Using Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare

Posted on behalf of Christine Duval, Marketing Strategist
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a tool or technology used to simplify business processes by mimicking and replicating repetitive, mundane tasks – just as a human could.  All you need to do is create a simple workflow that the tool can easily follow, and point the tool to a data source(s) to pull any necessary information from.
While RPA doesn’t completely replace a human, in most cases, it is a great tool that can be used by organizations to supplement or allocate their staff to improve processes, eliminate errors, lower organizational expenses, and reduce workloads. Automation tools work exponentially faster than humans, and also work 24/7. In addition, they work at a significantly higher accuracy level compared to a human.
Really getting its start in financial institutions, “RPA” is a buzzword that has recently gained serious traction within the healthcare industry. But it is by no means a “new” technology. Healthcare scripting, a form of RPA, has been around for years…Summit Healthcare actually got its start as a scripting & automation company back in 1999.
There are a variety of ways RPA can be a game-changer for your organization. The use case examples below are actual projects Summit’s clients have implemented in their hospital through the use of scripting, or RPA technology:

  • Budget Uploads– your yearly budget is created on a spreadsheet and needs to be entered into the HCIS which can be tedious and time-consuming
  • Materials Management Updates– you have new and updated data with thousands of rows provided by a 3rd party in a file that needs to be reflected in the HCIS.  RPA can automate the process of taking a fraction of the time and removing all user typing errors
  • Dictionary/Domain Analysis & Synchronization– your site needs test and live environments to be identical
  • Build/Testing/Production Workflow – you’ll only have to build the workflow one time with automation tools
  • Power Plan builds
  • Payroll/Personnel Updates– you need to update your HCIS with personnel and payroll data from a 3rd party system
  • Remittance Posting– enter transactions automatically into an HCIS batch for the site to post or alternatively the remit files will be parsed and passed to a database to manage the transactions and the remit data will then be scripted into your HCIS.
  • Collection Notes Upload– upload the Accounts/Receivable comments into the HCIS System from a Collection Company report that collects on Bad Debt from older account
  • Charge Master Update Scripts– maintain the Charge Master Dictionary so incorrect data is not used for patient charging.  Update active charges and older charges can be inactivated.
  • Patient Self Check-In Integration– automate the patient self-check in through a touch screen Kiosk; Patients confirm their own data leading to significant improvement in demographic and health card errors
  • Enter New Patients/Accounts from a 3rdparty into an HCIS
  • MPI Lookup– a 3rdparty system needs to know if a patient exists in the HCIS; a script can run an “MPI Query” message
  • Training Scripts– automate the entry of training data (patients, orders, results, medication) to save hours spent on setting up training environments for each nurse/user training session
  • Patient MRI Extractions– extract data from an old system to the new system
  • Medical Records Update/EMPI Analysis – running an analysis tool to produce a MPI report/updating medical records can prevent serious risks associated with patient misidentification
  • Facilities Merge– use scripting to facilitate the migration of two HCIS systems to one new facility; set up thousands of patient accounts in the new facility automatically
  • User Privileges –all user privileges are affected when you copy Production back to Build. Correcting this can be a multi week effort by an FTE. Running a data analysis and synchronization tool and making the appropriate changes with scripting technology eliminates the need for the copy process.
  • Location Builds/Updates– create/edit facilities; floors, rooms, beds, etc.
  • Pre-Registration clean up – use scripting to inactivate 34,000 expired encounters

If your hospital is struggling with any of the above (or similar) tasks, or you’re just interested in learning more about simplifying processes and improving efficiency for your job or organization as a whole, RPA could be the answer!
For more information on Summit Healthcare’s Automation Tools, visit our website: