Applying AI, Automation to the Healthcare Revenue Cycle

Applying AI, Automation to the Healthcare Revenue Cycle

Inefficiencies in the healthcare revenue cycle represent opportunities to apply Artificial intelligence and automation when approached thoughtfully.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and intelligent automation, in general, are changing the face of modern business, and this is as true in the world of healthcare as anywhere else. You may have at least a general understanding of how intelligent automation can benefit your healthcare business, but identifying the best use cases and defining a pragmatic action plan can be difficult.

Here are steps to assist healthcare professionals in identifying and implementing the best use cases for artificial intelligence within the revenue cycle processes of their organization.

1. IDENTIFY USEFUL TYPES OF INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

The first step in getting started with automation is understanding the technologies available to you at a high level. There are two core types of intelligent automation available: AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

AI learns and iterates as it goes by completing repetitive, high-volume, error-prone tasks while collecting intelligence on this work along the way. This approach allows the technology to ultimately identify and address larger, more complex, opportunities for automation. The goal of AI is to mimic human intelligence using computers, enabling them to solve complex problems quickly and to scale.

On the other hand, RPA simply takes a set of inputs and produces an output based on a predefined set of rules. RPA doesn’t “learn”— it reacts the same way every time. RPA can complete the same types of repetitive, high-volume, error-prone tasks while collecting simple metrics for reporting.

Regardless of the technology, the objective of intelligent automation in healthcare, or any other industry, is the same. Take repetitive, high-volume tasks that are done in a similar way every time and offload them to software, freeing up human capital to focus on more important tasks.

Human capital is often reduced to the number of hours human employees spend completing their work, but that view has to be expanded to truly see the impact intelligent automation can have on your organization. At the surface, using automation to replace repetitive tasks humans complete can save money — bots don’t require benefits or vacation time — and reduce errors because typos don’t exist in their world. But at a deeper level, automation can free up your human employees to focus on more complex skills, like customer service, patient advocacy, and empathy.

There are several forms of intelligent automation that offer a multitude of capabilities, but humans possess infinite intelligent skills. When you’re able to apply your staff’s skills to the most important parts of your business rather than to the processes that automation can conduct, that is when you truly see the value intelligent automation can bring to your healthcare organization.

2. UNDERSTAND THE APPLICATION OF INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

With an understanding of AI and RPA, you can start to see where their applications lie. Rule-based business processes (e.g., insurance verification, data recording) are prime candidates for RPA. More complex judgment-based processes (e.g., eligibility checks that require a review of electronic health records) can benefit from the application of AI.

Categorizing your revenue cycle processes can help set the tone as you continue to brainstorm precise processes to automate and what that implementation should look like. Keeping that constant throughout your brainstorming helps solidify your choices.

3. BRAINSTORM TO IDENTIFY PROCESSES TO AUTOMATE

The next step is brainstorming, identifying specific processes in your business that can benefit. As you begin to approach specific use cases for intelligent automation within your healthcare organization, it is important to consider the impact automation can have and the speed with which these tasks can be completed with automation versus how they are done now.

There are several common places impact and speed can be targeted within the revenue cycle, and account updates are usually a great place to start. These kinds of updates are usually a massive undertaking and can touch many or all of your organization’s patient accounts, and are tedious tasks that have to be done correctly.

Impact is immediately recognizable as automation is much faster than humans, reduces errors to negligible numbers, and can prevent costly errors down the line, saving your organization money. In this kind of automation, speed and impact are intertwined.

4. APPLY PROBLEM AND SOLUTION-ORIENTED APPROACHES

To identify specific processes to offload to intelligent automation, you can use either a problem or solution-oriented approach.

