Automation in healthcare

How can automation improve healthcare?

Monday 1 August 2022

Healthcare is a prime example of an area that has had to quickly adapt and reshape during the course of the pandemic to support public health and comply with new ways of working and living. Much of this adaptation has been facilitated by automation and advances in technology that allow for simple tasks to be completed quickly and easily without the need for physical interaction. 

As we continue to learn to live with Covid-19, and as public expectations around services continue to increase, the healthcare sector should look to build on its learnings so far, and consider the further opportunities automation could offer. 

From saving staff time to supporting higher levels of patient satisfaction and operational efficiency, automation is on track to revolutionise healthcare and the patient experience. In this blog, we’ll look at a few of the key ways automation can improve the healthcare industry, for both patients and healthcare professionals.

1. Automated scheduling software can save staff and patients time

Booking appointments with healthcare providers can be an area of friction for staff and patients. Long waits on the telephone or lengthy conversations trying to coordinate calendars can be frustrating, while rescheduling missed appointments can also take up a lot of time for both parties. 

Automated scheduling software lets patients view available appointment dates and times online and gives them the freedom to pick the slot that is most convenient for them. This software can integrate with existing patient management systems, and is updated automatically in real-time to avoid conflicts.

This technology can also send appointment reminders to patients and give them the opportunity to cancel or rearrange appointments that no longer work for them. This can help reduce missed appointment slots, allowing staff to make the most of the time they have to spend with patients. 

Using this software also means that there’s no need for pen-and-paper appointment books, or written appointment reminders, meaning a reduction in paperwork and a step towards sustainable working practices. 

2. Automated administration processes can allow healthcare professionals more time with patients

Administration tasks can take up a lot of time in any business, but need to be completed to comply with regulations and keep everything running smoothly.

Automating some of these straightforward processes can increase accuracy and give healthcare staff the freedom they need to deliver more value in their roles. Front-office staff can have more time to focus on overall business operations, and healthcare professionals can have more in-depth conversations with patients. 

Embracing automated administration can also mean that staff are able to accomplish more during their working hours, leading to a reduction in overtime and lower levels of stress and anxiety that may arise from heavy workloads.

It is often assumed that automating administration tasks can result in redundancies; yet granting healthcare staff the time to think more strategically and enhance their services can improve the patient and employee experience while boosting business efficiency, without the need for diminishing headcount.

3. Automation can contribute to higher levels of patient satisfaction

The experience patients have when they interact with a healthcare provider can strongly influence their perception of that business, and subsequently, its reputation. Automation offers the healthcare sector the chance to meet patient expectations when it comes to levels of customer service and value offered through patient care. 

Self-service appointment booking gives patients more power over their healthcare, while automated check in systems can shorten waiting times, making the patient experience feel seamless.

Healthcare professionals who have time to listen to patients properly and discuss symptoms and treatments in detail will only enhance this experience further, making patients feel valued. Happy patients often mean happier staff who deal with less complaints, and healthcare providers that can report high levels of patient satisfaction.

4. Automated data entry software can improve accuracy of medical records and lead to a higher quality of care

Medical records are extremely important documents and it's vital that these are kept accurate and up to date. This can be a lengthy task for staff if done manually, and even straight forward updates can result in errors if they are repetitive or rushed.

Automated data entry software offers healthcare providers reduced chances of human error, as it can read and replicate data from different systems quickly and accurately.

Up to date medical records mean that healthcare professionals can access relevant patient information when needed, which can lead to a higher quality of care and can even support better diagnoses’ in the future.

What’s more, these medical records can be used to train AI applications, which in time can learn to conduct patient research, analyse patient data and improve overall levels of care.

As you can tell, there are lots of ways that automation can be used within the healthcare system to better the patient and staff experience, as well as improve efficiency. 

Whether you work in the healthcare sector or not, it’s likely that automation has significant value to add to your business. To find out more, simply complete our short form below and we will contact you to discuss your options. 

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