for the item/service.1

Additionally: “The good faith estimate must include expected charges for the items or services that are reasonably expected to be provided together with the primary item or service, including items or services that may be provided by other providers and facilities.”1

Are You Prepared?

Under the No Surprises Act, if any of your uninsured or self-pay patients is billed for an amount “substantially in excess” (defined as $400 or more) of the good faith estimate you provided to them, they may use a new “patient-provider dispute resolution process” (within 120 days of receipt of the bill) to determine a payment amount.1

The process allows them to request a third-party arbitrator to review the good faith estimate, the bill, and information submitted by you, the provider or facility, to determine whether the excess charges are allowed.2

A patient is shocked and angry to receive a bill that is substantially in excess of the patient payment estimation she was given.

Are you prepared for the No Surprises Act and the new patient payment estimation requirements?

Limit the occurrences of this scenario by implementing the right patient payment estimation solution.

Patient Payment Estimation with Facilitator


HealthWare Systems’ revenue cycle platform, Facilitator, includes a patient payment estimation tool that identifies the potential out-of-pocket costs a patient may incur. And not only can Facilitator help you prepare for the No Surprises Act’s patient payment estimation requirements, but it can also improve your revenue cycle in 2022 by streamlining:

Contact us to learn more about Facilitator, the No Surprises Act and patient payment estimation requirements, and how we can help you reach your revenue cycle goals for 2022!

Sources:

1 CMS (U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part II Interim Final Rule with Comment Period.” (2021). Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/requirements-related-surprise-billing-part-ii-interim-final-rule-comment-period

2 CMS (U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). “Payment disagreements.” (2021). Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumer-protections/Payment-disagreements


By Stephanie Salmich

A financial counselor helps a patient, and these words appear: ActiveASSIST Fully Integrated with Presumptive Charity and Propensity to Pay Solutions

ActiveASSIST: Integrating Presumptive Charity and Propensity to Pay Solutions

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HealthWare Systems Blog

ActiveASSIST: Integrating Presumptive Charity and Propensity to Pay Solutions

Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2021

A financial counselor helps a patient, and these words appear: ActiveASSIST Fully Integrated with Presumptive Charity and Propensity to Pay Solutions

ActiveASSIST is fully integrated with presumptive charity and propensity to pay solutions to help identify candidates for financial assistance.

ActiveASSIST is fully integrated with presumptive charity and propensity to pay solutions to help identify financial counseling prospects and to guarantee that all patients are provided the same fair and level assessment during financial assistance screening.

What is ActiveASSIST?


ActiveASSIST is our real-time financial assistance screening and workflow management solution. Our solution is designed to:

  • Identify patients who may be candidates for financial assistance.
  • Find alternative funding sources for patient accounts.
  • Segment and prioritize patient accounts based on propensity to pay.
  • Provide payment collection options based on each patient’s situation.
  • And much more.

How Does ActiveASSIST Utilize Presumptive Charity and Propensity to Pay Solutions?


Presumptive charity solutions determine the likelihood that a patient will qualify for financial assistance based on factors such as demographic data, household size, income, and charity approvals previously made by the hospital.

Propensity to pay solutions assess patients’ ability to pay, identifying which patients are likely to make a payment and which patients should be extended financial assistance options.

Combining these solutions with a basic questionnaire integrated into the (pre)registration process, ActiveASSIST can identify a likely financial assistance prospect and route the patient history, visit information, and electronic application forms to internal counselors or hospital-approved vendors for follow-up.

The following ActiveASSIST features enable you to more effectively manage your self-pay patient population and financial assistance workflow:

  • Quick Screens – Basic questionnaires combined with the presumptive charity result identify likely prospects for financial assistance early in the revenue cycle.
  • Plan Code Recommendations – Recommended plan codes are presented to the registrar according to business rule selection and prioritization based on the “payer of last resort.”
  • Calculation of Charitable Co-Pay
  • Full Assessments – Comprehensive patient interview captures detailed information in the facility, in the field, or at contracted vendor locations.