The problem-oriented approach looks to identify bottlenecks and areas where employees spend the bulk of their time performing repetitive tasks. The solution-oriented approach looks to optimize workflows and makes sense when there are no clear bottlenecks. This approach identifies where key performance indicators (KPIs) can be positively impacted by implementing intelligent automation. Whichever approach you take at this stage, remember that every moving piece in a healthcare business has multiple high-volume administrative processes. Intelligent automation does not have to be limited to one department or team — everyone can reap the benefits directly by improving their daily work, or indirectly by experiencing the positive impacts of these improvements in other tangent workflows and cycles.

A NOTE ABOUT DIY OR AI-AS-A-SERVICE

Once you have identified where AI should be applied, you have to consider how you’ll get it implemented. Building an automation solution requires a team of highly skilled developers, project managers, and automation engineers. The DIY approach can make sense, but for many, the upfront costs and lack of technical knowledge create barriers. Partnering with an AIaaS provider makes the benefits of intelligent automation more easily accessible to businesses of all sizes and allows you to focus on core business competencies, instead of development.

Want to get started?

To take the first steps toward automation at your organization, download this free guide. You’ll learn how to identify the right processes for automation, and start to build the case for AI and automation.

How a Digital Workforce Will Save Healthcare

How a Digital Workforce Will Save Healthcare

Enterprises have been digitizing data and processes furiously over the past few decades, and these efforts have unlocked a pantheon of capabilities to offer new products and better experiences, and healthcare is no exception. Partially driven by government mandates and subsidies, healthcare systematically bought large electronic medical record systems (EMRs and EHRs) and other systems to bring them into the digital era. Unfortunately, this tidal wave of adoption, although extraordinarily valuable, had negative side effects as well: 


The digitization of healthcare created silos. Database fortresses were built at every organization. They weren’t built to share. They weren’t built to interoperate – not between software systems and certainly not between organizations. No connection to insurers. No connection to other providers and until recently, almost no connection to patients. 

Instead, healthcare employees have taken on the job of the data router, shifting hours spent from being in front of patients, to being in front of computers, shepherding patient data into the right fields. This administrative burden is driving skyrocketing costs, rising attrition and a backlog of work in an industry already suffering from razor thin margins. Healthcare can’t continue to operate like this – there must be a solution to rescue nearly a trillion dollars of administrative costs and reallocate these precious resources to the delivery of care, the creation of new drugs and therapies, and the research to eradicate diseases.


The answer is an AI-powered digital workforce.

Today, most healthcare executives are familiar with robotic process automation, or RPA – it’s used to automate common workflows or business practices like patient scheduling, supply chain management, claims management, and more. That’s because many of the time-consuming, manual processes that make up healthcare administration are simple, rule-based and high volume – the perfect candidate processes for automation. But for many organizations looking to deploy artificial intelligence, RPA alone will not allow them to realize the full benefits of AI – a digital workforce is required.


A digital workforce goes beyond traditional RPA in 3 very important ways:
  1. A digital workforce has deep learning
  2. Gets smarter over time & adjusts work 
  3. Interacts with human management

Not all automations a digital employee does can be performed by a human – in many cases, a digital employee uses deep learning techniques to accomplish far more complex tasks

Although a digital employee depends on RPA as a building block of their capabilities, they leverage other advanced technologies to handle more complex tasks that RPA can’t accomplish alone. For instance, while RPA can quickly and accurately process large volumes of data, Olive, the first AI-powered digital employee built for healthcare, leverages some degree of artificial cognition on top of an automation, allowing her to make decisions or take action with cognitive “thinking” involved.

The processes involved in deep learning are similar to that of data mining and predictive modeling – this is how a digital employee gets smarter over time. Leveraging deep learning techniques provides better and faster information that improves efficiency, capacity, and reduces costs by providing insights into bottlenecks – and the reason behind these bottlenecks – identifying systemic, recurring issues and making adjustments or recommendations to solve them. 

A digital workforce can learn, adapt to change their work based on new intelligence.

Most of the value of a digital worker is created after a bot is deployed – that’s because, much like a human employee, if a bot is doing the same thing on day 100 of employment as it was on day 1, a huge opportunity is lost. Through predictive analytics, deep learning, and a continual stream of insights, a digital employee gets smarter over time, providing lasting value.

