Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation can optimize repetitive workflows, increase efficiencies, benefit your bottom line, and improve employee morale. But with so many options and solutions on the market, how do you know where to start?

One of the key steps in building your business case for AI and automation at your healthcare organization is identifying processes that are good candidates for automation. Here are five questions to ask yourself to help you figure out which processes to consider for automation technologies.

 

1. Is it a High-volume, Repetitive Task?

Not every task can or should be automated, and that isn’t the goal of AI and RPA. The purpose of automation is to take repetitive, high-volume tasks and offload them to a digital employee, freeing up your human employees for more complex, more rewarding work. Any task that is time-consuming, requires a lot of manual effort, and is done in a similar way each time is a perfect candidate process for automation.

2. How Many Man Hours Does a Process Take?

To maximize impact, you want to automate tasks that take a meaningful amount of time. The best way to do that is to calculate total hours spent on a process by all of your employees. Ask employees how they’re spending their time each day, tally up the totals for individual processes, and identify which are the most time-consuming as an organization.

Are you a small organization? You don’t have to be a large health system to recognize the benefits of automation. A good rule of thumb is that once a process requires four full-time employees, it is worth considering for automation.

3. What Business Processes Would Benefit From Increased Speed, Capacity, and Accuracy?

Besides freeing up human employees, automation can also complete tasks faster and more accurately than humans – for instance, a digital employee works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, without any breaks or errors. Any process where speed, capacity, and accuracy would benefit your organization should be a candidate for process automation. Processes found in claim denial management, supply chain, and patient credentialing are often the best areas to begin.

 

4. What Bottlenecks Are Impacting Your Operations?

Every organization has them – a pile of administrative tasks that never seems to get done. It can create a bottleneck that impacts the entire workforce. For example, is accounts receivable chronically behind? Automation can eliminate bottlenecks, enabling your employees to complete their other work more efficiently and effectively, so your whole organization can run more smoothly.

5. What Transaction-based Work Impacts Your Employees Time to Deliver a Better Patient Experience?

One of the greatest benefits of automation is that it can optimize your human workforce. For your employees,  it can mean the freedom to do what they do best – think creatively, solve complex problems, and most importantly, focus on delivering the best possible patient experience. The healthcare industry strives to deliver a superior patient experience.  It is critical to ask, “What transaction-based work holds back my employees from delivering that promise?”

Need More Guidance on Automation?

Identifying potential candidates for automation is just part of the process – you need a road map that takes your hospital all the way from idea to AI implementation. 

Our white paper, Build the Business Case for Intelligent Automation, helps you develop a clear path from idea to implementation, helping you identify candidate processes for automation and better understand how to take action. Download the white paper today to learn more.