ActiveASSIST not only determines which patients are candidates for financial assistance, but also manages financial assistance workflow to ensure that patient accounts and financial assistance applications progress at an acceptable pace. ActiveASSIST can monitor and enforce specific documentation requirements for each financial assistance program and flag and assign deficiencies to associates for resolution.

The Benefits of Presumptive Charity and Propensity to Pay Solutions


Implementing financial assistance screening technology that integrates presumptive charity and propensity to pay solutions provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Removing guesswork from financial assistance and patient collections activities.
  • Streamlining financial assistance and patient collections decision-making.
  • Directing patient collection efforts toward those most likely and able to pay.
  • Increasing patient collections.
  • Enhancing patient advocacy.
  • Ensuring the provider is payer of last resort by exhausting all other funding options first.
  • Improving healthcare access.
  • And more.

Contact us to learn more about how ActiveASSIST utilizes presumptive charity and propensity to pay solutions to help your patients obtain financial assistance and help you reduce uncompensated care; or, view a short demo here.


By Stephanie Salmich

A father and daughter look over a field and the blog title appears – ActiveASSIST: Financial Assistance Screening for Rural Patients

ActiveASSIST: Financial Assistance Screening for Rural Patients

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HealthWare Systems Blog

ActiveASSIST: Financial Assistance Screening for Rural Patients

Posted on Monday, May 17, 2021

Patients are now responsible for a larger portion of healthcare costs than ever before. Even those who have health coverage may be considered “underinsured” due to high cost-sharing plans that leave them with significant out-of-pocket expenses they often cannot afford to pay.

According to the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey, as of June 2020:

    • 12.5% of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64 were uninsured.
    • 43.4% of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64 were inadequately insured
      (uninsured, underinsured based on out-of-pocket medical costs compared to income, or experienced a gap in coverage).

Rural patients are more likely to be uninsured than are non-rural patients.

The financial viability of rural healthcare facilities will depend on their ability to find alternative funding sources for the medical bills that their patients may not be able to pay.

ActiveASSIST: Financial Assistance Screening for Rural Patients


ActiveASSIST is HealthWare Systems’ financial assistance screening tool and workflow management solution. ActiveASSIST identifies potential funding sources for patient accounts prior to their date of service and ensures the provider is payer of last resort by exhausting all other options first.

ActiveASSIST streamlines and automates the financial assistance process by:
  • Utilizing business rules to determine which patients are most likely to qualify for charitable assistance.
  • Simultaneously pursuing multiple assistance programs for these patients.
  • Pre-populating patients’ application forms with their data.
  • Providing real-time updates, while monitoring progress and documentation requirements.
  • Tracking follow-up tasks and escalating accounts that are not advancing at an acceptable pace.

Implementing ActiveASSIST at your facility does not require you to hire additional employees – our solution is designed to enable your internal staff, on-site vendors, and/or off-site and field associates to manage your self-pay and underinsured patient population.

Patient-First Technology


A father and daughter look over a field and the blog title appears – ActiveASSIST: Financial Assistance Screening for Rural Patients

Improving healthcare access with financial assistance screening for rural patients.

ActiveASSIST promotes a culture of patient advocacy by not only lowering or eliminating patients’ medical fees, but also through empowering patients with financial counseling and education. Patients who understand their own financial responsibility are much more likely to make their payments (if they can).

ActiveASSIST aids staff with follow-up and counseling discussions, helping them provide compassionate, supportive guidance and providing payment collection options based on each patient’s situation.

Improving Healthcare Access for Rural Patients


Many rural patients face unique barriers to healthcare access, which may include living long distances from healthcare facilities and specialists, poverty, provider shortages, and rural hospital closures or service cutbacks – and each of these has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As mentioned, rural patients are also more likely to be uninsured than are non-rural patients. Unfortunately, insufficient health coverage is a major barrier to healthcare access and can cause patients to delay or avoid medical care altogether.