Olive turns insights into actionable intelligence, identifying potential problems from a mile away, so organizations are learning about solutions before they even learn about the problem. By consuming large amounts of historical data already in your system, Olive finds trends and data anomalies in your workflows and learns to respond the same way a human would – only smarter, faster, and more accurately – making continual improvements to provide better, more meaningful data and insight as she learns. And by pairing a digital employee with key hospital administrators, they can streamline and improve the management of data-heavy tasks like insurance eligibility checks or patient scheduling, using data to uncover and resolve recurring issues.


A digital employee interacts with managers to provide business intelligence and recommendations on improved ways to handle tasks, so they continue to generate value after deployment.
 

Olive works with human managers to determine the best way to communicate actionable insights, and that intelligence gives organizations a ‘Decision Advantage’ over where and how they apply their resources towards current workflow improvements or new candidate processes for automation. 

For instance, at one health system, Olive was hired to automate claim status checks. But unlike a traditional RPA bot, as soon as Olive was live she started collecting data that became actionable insights – like dollar amounts associated with denials – to communicate back to her manager for process improvement opportunities. Based on these learnings, her manager recommended that she focus on a specific subset of denials, which lead to another key discovery: millions of dollars of denials stemmed from a specific drug denial due to missing prior authorizations and medical necessity. This insight allowed the hospital to target a specific department in their organization where this recurring issue could be resolved. This “always on” analysis of information allows a digital employee to proactively offer new solutions for workflow improvements as she gets smarter over time.

A digital employee has Global Awareness and can connect disparate sets of information

Lastly, “global awareness” is another important concept that’s core to a digital employee – the understanding or awareness of information across multiple networks, systems, databases, or contexts. Interoperability is a consistent and growing challenge facing healthcare and the ability for our digital employees to transcend those silos opens up great opportunity. One example is quickly identifying a portal outage and alerting managers before a failure, as well as other organizations where Olives are employed. In the future, it could mean knowing a particular patient’s identity across multiple doctors’ offices or hospitals – even across different systems globally. This identification and matching of people is monumentally important to building the interoperability our industry so desperately needs.


That’s why we built Olive: to work side-by-side with healthcare employees with access to a limitless amount of data. 

As AI becomes more advanced – using applications humans have already developed to organize and interpret larger datasets than a human ever could – the opportunity to build and scale a digital workforce is greater than ever before. And at Olive, we think healthcare employees should handle the functions that are uniquely suited to humans, not the job of data entry clerk or data router. Olive can perform these tasks much more accurately and efficiently, working to resolve recurring issues over time and allowing human employees to focus on higher-value initiatives.

 

Working alongside healthcare employees, Olive is trained to think and make complex decisions that are driven by data. She never misses a day of work. She never makes unprogrammed mistakes. And every Olive learns collectively, like a network, so that healthcare organizations never have to solve the same problem twice. 

We’re making healthcare more efficient, more affordable, and more human with a growing digital workforce, so humans finally have the time, energy, and bandwidth to focus on what matters most: the patient experience. Just think of all the time digital employees will give back to our human employees – clinicians, providers, administrators, payers, and more. And with every organization that employs a digital employee, our ability to carve millions of dollars out of the cost of healthcare will become closer to reality.

If you want to learn more about Olive, contact us to schedule a demo.

 

The Importance Of Healthcare Data Security

The Importance Of Healthcare Data Security

Cyberattacks, data breaches, and hacking are key concerns for healthcare executives and a growing problem in the industry. A recent report showed that data breaches were up in 2018, with 503 incidents impacting almost 15.1 million patient records, compared to 477 breaches impacting 5.6 million records in 2017.¹  As hackers get more sophisticated, hospitals need to be increasingly vigilant about their healthcare IT and cybersecurity practices.

