In this four-part series, we are sharing four common ways that healthcare organizations are attempting to manage the ever-growing administrative workload. In Part 1, we discussed the option of hiring more employees to tackle these duties. Unfortunately, that model is unsustainable and doesn’t address the root cause of the issue – the mountain of administrative work that defines modern healthcare. 

One promising solution, and one that many hospitals and health systems are working towards, is using technology to lessen the administrative burden and associated costs.

 

New Technology Can Streamline Administrative Processes And Increase Efficiency.

When we think of healthcare technology, we often think about the “sexy” innovations and breakthroughs like robot-assisted surgeries or remote patient monitoring devices. But technology can have a revolutionary impact on healthcare administration, too. By streamlining repetitive tasks, technology has the ability to increase efficiency, reduce time spent on administrative work, and even boost revenue by reducing human error.

For example, patient scheduling software has optimized physician schedules while reducing patient wait time. Many of these softwares automatically send out patient reminder emails or phone calls, reducing cancellations and no-shows. 

There is also inventory management software that tracks inventory, alerting hospital staff to shortages and expirations while also reducing the amount of inventory needed on-hand. 

But one of the most promising advances in healthcare administration technology is artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. Because so much of the administrative burden comes from data input overload from multiple systems, artificial intelligence can automate these mundane, but business-critical administrative tasks with speed, accuracy and ease.

Not All Technologies Are Equal. Make Sure The One You Choose Meets All Of Your Needs.

While health system leaders are increasingly turning to technology, there are many who delay embracing innovation or are afraid to be “first adopters.” Unfortunately, this is often due to bad experiences with new technologies in the past. 

There are lots of ways technology can go wrong: after all, EHRs were supposed to reduce administrative work by keeping all patient data in one place. Obviously, this didn’t go as planned. With system updates, employee training, interoperability problems, and regulatory and compliance needs, new technology can sometimes become more trouble than it’s worth without the right approach.

To make sure that a new technology actually streamlines operations and administrative work, you need to carefully evaluate the solution and the vendor. Choosing healthcare-specific vendors and “as-a-service” models are both good ways to mitigate your technology risk. 

That’s because healthcare-specific vendors understand the industry’s unique needs and security requirements, and they should have proven results at other, similar organizations. And choosing “as-a-service” models reduces upfront costs, sets a clear path to ROI, and ensures you will always have an up-to-date solution that works. 

Here at Olive, we believe that technology, specifically artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, are the best solutions for a healthcare organization looking to reduce the administrative burden. Technology can and should have a favorable ROI as well as other positive downstream effects on employee morale and patient satisfaction. But we know it’s not the only solution that healthcare systems are evaluating. 

That’s why we wrote the eBook 6 Ways to Cut the Staggering Cost of Healthcare Administration. Download it today for free to learn more about how other healthcare systems are addressing this problem and the pros and cons of each way, so you can figure out which is right for you and your organization.