ActiveASSIST can help you remove some of these obstacles and improve your patients’ access to the care they need.

With ActiveASSIST, you can both alleviate your patients’ financial burden and enhance the financial outlook of your own organization to ensure you remain open and can continue serving your patients and community.


Contact us to learn more about ActiveASSIST and financial assistance screening for rural patients; plus, view our other solutions for rural healthcare facilities.


By Stephanie Salmich

A doctor wearing safety goggles and a face mask appears with the blog title: Patient Safety Challenges & Solutions

Patient Safety Challenges & Solutions

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HealthWare Systems Blog

Patient Safety Challenges & Solutions

Posted on Monday, March 15, 2021

Here are some of the patient safety challenges healthcare facilities are facing today, along with solutions for addressing these issues:

Patient Safety Challenge: Patients Delaying or Avoiding Medical Care


A doctor wearing safety goggles and a face mask appears with the blog title: Patient Safety Challenges & Solutions

What are your patient safety challenges? Chances are, one or more of our ActiveWARE products can help.

Patients missed health visits at alarming rates last year.

Research reviewed by the CDC found that by “June 30, 2020, because of concerns about COVID-19, an estimated 41% of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care including urgent or emergency care (12%) and routine care (32%).” Consequently, the Becker’s Clinical Leadership & Infection Control editorial team included “missed and delayed diagnoses” and “low vaccination coverage and disease resurgence” on its top ten list of patient safety issues for 2021.

Besides worry about the pandemic keeping patients away, other barriers to healthcare access include a lack of (or inadequate) health coverage.

Solutions: A patient outreach campaign can bring patients back for preventive health services and encourage them not to forgo urgent care when they need it. Patients may be confused about the guidelines for seeking medical care during a pandemic. Receiving clarification directly from your organization will reassure them of the importance of obtaining routine and emergency care for their own health and safety. You can find patient outreach messaging ideas here.

HealthWare SystemsActiveXCHANGE solution can be bundled with our messaging platform to add automated voice message (TTS), text, email, pagers, fax, and traditional mail to create a physician and patient outreach engine for alerts, reminders, requests for information, and post-acute care follow-up.

When it comes to your uninsured and underinsured patient population, you can improve their access to healthcare by finding alternative funding sources for their medical bills. ActiveASSIST is our financial assistance screening solution that identifies which charitable programs patients may qualify for and manages the application process for them. This patient advocacy tool helps remove financial obstacles to healthcare access.

Patient Safety Challenge: Potential Exposure to COVID-19


While it may not be in a patient’s best interest to evade medical care altogether due to COVID-19 fears, there is still a risk of exposure to the virus when visiting a health facility.

Solution: Most health systems are now enforcing visitor restrictions to limit the number of people on site at their facilities. But have you considered reducing the number of employees on site as well?

Healthcare organizations have historically been hesitant to offer remote work opportunities due to concerns over uncontrolled access to PHI. However, you can enable healthcare staff to work from home in a HIPAA-compliant, secure remote work environment. Our off-site print management workflow solutions provide:

  • Controlled access to PHI.
  • Complete audit trails.
  • Elimination of intermediate hard copies/storage of paper forms.
  • Encryption of all information at all times.
  • Full transparency and productivity monitoring for management.

With fewer people on site, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 will be lower for both patients and healthcare employees. Patients will also be more willing to come in for medical care if they know every possible measure has been taken to limit their risk.

Patient Safety Challenge: Data Integrity & Interoperability Issues


Healthcare organizations continue to experience problems electronically exchanging information both externally (between different health systems) and internally (between different units/departments). Individual patient safety, as well as public health, depends on a provider’s access to accurate and complete data for each patient.

Unfortunately, “patient matching in the EHR” and “fragmentation across care settings” were included on the ECRI Institute’s top ten list of patient safety concerns in 2020.