Healthcare data security is about more than just regulatory compliance: it needs to be central to a hospital’s ‘patient first’ focus, as it’s critical in maintaining consumer trust and organizational health. 

As anyone who has ever had their financial data stolen can attest, it can be a frustrating, costly, and time-consuming issue to correct. Credit card numbers must be changed, false charges corrected, and checks blocked. But unlike financial data, medical data cannot be corrected. Medical data is personal and can’t be changed or “wiped clean” – once the information is breached, the damage is done. Identity theft, insurance fraud, and extortion are all possibilities after a healthcare data breach, especially when you consider the medical information of CEOs, public figures, and other individuals are key targets for hackers on the black market. 

For hospitals or other healthcare systems, a breach can be financially devastating long-term, too. The service interruptions and potential HIPAA fines sting upfront, but lack of consumer confidence driving patients elsewhere could mean lost revenue for years to come. Overcoming a serious data breach requires extensive image and trust rebuilding in a community, usually in the form of a massive and expensive PR campaign. For these reasons, most hospitals already understand the significant risks involved when handling patient health information – a recent HIMSS survey showed that cybersecurity, privacy, and security are top concerns in healthcare.²

Unfortunately, concern about data security doesn’t always lead to action. 

Despite data security growing in importance, a 2017 Black Book Market Research survey showed that only 15% of organizations reported having a chief information security officer.³  Given the enormous amount of private information hospitals have access to, high employee turnover rates, and the lack of IT leadership, this only adds to the unique challenges healthcare organizations face when implementing cybersecurity measures – many driven by the large number of systems and software vendors that every hospital uses to coordinate care and manage their business. 

The sheer number of disparate IT systems used in healthcare is perhaps unrivaled in any other industry. Every system, every vendor, every connection, and every employee with access and responsibility for transferring sensitive data is a cybersecurity risk. That’s because EMRs and other healthcare interfaces weren’t built to share data – they were built as fortresses to protect the data of patients and to make sure that data was available only within the walls of that system. 

“The ‘walled fortress’ approach to security no longer works,” says Olive Chief Product Officer David Landreman. “Keeping all data within your physical facility is not the end-all of protecting your data, it doesn’t account for human negligence, and it doesn’t make up for a comprehensive approach to security.”

Instead, data must be exchanged seamlessly and securely in order for healthcare organizations to provide better care to people globally, and this can only be achieved through technology.

Technology vendors should be an area of scrutiny for healthcare organizations looking to mitigate risk. 

Implementing data protection strategies and vetting technology vendors thoroughly will enable healthcare organizations to meet regulations and share critical patient data more securely. To limit risk and improve overall IT security strategy, hospitals should perform a security assessment of the vendors they currently use to understand their risk. Every new vendor selection process should weigh security concerns heavily in the evaluation criteria – begin this security evaluation early to ensure your solutions are built with the complexities of your organization in mind.

What happens when a hospital conducts a security assessment and finds that a vendor isn’t measuring up? Hospitals have two real options: put pressure on the company to improve security or switch vendors. As anyone who has switched vendors or implemented new software knows, neither are an easy task. Possible contract cancellation fees, time spent evaluating new solutions, resources spent on re-training employees on new software – it all adds up. 

And what’s the incentive for current vendors to improve security practices if only 10% of their customer base, for instance, needs those security updates – does the cost of potentially losing customers outweigh the cost of upgrading cybersecurity? As mentioned before, switching vendors can be cost-prohibitive, leading many hospitals to stay with current vendors with only vague promises or extended timelines for upgraded security.

Working exclusively with healthcare-specific vendors reduces risk.

When new regulations come out, new medical devices emerge, and new threats develop in healthcare, hospitals need partners that understand their industry-specific needs. Healthcare-only vendors understand the unique challenges facing the industry and will be better positioned to address organizations’ changing needs – especially those around cybersecurity.

 

That’s why at Olive, we’re healthcare first, and healthcare only. 

