If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of being hospitalized, you know the frenzy that makes up a nurse’s workday. As patients’ call bells ring from every direction, family and friends wait impatiently to hear of loved ones’ health changes. In the background, insurance providers demand details on patient treatments, conditions, and admission and discharge dates. Checklists must be filled, logs must be kept, and regulatory documentation mounts. When nurses spend 75% of their time attending to indirect patient-care, it’s the patient experience that suffers.
Sadly, the burden of repetitive and time-consuming healthcare processes doesn’t just impact the hospitalized. At the opposite end of the patient journey, with thousands of daily claims and customer inquiries pouring in, insurance administrators (payers) must ensure claims and inquiries are processed in time to satisfy both providers and patients. Here, too, the customer experience suffers as administrators are too buried in routine tasks to look up from their desks and at their customers.
The result: throughout the patient experience — from routine check-ups, to admissions, discharges, and beyond — many people feel like just another number.
The Technology Revolution Grips Healthcare
Elsewhere, the technology revolution swept industry after industry, conditioning consumers to expect a personalized, highly-efficient customer experience from all. Despite the resource starvation happening in healthcare settings, healthcare experiences, consumers feel, should be no different. The good news: as healthcare providers face the rising demand of patient-personalization demands and, thus, seek solutions, they are beginning to deep dive into the technology revolution for patient wins.
Just last year, one hospital cut patient wait times by one million minutes by applying artificial intelligence (AI). Still, others are submerging even deeper, seeking powerful technologies to cut through thinly dispersed and overworked staff and specialists and, thereby, optimizing time spent with patients.
Cognitive Automation Helps Humans Focus on Humans
Most recently, AI-powered Cognitive Automation entered the scene and is impacting the industry at surprising speed, automating tedious and redundant tasks with human-like intelligence so humans can be where they’re needed: with their patients and customers.
“People expect our robots to go on for…years before they can perform at the level of a human but it takes weeks — 8 to 10 weeks — for a robot to get fully trained to do something a white collar worker was doing in the back office for many years,” said Max Yankelevich, founder and CEO of WorkFusion.
The growth-rate of healthcare-technology firms shows the healthcare industry’s response to the improved-patient-experience demand. Within three consecutive years, WorkFusion experienced a 770% growth-rate and recently made the AI-100 list, a compilation of private companies working on breakthrough AI solutions. The firm’s healthcare-applicable software helped land it there. Let’s explore how their AI-powered cognitive automation facilitates improve patient experiences.
WorkFusion Goes to Work, Improving Experiences Across the Patient Journey
WorkFusion solutions helps healthcare organizations combine automation and people into workflows for greatest efficiency. For example, in a payer setting, patient information flows in via different formats, including handwritten forms, emails, and texts. These must be standardized into one compliant format before document processing.
Other tasks surrounding unstructured data also absorb copious amounts of time: claim-fraud detection, claims handling, real-time updating of provider information, and pay-process auditing for quality control. And human errors must be caught and corrected before they turn to financial losses for patients and customers.
WorkFusion’s Cognitive Automation, a capability within Intelligent Automation software, is paired with robotic process automation (RPA) to learn from the humans it supports. Using machine learning and data capture, quality control, and algorithmic training capabilities, bots shadow human actions and judgment calls to learn routine decision-making processes.
Once they understand best practices, bots begin handling routine tasks in human-like fashion, minus any errors. When bots encounter tasks exceeding their complexity-capacity, they ask for help, routing tasks to human counterparts, then learning the outcomes for future application. The result: an average 50%-80% reduction in manual-task-processing. This means humans, while supported by automated and intelligently-designed efficiency, are increasingly freed to focus on patients and customers.
Across the healthcare journey, people stand to gain similar patient-experience improvements. Terri Cooper, a global healthcare-sector leader, writes:
While RPA is offloading some duties from the shoulders of caregivers, combining it with AI can take this a giant step further by helping doctors and nurses make appropriate care decisions much more quickly…When we look back at hospitals 20, or even 10 years from now…we will likely marvel at how hospital clinicians were able to make complex decisions about our care while also completing an unending list of administrative tasks.
Technology Allows Healthcare Organizations to Show Patients They Matter
From two-hour pain-medication wait times for hospitalized patients to year-long claim processes, the healthcare industry has fallen behind in the experience era but healthcare-technology-firm growth-rates reveal a serious striving to catch up. Today, cognitive automation helps healthcare organizations focus on patient care with greater personalization and efficiency. Tomorrow, it will be AI-powered supercomputers adding 10 years to the human lifespan. Through it all, healthcare organizations can show patients they matter by simply committing to explore the healthcare-tech possibilities.
This post originally appeared on Medium.com.