Solutions: Our integration capabilities can introduce universal master patient indexes across disparate systems. This makes it possible to link episodes of care and supporting documentation across fragmented systems. Our electronic forms solution, ActiveFORMS, protects patient safety by enhancing patient data accuracy. ActiveFORMS uses barcode automation to correctly match patients’ medical forms to their accounts and auto-populates patient data on forms to prevent human error from manual entry or illegibility issues from handwritten forms. It also improves clarity by converting raw data into easy-to-read reports and transforming legacy reports into user-friendly documents.

With ActiveFORMS, healthcare facilities can easily pass Joint Commission audits.

In addition, our ActiveXCHANGE platform helps achieve healthcare interoperability in many ways, including by:

  • Providing a bi-directional gateway for consolidating information from any source (e.g. multiple scheduling systems, custom interfaces, HL7, FHIR, XML, web-based requisition systems, EHRs/EMRs, faxes, direct messaging, e-mail, hard copies, scanned documents/images, and verbal appointments).
  • Routing information through business rules and account matching to the appropriate destination (e.g. EMR, physician portals, document management systems, other third-party applications) in virtually any format.

HealthWare Systems specializes in integrating proprietary and third-party patient access technologies and connecting disparate health IT systems and EMRs/EHRs.

Patient Safety Challenge: Clinician Burnout


Physician burnout is tied to more medical errors, lower quality of care, and reduced patient compliance. Not only does it affect patient safety, but provider safety and health as well. This problem was on the rise before the pandemic and has understandably increased since it began.

Clinician burnout also appears on the Becker’s patient safety issues list for 2021.

Solutions: Major causes of clinician burnout include too much paperwork, administrative burdens, spending excessive time on EHR tasks, and working long hours.

Many EMR frustrations and administrative burdens can be traced back to interoperability issues (e.g. sifting through an overwhelming abundance of low-quality data to find relevant information, spending more time with the computer than with the patient).

ActiveXCHANGE increases physician satisfaction by:

  • Improving interoperability.
  • Intelligently managing information objects by using business rules to find and create actionable data, determining what to do with that information, and flagging errors and exceptions (e.g. detecting missing signatures or required forms/documentation) for resolution.
  • Handling incoming physician orders/third party documentation to greatly reduce physician complaints related to lost or incomplete orders.

ActiveXCHANGE also does not require referring physicians to change their behavior or learn new software.

You can further reduce providers’ workloads by outsourcing credentialing, which is another time-consuming and exhausting clerical responsibility for clinicians.


Solve Your Patient Safety Challenges with ActiveWARE by HealthWare Systems

Which patient safety challenges are you facing? Chances are, one or more of our ActiveWARE products can help. Contact us today to learn more, request a live demo, or schedule a free consultation – together, we can improve patient safety and enhance the patient experience at your healthcare facility.


By Stephanie Salmich

Text message and email examples for a patient outreach campaign aimed at increasing mammogram appointments.

Patient Outreach Amid a Pandemic: Bring Patients Back for Preventive Care

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HealthWare Systems Blog

Patient Outreach Amid a Pandemic:

Bring Patients Back for Preventive Care

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021

A robust patient outreach strategy may be the answer to healthcare’s latest problem resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic: Patients are missing preventive care visits at alarming rates.

Here are the statistics:

  • According to research released in May of 2020, at that point preventive screenings for cervical, colon, and breast cancer had dropped between 86% and 94% compared to the same time frame in 2017 to 2019.
  • Research reviewed by the CDC concluded that by “June 30, 2020, because of concerns about COVID-19, an estimated 41% of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care including urgent or emergency care (12%) and routine care (32%).”
  • A study conducted by the University of Oregon found that 28% of families missed a well-child visit since the pandemic started; and 12% of the 7,000+ caregivers surveyed said their child missed a scheduled vaccination.
  • In its analysis of health claims clearinghouse records, HCCI determined that through “September 2020, childhood immunizations declined about 23% for the year compared to 2019.”

