A leading hospital sought to improve its patient communications and record management processes, aiming for higher healthcare delivery efficiency.
Staffing Challenges and Workload Pressures in the Healthcare Industry
In the United States, the healthcare industry prioritizes medical technology, research, and innovation areas. In 2022, the estimated revenue of the industry was US$2829.6 billion.
Healthcare providers often have to deal with tedious, repetitive tasks such as collecting patient data, providing prescriptions, billing, onboarding patients, and managing claims.
Despite the importance of these tasks, they can be both time-consuming and prone to human error, which can put both patients and healthcare organizations in danger.
While the demand for medical services has increased, the pool of workers is decreasing. The healthcare industry desperately needs a solution to its staffing shortage.
Automation can provide the answer by freeing up staff time on mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on more pressing matters such as patient care and strategic projects.
Searching for a Solution to Streamline Reporting Workflows
The hospital client has a team of Patient Care Advocates (PCAs) responsible for ensuring patients receive reminder letters for upcoming appointments. These letters are customized for each patient’s needs and appointment type.
Creating, printing, and mailing these letters promptly ensures the patients see them well before their appointments. Each letter required unique customizations based on the patient, taking PCAs up to 10 minutes to create and print each letter. Human error could lead to letters missing essential details.
High employee turnover meant Trumpet’s client struggled to maintain the necessary number of trained PCAs to keep up with the demand. In the spring of 2022, the center’s PCA team had a mass exodus and went from a staff of 24 down to 10.
Path to Success
Leverages ElectroNeek’s Subscription Model to Automate Business Operations Decisions
Trumpet was tasked with automating the custom letter generation so that the PCAs could save time, reduce errors, and better balance their time spent on other responsibilities.
Trumpet built an automation that allows the PCAs to simply queue eligible patient records and pick up the letters at the printer after the automation generates the custom letters.
- The ElectroNeek bot works in their electronic medical records (EMR) software just as a user does and monitors a queue of patients using built-in filters.
- PCAs assign actions to the bot’s username so that she can find and interact with the records/patients that need letters generated.
- The bot runs every 15 minutes to ensure that letters are printed regularly and promptly throughout the PCA’s workday.
- The automation bot identifies various information elements from the patient record and stores them in memory for use within the letter.
- The bot refers to a set of configuration files made by the PCA team to use when generating each element of the letter that needs to be customized according to the patient’s appointment, special instructions, and doctor information.
- The automation combines these elements into a basic letter template stored in the EMR to create the final customized letter that is saved digitally first into the patient record and then sent to the office printer.
- Any issues that the software bot runs into (like a missing appointment date on the patient record, or missing information in the configuration files) is reported to the PCA managers so that they can fix the data or configuration files on their own and then re-process the letter on the next scheduled bot run.
- All this is done without ever taking sensitive patient data outside their EMR and while logging activities inside the EMR software for audit history and reporting.
Automating Workflows to Improve Patient Care and Business Efficiency
The RPA project with the hospital created a workflow that would automatically generate letters and store them in the EHR system for their health center.
Today, the automated workflow produces 100% of the hospital’s referral letters. This saves about 2 FTEs worth of time across the PCA team and keeps them more productive with fewer interruptions. The PCAs use the recovered time to set more appointments, getting patients in sooner and “closing the loop” with patients to confirm they did attend their appointment and to schedule any additional appointments.
The automation bot gets their letters out the door on the same day the appointments are scheduled and eliminates human error in the letter generation process.
As a result of working with Trumpet and having the automation working for them, the PCA team was inspired to reorganize their team. They have moved half the PCAs off scheduling altogether - allowing them to focus solely on “closing the loop.” The result is a restructuring that allows their whole department to complete other responsibilities more efficiently and provide better patient care.
Anonymous Employee Trumpet’s Hospital Client