Unlike other AI solutions on the market, Olive uses her healthcare-specific skills to address common bottlenecks when it comes to automating workflows – most importantly, she does it with unrivaled security measures built for healthcare, working seamlessly within common industry processes and your current IT infrastructure. Instead of adding to your tech stack, Olive helps you run the tools you already have in place more efficiently, handling sensitive data without compromising security, helping to mitigate hospitals’ risk. 

Olive was built from the ground up with the complexities of healthcare data in mind, working seamlessly with the security controls and practices healthcare organizations already have without compromising sensitive health information. We believe industry regulations like HIPAA privacy rules, SOC2 compliance and other bot-related compliance issues should be the least of your team’s worries – we want them focused on more human-like initiatives, like patient care.

Olive automates a variety of healthcare workflows with speed and ease because she was designed to interact with EMRs, insurance portals, and other healthcare applications the same way a human would – only faster, smarter, and more securely. And Olive’s capabilities around industry languages and standards were built specifically for healthcare – that means she’s experienced with HL7 standards (including FHIR), EDI X12 messaging, and more.

Are your current vendors providing the security your organization needs? Contact us today to learn more about how Olive can help your organization limit risk and improve your overall data security.

Sources:

1.https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/data-breaches-compromised-151m-patient-records-last-year/548307/

2.https://www.himss.org/2019-himss-leadership-and-workforce-survey-0

3.https://blackbookmarketresearch.newswire.com/news/84-of-healthcare-organizations-dont-have-a-cybersecurity-leader-as-the-20110145

 

Employing an AI-Powered Digital Employee: A Health System’s & Vendor’s Perspective

Employing an AI-Powered Digital Employee: A Health System’s & Vendor’s Perspective

On May 21, Becker’s Hospital Review hosted a webinar, Employing an AI-Powered Digital Employee: A Health System’s & Vendor’s Perspective, sponsored by Olive: a technology company who delivers AI-powered digital employees to healthcare organizations. The webinar was led by Susan Whitecotton, Vice President of Patient Financial Services at MedStar Health, and Braden Lambros, Executive Director of AI Transformation at Olive.

During the session, MedStar shared their story of employing Olive’s digital workforce. Both speakers gave their perspectives and insights on:

  1. How AI can address hospital’s biggest challenges
  2. The differentiators of a digital workforce
  3. Effective ways to lead an AI transformation program within your organization
  4. How to navigate the vendor selection process
  5. The outcomes of hiring a digital workforce

Here are the top five questions answered during the webinar.

How do I determine if AI and automation is right for my organization?

A host of internal challenges, industry challenges and pressing needs are constantly putting pressure on hospitals to do more with less, all while improving performance. For MedStar, those challenges led the organization to pursue cutting edge technologies to support their revenue cycle transformation. Like many health systems, some specific issues the organization faced included:

  • Separate financial systems versus their clinicals
  • Registration accuracy
  • Staffing / Turnover / Training
  • Frequent payer changes that have led to financial performance issues
  • Pressing needs that bubbled back up to the revenue cycle

As the team at MedStar investigated solutions, AI and automation emerged as an ideal fit to concur many of the repetitive, rule-based and error prone processes that were driving critical revenue cycle functions.

What is a digital workforce?

 A digital workforce, or digital employee is enabled by combining automation and artificial intelligence technologies in tandem to automate error prone, inefficient tasks. When hiring a digital employee it’s often easiest to think of the technologies as you would a human counterpart. Robotic Process Automation handles many of the tasks that hands would tackle, logging into and out of systems and entering data manually. Computer Vision is leveraged as the eyes, reading, scanning and recognizing critical items on a page — transcribing documents and images that are critical to standard business processes in a health system. While Machine Learning is defined as a digital employee’s ability to make contextual decisions about and within processes, truly mimicking human decision making.

How should I go about leading an AI and automation initiative within my hospital?