There are many short- and long-term consequences of a decline in preventive care.

As the CDC states, avoiding routine care may mean missed “opportunities for management of chronic conditions, receipt of routine vaccinations, or early detection of new conditions, which might worsen outcomes.” Fewer immunizations can lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Children who skip check-ups miss out on social, emotional, and developmental screenings and abuse and neglect surveillance.

Financially, healthcare costs increase for patients, payers, and providers when preventive health services are not adequately utilized, and care gaps adversely affect hospitals’ reimbursement under value-based care models.

Using Patient Outreach to Bring Patients Back


It is essential that healthcare organizations communicate with their patients about the dangers of delaying or avoiding care. Potential messages may include:

  • Awareness campaigns educating patients on the recommendations for preventive care.
  • Statistics on better health outcomes for early detection of common cancers.
  • A list of preventive screenings that are covered by most health plans.
  • Appointment reminders and alerts for missed appointments.
Text message and email examples for a patient outreach campaign aimed at increasing mammogram appointments.

A patient outreach campaign aimed at increasing mammogram appointments.


Additionally, many COVID-related factors are contributing to patients’ avoidance of preventive care, and each of these could be addressed by a patient outreach program as well.

For example:

Bring patients back for preventive care with a patient outreach strategy.

  • Delays in care could be in response to stay-at-home orders and/or temporary healthcare facility closures. Create a patient outreach plan that notifies patients of your facility’s hours of operation for routine care so that they know you are both open and encouraging regular visits. This will help reduce any uncertainty they have about when to seek care.
  • Patients might be worried about possible exposure to COVID-19 if they visit a healthcare facility. A patient outreach strategy could include information on the measures your organization is taking to reduce this risk, such as your cleaning procedures, face mask requirements, social distancing rules for staff and patients, strict visitor limitations, and moving non-essential staff off site. Reassure patients of your efforts to keep them safe.
  • Patients may be experiencing unemployment, a loss of health insurance, and/or other financial hardship. Many are unaware of financial assistance programs that could help cover the cost of their medical bills or that they may qualify for another health plan. Start a patient outreach campaign that informs them of these options, especially if your health system can help them apply for financial assistance and/or health coverage!

As the pandemic continues to confuse patients about when to seek care and why, it is imperative that you reach out and communicate with them.

Patient Outreach: ActiveXCHANGE by HealthWare Systems


ActiveXCHANGE can be bundled with our messaging platform to add automated voice message (TTS), text, email, pagers, fax, and traditional mail to create a physician and patient outreach engine for alerts, reminders, requests for information, and post-acute care follow-up.

Request a live demo of ActiveXCHANGE to learn how we can help you build a patient outreach program to bring patients back to your facility and the critical preventive care they need.


By Stephanie Salmich

Various devices and forms of communication appear along with the words: Achieve Healthcare Interoperability with ActiveXCHANGE.

How Does ActiveXCHANGE Help Achieve Healthcare Interoperability?

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HealthWare Systems Blog

How Does ActiveXCHANGE Help Achieve Healthcare Interoperability?

Posted on Monday, October 12, 2020

ActiveXCHANGE is our solution for helping organizations achieve healthcare interoperability. Below you’ll find information on the basics of interoperability in healthcare, the challenges healthcare facilities face, and how we can help you solve them.

What Is Healthcare Interoperability?


According to HIMSS:

“In healthcare, interoperability is the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged. Data exchange schema and standards should permit data to be shared across clinician, lab, hospital, pharmacy, and patient regardless of the application or application vendor.

Interoperability means the ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.”

Why Is Achieving Interoperability Important?


