4 Ways Of Using Intelligent Automation To Tackle Key Challenges In The Healthcare Sector


The global healthcare sector is under severe strain as the world transits to post-pandemic life. Hospitals are overburdened by high costs and widespread burnout among healthcare staff, which weighs on the quality of patient care.

We shortlist the key challenges faced by healthcare institutions and recommend solutions powered by Intelligent Automation (IA) that they can take to build a resilient healthcare system.

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Challenge #1: Shortfall in Healthcare Staffing

Global healthcare systems face increased workforce and administrative issues at the frontline and the back-end. Healthcare workers are burnt out after two years of long-hour shifts and coping with heightened risks of contacting Covid-19. 

One in five doctors in the United States is likely to leave their current practice within two years. According to a survey by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, about one in three doctors and other health professionals intend to reduce their working hours in the next 12 months.

Also, many back-office processes at healthcare providers are outdated and ill-equipped. The nurses are also constrained by heavy administrative tasks, compromising their ability to relay critical patient information to other care team members. 

Solution: Using robots to handle repetitive tasks

Healthcare providers are looking at robotic process automation (RPA) as an alternative to deal with operational challenges such as understaffing at hospitals and handling repetitive administrative tasks to relieve doctors and nurses from excess paperwork.

RPA robots, which act as "digital workers," can be rotated across a range of tasks across the hospital. RPA can effectively streamline inventory management, data collection, creation of electronic healthcare records, appointment scheduling, healthcare regulation compliance, as well as billing and claims processing. 

Laiye’s AI-Powered RPA can streamline the appointment-making process by automating patient information data collection and processing, saving time.

Since robots can replicate many behaviors and tasks that would typically require human intervention, they have also taken over the billing and claims processes, freeing up staff for other essential tasks.

Challenge #2: Complexity of data collection

Over the past two years, as the world has been combating the Covid-19 pandemic, we have also seen that data has become increasingly important, especially in understanding the development of the virus strain and thinking of countermeasures to slow down the spread of the disease.

However, gathering, processing, refining, and validating data on a national scale remains a complex task, as there are privacy and security protocols from medical institutions and the likelihood of inevitable human errors during data processing.

Solution: Automation expedites data extraction and analysis processes

The healthcare industry is highly regulated, requiring stringent protocols and reporting concerning patient records and other sensitive medical information. Regulatory compliance depends on accuracy, consistency, and protection of records, which RPA can provide.

Laiye’s AI-Powered RPA keeps files organized as it connects medical data from different systems to allow hospitals to manage and evaluate data. This innovation substantially decreases the amount of paperwork and organization that needs to be done manually and expedites the data extraction and analysis processes.

Challenge #3: Is patient safety compromised?

According to the World Health Organization, insufficient and unsafe care remain common in Southeast Asia, where 60% of deaths from conditions amenable to healthcare result from poor quality care. Medication errors are estimated to cost around US$42 billion each year in the region.

WHO data states that as many as four in ten patients are harmed in primary and outpatient healthcare globally, and up to 80% of harm is preventable. 

Diagnostic accuracy is a vital area for healthcare providers to keep watch over. Staffing shortages, chaotic work environments, and high levels of clinician stress and fatigue may increase the risk of diagnostic errors, such as missed or delayed diagnoses. 

Solution: Reducing human errors by Intelligent Automation

By implementing Intelligent Automation (IA), healthcare institutions can significantly reduce human errors. One of the main issues hospitals face is a shortage of beds, contributing to more deaths as patients cannot receive timely treatment. With IA, hospitals can analyze data sets to predict surgery times and manage limited resources by sending automated machine-to-machine notifications to alert support staff to prepare for room turnover. 

IA, through cloud-based digital workers, aggregates patients’ medical records across multiple systems to present attending medical staff with a complete overview of the patient’s history. This digital solution ensures that the treatment pathway accounts for all relevant information.

Challenge #4: Cybersecurity threats linger

The healthcare industry has always been an appealing target for cybercriminals. Phishing, ransomware, third-party risks, and medical device security vulnerabilities will likely be persistent threats in the healthcare sector. 

The healthcare sector experiences more data breaches than any other industry. 

In 2021, 45 million individuals were affected by healthcare attacks, up from 34 million in 2020. According to a report from cybersecurity specialists Critical Insights, the number has tripled in just three years, growing from 14 million in 2018. 

Despite the risks and extremely high costs associated with a healthcare cyber attack, a recent study from CyberMDX and Philips found that most hospitals fail to identify cybersecurity as a priority factor of concern, as only 11% of the respondents regard this as a high priority in their budgeting plans.

Solution: Using AI and IA to prevent fraud

Health system leaders are constantly investigating ways to bring proven AI and automation solutions to their hospitals. As healthcare threats increase in number and severity, AI and IA can be employed to recognize unusual behaviors on a network, watch for fraud threats and predict malware infections based on previously identified characteristics, among other security measures.

Want to know more?

Find out how Laiye can help transform your healthcare organization. Talk to our friendly team today.

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