According to Susan, pulling together the right people, having the right conversations and aligning on the right execution model are essential for leading a successful program. She advised those considering leading their own AI initiative to:

  • Get the right stakeholders involved early
  • Have a project champion
  • Create a staffing augmentation strategy and communication plan
  • Call on internal teams to contribute to the discovery process
  • Lean into an agile execution model

What criteria should I consider when seeking an AI and automation partner?

When engaging in vendor partnership selection, Susan advised beginning with the end in mind. By doing proper research and understanding her KPIs before seeking a vendor, MedStar was aligned on critical indicators of success and set clear expectations on how success would be measured. By conducting site visits and reference calls with other health systems already benefiting from AI and automation, the team was able to validate their vendor criteria.

Vendors were evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Had a process and approach to achieve required results
  • Had deep experience in the revenue cycle (someone who spoke a hospital’s language)
  • Had an understanding of healthcare’s unique security challenges
  • Would go beyond being a vendor; they would be a true partner

“We went through a formal selection process and found that Olive not only brought the revenue cycle expertise, but more importantly, they brought innovation and talent with an enthusiastic team that blended very well with our culture. This was very important to introduce change and deliver a successful outcome,” Susan said.

How do I determine where to begin?

As a vendor partner, Olive often is asked, “Where do I get started?”. It can seem daunting, and that’s where you should rely on your vendor to guide you. Braden explained prioritization should be aligned with processes that will deliver quick wins with big impacts.  By tackling those challenges first, your organization can build quick success, establish internal buy-in needed across teams to continue to tackle more complex process challenges. It’s best to start by listing business process that are repetitive, high-volume, rule-based and often prone to human error.

Ideal candidates for automation will meet each of those criteria. Your vendor will then determine which automations can be built and deployed quickly (30-60-90 days from the time work begins) and support your team in defining prioritization against business results, such as increased efficiency or accuracy.

 What outcomes are expected when hiring a digital workforce?

Strategically planned programs with thorough scoping, strong communication (internal and external) and clear key performance indicators, organizations produce quick wins that demonstrate immediate process improvements, along with long-term economic impacts that help achieve desired financial results.

For Susan and her team, in six months since initial go-live, Olive’s digital workforce has:

  • Logged 1,300 hours of productive work
  • Completed more than 23 million actions
  • Delivered cost savings of more than 50 percent compared to prior processes.

Two other quick wins for MedStar were in the Electronic Insurance Eligibility Verification process and ERA remittance posting. In Eligibility Verification, Olive was live in 22 days, and now completes the process 5 to 7 times faster than a human employee could. And in ERA remittance posting, Olive has taken over 90% of the process, allowing staff to shift focus to other important tasks. Hiring a digital workforce also allowed previously untouched work to be addressed. In patient status transfers, limited resources meant Susan’s team was only able to manage inpatient to outpatient charge capture corrections (leaving outpatient to inpatient unaddressed). Olive now runs both processes (more than 1,100 charge corrections per day), giving the organization the opportunity to realize more revenue.

“[Employing a digital workforce] has been an exciting journey thus far. Our team has been excited to learn new things and we’re really looking forward to seeing a significant impact in the long run,” said Susan.

With many phases of their revenue cycle transformation still to come, MedStar’s digital workforce and the process efficiencies and financial impacts that come with it has just begun.

Want to learn more about how Olive is transforming this health system with AI? Catch the entire webinar here.

Cost Containment is a Top Priority in 2019 For Healthcare Executives

Cost Containment is a Top Priority in 2019 For Healthcare Executives

 

In the past few years, healthcare annual expenses have continued to outpace revenue growth, spurring increased interest in cost containment strategies from hospital leaders across the country. And in 2018, The Advisory Board’s Annual Health Care CEO Survey even found that cost control had jumped to the number one priority for healthcare executives as reimbursement dollars continue to shrink. 