  • Interoperability is vital to patient safety and public health and a lack of interoperability leads to poor health outcomes and higher healthcare costs.
  • Seamlessly sending, receiving, interpreting, and integrating data significantly improves the patient experience and patients often expect that their information will be readily available to them and their healthcare providers.
  • Federal efforts to achieve healthcare interoperability are aimed at giving patients access to and control over their own medical information.
  • Interoperable technology streamlines organizational workflows and increases efficiency, plus cuts costs, by eliminating manual and redundant steps in the process of exchanging data.
  • Better interoperability helps with reducing physician burnout, which is often tied to EMR frustrations and administrative burdens that can be traced back to interoperability problems (such as sifting through an overwhelming abundance of low-quality data to find the information they need and spending more time with the computer than with the patient).
  • The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) states that “Seamless data flow will also accelerate progress on a range of national health priorities that include combatting the opioid epidemic, spurring clinical innovation, and accelerating science.”

What Are the Challenges to Achieving Interoperability in Healthcare?


Various devices and forms of communication appear along with the words: Achieve Healthcare Interoperability with ActiveXCHANGE.

Achieve healthcare interoperability with ActiveXCHANGE.

  • Disparate Technology Systems – there are numerous distinct EMRs in use today by different health providers and organizations, and most were not made for the purpose of integrating with others.
  • No Standardization – there has been no uniform method of identifying patients or shared clinical terminology used among different EMRs, resulting in inaccuracies when matching individuals to their health data, duplicate medical records/patient accounts, and costly repeat testing.
  • Fragmented Data & Information Delays – variations between systems in the way they handle information also leads to incomplete medical records and slows down the transmission of data.
  • Unstructured Data – information may be exchanged in a myriad of different formats, including fax, scanned images/documents, hard copies, and other non-electronic forms of unstructured data; many facilities are only able to integrate this information through manual work.
  • Design and Usability – the ONC found that barriers to interoperability identified by healthcare providers and other stakeholders include “the differences in user-interface design across developers variations in the design that make day-to-day use complicated when a health care provider uses multiple systems and the lack of developer engagement with end users of health IT regarding design needs.”
  • Cost of Replacing Technology – providers have made large investments in their EMRs and other health IT systems and may be unable or hesitant to purchase new solutions.
  • Security Concerns – providers are also cautious of maintaining patient privacy and HIPAA compliance when considering new solutions.
  • Information Blocking* – due to “legal and business incentives,” health “information networks and their participants often treat individuals’ electronic health information as an asset that can be restricted to obtain or maintain competitive advantage,” per the ONC.
  • Third Party Integration – challenges extend beyond the internal solutions used by the healthcare provider. Third party solution providers and service vendors introduce additional challenges for sharing information between systems.

*In accordance with the Cures Act and Interoperability and Patient Access final rule (CMS-9115-F), in late 2020 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start publicly reporting “eligible clinicians, hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) that may be information blocking” and “those providers who do not list or update their digital contact information in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES).”

How Does ActiveXCHANGE Solve These Challenges to Help Achieve Healthcare Interoperability?


ActiveXCHANGE helps facilities achieve healthcare interoperability in the following ways:

  • Provides a bi-directional gateway for consolidating information from any source (this includes multiple scheduling systems, custom interfaces, HL7, FHIR, XML, web-based requisition systems, EHRs/EMRs, faxes, direct messaging, e-mail, hard copies, scanned documents/images, and verbal appointments).
  • Interprets all information and makes it actionable, regardless of the structured or unstructured format in which it’s received.
  • Automatically transforms all incoming information into an electronic format.
  • Performs “image cleanup” (e.g. corrects alignment issues, discards blank or irrelevant pages, “de-speckles” to remove unwanted marks) on graphic images and scanned documents and extracts key data from each page.
  • Intelligently manages information objects by using business rules to find and make usable relevant data, determining what to do with that information, and flagging errors and exceptions (for example, detecting missing signatures or required forms/documentation) for resolution.
  • Drives and automates processes and workflows based on business rules and triggered by incoming information objects.
  • Routes information through business rules and account matching to the appropriate destination (e.g. EMR, physician portals, document management systems, other third-party applications) in virtually any format and in a user-friendly form that the destination system can accept.
  • Operates bi-directionally to manage incoming and outgoing communication (e.g. automated voice message (TTS), text, e-mail, pagers, fax, traditional mail) between healthcare facilities, patients, physicians, affiliated organizations, remote workers, payers, and vendors – whether the recipient has an ActiveXCHANGE server or not.
  • Ensures the secure, HIPAA-compliant exchange of information.
  • Supports custom workflows and can be configured to meet the unique needs of each department across a client enterprise.
  • HealthWare Systems specializes in integrating proprietary and third-party patient access technologies and provides the platform for connecting disparate health IT systems and EMRs/EHRs, so there is no need to replace your investment in your current technology.
  • All costs (e.g. software, implementation, training, transaction fees, hardware) for our solutions are included in one monthly subscription payment and there are NO upfront fees, creating a more immediate return on investment for our clients.

