Published: May 29, 2020 – Author: Dave Wells

In 2020, change is starting to feel like the new normal.

Every direction you turn, we are being asked to adapt quickly. Prior to the start of 2020, people for the most part were in control of changes in how we live and work. Now, our daily routines are not the same and changes are dictating how we need to live and work.

This is especially true when it comes to how organizations operate. Organizations are continuously improving back and front office procedures to ensure they can serve their clients in the best way possible and survive economic hardships. One of the game changers in the last few years has been Intelligent Automation (IA), as this has allowed organizations to marry the best capabilities of both humans and technology to execute these processes. The advancement of technologies in the IA space is challenging the way work is being done, and significantly reducing the investment organizations are having to make due to not needing a tech stack overhaul. IA is also allowing us to utilize legacy systems and build the connectors needed to advance the capabilities of outdated technologies.

The maturity of organizations utilizing IA is all over the map, with few achieving enterprise wide scale and success. There are organizations that are just getting started on their Intelligent Automation Journey, and there are still some organizations that are going to be the late adopters. The late adopters are going to run the risk of falling significantly behind their competitors. I’m sure everyone reading this remembers the Blockbuster video store. Their biggest mistake was not valuing convenience in their customer experience. By the time they realized Netflix was on to something and was rapidly pulling market share away, Blockbuster started folding under the weight of their own operating expenses.

So, why does this matter now? Change is always happening. Whether people are pushing changes or changes are pushing people, it is our responsibility to explore what the changes’ potential impacts are. We are currently experiencing the pain of changes pushing people around — and if you haven’t been paying attention to the capabilities of what IA can do for organizations, your competitors most likely are.

Below, we have pulled together several examples of where we are applying Intelligent Automation in the healthcare industry to tackle the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created. Of all the industries hit with radical changes during this time, the healthcare industry has been impacted the most.

I hope these use cases can provide some inspiration for ideas on how you can bring IA into your organization. Each of them deals with a process that would not normally be considered for automation, but has become a great candidate due to significant changes in volume.

6 Automation Solutions for Dealing with Extra Volume in Healthcare

1. Purchase Order Adjustments

For healthcare organizations, any health crisis is sure to result in increased volumes of transactions and patients. Efficient processes are critical. Agilify can quickly implement intelligent automation solutions to help healthcare organizations make changes with a lasting impact on capacity, scale, and speed.

Every supply chain organization deals with tedious and time-consuming purchasing adjustments — from cancellations and balance changes, to purchase order revisions and delivery status edits. Recently, a healthcare organization saw their purchasing adjustments jump from 300 cases per day to 3,000. This spike created an unsustainable level of work for their team of 50 purchasing agents, leading to a significant backlog and the pressing need to find a solution.

Instead of hiring dozens of new purchasing agents, this healthcare organization found a solution in Intelligent Automation. Within a week, Agilify produced a new automation capable of handling more than 3,000 cases each day. This returned more than 2,500 hours per week to purchasing agents, who are now free to focus on more meaningful tasks. Due to the speed of delivery and the amount of tasks handled, the healthcare organization saw ROI less than two days after implementing this automation solution.

If combating a crisis has revealed organizational pain points due to manual processes, you may be interested in one or more of the following automated solutions.

2. Automated Dispensing Cabinet Override Reconciliation

At most healthcare organizations, nurses manually pull medicine from various systems (like PYXIS) to meet patient needs. This manual process can cause significant data gaps, leading to downstream impacts on system order quality, proper drug usage, and drug cost management.

By implementing IA, healthcare organizations can:

  • Streamline reporting and reduce data query lag time
  • Quickly identify whether substances are controlled
  • Help pharmacists quickly review order sets
  • Accurately monitor nurse activity and respond to reporting
  • Help pharmacy staff increase prescription fulfillment volume

3. Negative Virus Test

This IA solution identifies patients who have tested negative for a virus, but who have been receiving drugs as a precaution. It automatically deescalates treatment and therapy by submitting a request to the pharmacy to move the patients off the drugs.

As a result, this IA solution:

  • Reduces drug waste
  • Makes treatments available to those who need them
  • Allows organizations to efficiently discharge patients
  • Help create capacity for those in need
  • Speeds up response times to deliver medications and equipment

4. Virus Data Collection

Collecting data and generating reports as quickly as possible is paramount during a time like this. Due to delays in gathering and reporting data in structured and digestible ways, healthcare organizations are struggling to act as quickly as they need to.

 This IA solution delivers three reports needed daily by pharmacy teams, saving a great deal of time and manual work.

  • Active Patient on Drug Report
    This report contains a list of all patients currently receiving treatment.
  • Rule Performance Report
    This report contains the criteria required for patients to receive treatment.
  • Intervention Report
    This report contains instructions for doctors to move patients off treatment when it is no longer needed.

5. Clinical Monitoring Checklist

At many healthcare organizations, clinical monitoring is a fully manual process — but it can be easily automated to help clinicians deliver care more efficiently. This IA solution tracks different criteria for patients who have tested positive and negative for a virus and delivers steps to be taken if a patient has tested positive, including the correct drug therapy regimen and the patient’s known drug interactions.

IA also automatically keeps the treatment regimen up to date, so healthcare workers can act immediately. This helps prioritize the patients who need the most help during uncertain times.

6. Nursing Center of Excellence

Unstructured data can wreak havoc on any healthcare organization. It causes many delays in the process of getting to patient care. It also opens the door for mistreatment if the data is not accurate or complete. This IA solution takes unstructured data and finds related data that it uses to develop a structure to dictate the process patients go through when they visit the ER.

By using your organization’s data, IA can identify how to speed up the continuum of care processes for patients and show which paths and steps lead to the best outcomes.

This IA solution:

  • Increases patient and caregiver time
  • Identifies opportunities for gathering, reading, and sharing lab results 
  • Identifies opportunities for experience improvement across testing, reading, gathering, and sharing lab results

To learn how your organization can improve your business processes and manage change with intelligent automation,  contact Agilify Automation Today!