During the 2019 Annual Becker’s Hospital Meeting, the Olive team heard leading healthcare executives discuss how rising costs are forcing their organizations to drive greater efficiencies with the same level of resources – all while organizations manage increasing complexity and dwindling reimbursement rates.

So, where can healthcare organizations have the biggest impact on cost containment as they plan for the future?

Today, many traditional cost containment strategies have focused on cutting overhead like human capital, facility, and supply chain costs. But supply and facility costs can only be cut so far, and cutting wages and employee hours is short-sighted, as these strategies contribute to employee burnout and increasing staff turnover rates across the industry. 

If hospitals truly want to reduce waste and contain costs, they need to look to the real source of the problem: operational inefficiencies.

Operational Inefficiencies Are The Leading Cause Of Waste

One out of every three dollars spent on healthcare each year is spent on the repetitive, high-volume tasks that make up the administrative side of healthcare. Increasing regulatory requirements are only adding to the burden – an American Hospital Association study found that an average size hospital today dedicates 59 full time employees to regulatory compliance alone, over a quarter of which are clinical staff. 

Interacting with health insurance plans is also puts pressure on a hospital’s time and resources – from authorizations, formularies, claims and billing, credentialing, contracting, and data quality review, the process is time-consuming and requires many manual steps that are prone to costly errors. Today, flaws in registration and eligibility processes are cited as the primary cause of insurance claim denials – an analysis found that $262 billion of the estimated $3 trillion in claims were initially denied due to errors, translating to an average hospital risking $4.9 million of lost revenues. 

As operational inefficiencies continue to drain valuable resources, it’s easy to see that the never-ending flux of data entry comes at cost – an even bigger cost when you consider the expense of re-work.

At the heart of these process inefficiencies is the lack of interoperability between systems. Data has to be manually pulled and entered from one screen to another, over and over again, making human error inevitable. And with increasingly complex regulatory needs and requirements, an overhaul of the entire system is far-fetched. Hospitals need solutions that work with the systems and processes they already have in place – and this is where organizations have a tremendous opportunity to create financial impact with artificial intelligence. 

 

How Artificial intelligence is Tackling The Problem

Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation have gone from a futuristic buzzwords to real-world solutions providing enormous value at health systems across the country. And while the innovative technologies are being explored for multiple areas, from AI-assisted surgeries to diagnostics, they’re uniquely positioned to solve many of the administrative flaws and headaches that cause so much waste.

Experts anticipate AI for the Healthcare IT market to surpass $1.7 billion by the end of 2019, and through AI and automation, healthcare systems have already begun to reduce expenses and increase revenue recognition. In turn, they’ve been able to take an impact-driven approach to AI implementation, providing both immediate and long-term value to their organizations.

Olive deploys a digital workforce to “shift” these operational inefficiencies from healthcare employees to artificial intelligence as a cost containment strategy. A digital workforce provides operational AI to improve the cost, capacity, and efficiency of administrative business processes by alongside healthcare employees to handle the large amounts of data and repetitive tasks that are draining the industry of resources and revenue. 

Olive saves healthcare organizations time and money by automating some of the most common process bottlenecks like claim status checks, prior authorizations, eligibility verification and more. She has a proven track record of working down massive backlogs of work, allowing organizations to really “catch up” on critical processes, reducing the expense of hiring more (and more) people to handle the work. 

Olive is trained to emulate all of the manual steps associates do – only smarter, faster and more accurately –  reducing costly errors and increasing operational efficiency. Best of all? Our AI-as-a-Service model means there is one simple subscription price and an all-in-one approach to implementing AI, so hospitals can quickly see a positive ROI

To learn more about Olive and how to hire a digital workforce, schedule a demo with us today.