As the ONC wrote, “Improved interoperability can strengthen market competition, result in greater quality, safety, and value for the healthcare system, and enable patients, health care providers, and payers to experience the benefits of health IT.”

Contact us today to learn more about how ActiveXCHANGE can help you achieve healthcare interoperability or schedule a live demo of our solution.


By Stephanie Salmich

A robot pushes a ball far ahead of human workers pushing cubes; and the blog title appears: 5 Myths About Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare.

5 Myths About Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare

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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

A robot pushes a ball far ahead of human workers pushing cubes; and the blog title appears: 5 Myths About Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare.

Don’t let misconceptions about robotic process automation in healthcare cause you to miss out on this valuable technology.

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
  • Credentialing
  • Benefits verification
  • Prior authorization
  • Interactions with payer websites and clearinghouses
  • Claims
  • Appeals
  • 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.

HealthWare Systems analyzes healthcare organizations’ processes and users’ activities to identify and automate redundant tasks and helps them apply RPA to their workflows. Contact us to schedule a consultation or for more information about robotic process automation.

And don’t forget to download our free guide: 5 Steps to Getting Started with Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare.


By Stephanie Salmich

Robotic process automation in healthcare: A robot’s hand holds a hospital.

What is Robotic Process Automation? (And How Can Healthcare Facilities Use RPA?)

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HealthWare Systems Blog

What is Robotic Process Automation?

(And How Can Healthcare Facilities Use RPA?)

Posted on Monday, July 13, 2020

Robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of software robots, also known as “bots,” to automate repetitive, human-based processes.

Robotic process automation is a means of achieving business process automation (BPA), which is the digital transformation, streamlining, and proactive management of organizational workflows.

Benefits of Robotic Process Automation


RPA is easy to implement because software robots interact directly with other software applications and websites using the existing user interface provided. The robot will log in to the application, navigate the user interface, populate fields, respond to prompts, capture results, and perform the same operations a human user would. Through assigned business rules, software robots can adapt to special use cases and outliers to handle virtually any scenario or work process.

Software robots take on the redundant, manual tasks usually completed by human users, which:
  • Enables staff to focus on higher-level objectives and interactions with patients.
  • Helps facilities better allocate resources and repurpose FTEs.
  • Lowers operational costs; using software robots is more affordable than hiring, training, housing, and paying humans to do repetitive, manual tasks.
  • Increases efficiency; bots work 24/7, don’t require time off, and can execute tasks more quickly than humans.
  • Improves accuracy; the opportunity for human error is significantly reduced.
  • Enhances data analytics; analyzing bots’ actions over humans’ is not only more precise, but robots can also be used to automate data aggregation and analysis.
  • Facilitates HIPAA compliance; all bot activity is tracked and documented.
  • Strengthens security; RPA follows all protocols/permissions for a normal user and meets the facility’s data integrity rules/conditions, plus removes risks tied to updates from external sources (e.g. vendors, business partners).
  • Requires minimal IT support and participation.

Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare


Robotic process automation in healthcare: A robot’s hand holds a hospital.