How Burnout is Killing The Healthcare Industry

How Burnout is Killing The Healthcare Industry


Many healthcare leaders today know that labor is the leading cost driver in the industry – the cost of healthcare staff turnover is estimated to be 38% of annual salary expense per employee. And as labor continues to be many organizations biggest expense, employee retention is a critical component to the financial success of any healthcare organization.
But with the industry’s frustrating lack of interoperability, employees have taken on the job of the data processor, shifting the hours spent by employees from being in front of patients, to being in front of computer screens, logged in to disparate EMRs, EHRs and other interfaces shepherding patient data into the right fields. The consequences have manifested in the form of burnt-out employees, skyrocketing administrative costs, and less time spent with each patient – but how big is the problem, and how can we work to solve it?

EMPLOYEE BURNOUT CONTINUES TO INCREASE
  • Employee burnout is growing: studies show that nearly three quarters of healthcare leaders report feeling burned out.¹
  • Employee loyalty is fading: 37% plan to leave their current hospital within the next two years and almost 69% plan to leave within five years.²
  • Burnout is increasing turnover: Average turnover rate in healthcare is 20% and has risen nearly 5% – across all jobs in the industry – over the last decade.³
As this trend continues to grow, it’s no question that employee burnout and staff turnover come with a hefty price tag. The yearly hard dollar cost to recruit and train employees is already high, but when you add in the soft costs, you start to really see the bigger implications – it lowers morale and productivity, which in turn impacts patient care and patient outcomes. Additionally, costly staffing gaps put more pressure on the remaining employees, causing the problem to grow and compound.

Because of these issues, the average hospital has turned over 85.2% of its workforce since 2013, and with 31% of hospitals struggling to find candidates to fill open positions5, solving this growing problem is a top priority for healthcare organizations. To combat these challenges, health systems need a multi-faceted employee retention strategy – one that includes the expected perks like great compensation, benefits, and opportunities for advancement – but most importantly, one that addresses the root of the problem: process inefficiencies that are bogging down healthcare workers across the entire continuum of care.

In healthcare today, employees are suffering a “death by a thousand clicks6” because most hospitals use 10 or more various EHRs, EMRs and other user interfaces, sending employees toggling back and forth between various screens, playing “button Olympics.” 

Aside from being stressful and burdensome to healthcare employees, these administrative inefficiencies result in a trillion dollar spend across the industry.

Working to reduce this burden has a huge impact on a hospital’s bottom line, but retaining top industry talent goes far beyond the numbers. A solid employee retention strategy needs to also consider factors like employee engagement and opportunities to do more meaningful work – this is where organizations have a tremendous opportunity to create both financial impact and increased employee satisfaction with artificial intelligence. 

Artificial intelligence can take robotic tasks off the employee’s to-do list, allowing them to focus on higher-level tasks and initiatives. For front line staff, this means more time to spend with patients, which improves the patient experience and employee satisfaction. For back-office staff, this means more time spent on strategic initiatives and problem-solving, instead of mundane manual data entry.

Innovative health systems across the country are already using artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to alleviate employee burnout and staff turnover. And at Olive, we’re deploying a digital workforce to help “shift” these burdensome workflows from stressed healthcare employees to artificial intelligence. Olive is not another platform, another software, or another process to learn – Olive is the first digital employee built specifically for healthcare to replicate the robotic functions of a human employee, so healthcare employees can focus on more human-like initiatives.

“With Olive, we were able to reallocate 20 full-time employees to meaningful work, not the hours spent in front of their screens. There were no layoffs because there was so much work to do in the billing office that we just weren’t getting to before. Now these employees handle more fulfilling, complex tasks that require a human touch, and Olive takes the robotic workflows.” -Senior Director or Revenue Cycle, Midwestern Hospital

As your organization tackles the growing burnout that’s crushing the healthcare industry today, ask yourself these questions: What could your hospital do with more time? How many employees could Olive help focus on more meaningful work? How would those changes impact employee satisfaction and staff turnover at your organization? What would the financial impact be to your bottom line?

View our recent case study to see how Olive transformed this hospital’s administrative operations, allowing their employees to focus on higher-value initiatives that boost morale, patient outcomes, and overall revenue recognition.