Is “RPA” in Your Site’s DNA?

Bots can be deployed fully automated in an unattended configuration or utilized interactively. An interactive version may allow some human responses while automating other redundant activities.

Here are just a few areas where you can use robotic process automation in healthcare:
  • Order transcription
  • High-volume data entry
  • Cash posting
  • Credentialing
  • Benefits verification
  • Prior authorization
  • Interactions with payer websites and clearinghouses
  • Claims and appeals
  • Progress note reporting
  • Vendor integration
  • Interoperability challenges

Is “RPA” in Your Site’s DNA?


RPA delivers a substantial return on investment and is essential to the future of healthcare organizations and the ways in which they operate.

HealthWare Systems can evaluate your workflows and user activities to identify and automate redundant actions. Contact us today to learn how we can help you apply RPA to your processes and experience the benefits at your healthcare facility.

Download our Robotic Process Automation Product Sheet and our Guide to Getting Started with Robotic Process Automation.


By Stephanie Salmich

A man works from home and the blog title is shown: 6 Tips for Managing Remote Healthcare Employees.

6 Tips for Managing Remote Healthcare Employees

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HealthWare Systems Blog

6 Tips for Managing Remote Healthcare Employees

Posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Your organization may be moving workers off site due to COVID-19 concerns or looking to make working from home a permanent option because of its many benefits. As you adjust to your new role managing remote healthcare employees, the following tips will be helpful.

6 Tips for Managing Remote Healthcare Employees:


1.) Set clear expectations and lines of communication.

If employees know what is expected of them at the start, you’ll save yourself a great deal of hassle down the road. Be direct about job duties and timelines, as well as how to reach you and when is best.

Communication is key. You don’t want your remote workers, who cannot simply drop by your office, to feel they have limited access to you. Be responsive to their calls and emails.

A man works from home and the blog title is shown: 6 Tips for Managing Remote Healthcare Employees.

HealthWare Systemsremote work solutions enable healthcare leaders to securely and effectively manage remote healthcare employees.

2.) Create a secure remote work environment.

Ensuring security entails both choosing remote work solutions that facilitate HIPAA compliance and instructing employees on their responsibilities regarding the protection of PHI. Supply employees with reliable tools that will allow them to work securely and effectively.

See our guidelines for creating a secure remote work environment.

3.) Establish a Remote Work Policy.

It is prudent to have employees sign an agreement stating they will follow all rules and regulations put in place for working from home and understand the civil and criminal penalties for improper handling of PHI.

4.) Monitor productivity.

Not only is this essential for security reasons, but also for maintaining high performance standards, efficiency, and accountability.

HealthWare Systemsremote work solutions provide managers with full oversight/review of employees’ work and complete audit trails.

5.) Keep remote workers engaged.

It’s important to make sure everyone stays connected to their team and the organization, even if they don’t work together in person.

Some ways you can improve employee engagement include scheduling an initial (or periodic) on-campus visit, getting to know your staff personally, conducting virtual team-building activities, checking in to offer support, and providing incentives to reach goals.

6.) Give regular feedback and recognize achievements.

Employees want to know how they are doing and how they need to improve. Be attentive to this to prevent remote employees from wondering if their hard work is going unnoticed.

Feeling appreciated by management makes a crucial difference to an employee’s motivation and loyalty, so strive to extend praise where deserved. Additionally, acknowledging employees publicly and/or to upper management will show them they are valued and not forgotten.

You may also be interested in: 11 Reasons to Enable Healthcare Staff to Work from Home

Managing Remote Healthcare Employees


Remote work may be new territory, but you’ll probably find that many of these tips are similar to those you’d follow when managing staff on site. No matter their location, all healthcare employees need secure technology solutions, encouragement, direction, and investment from leadership in order to succeed in their work.

HealthWare Systems can assist you in your transition to managing remote healthcare employees. Learn more about our remote work solutions and schedule a phone consultation today.


By Stephanie Salmich