Automating for Efficiency

Joe Lewis

Staffing challenges and budget constraints are prompting healthcare companies to look hard for efficiencies. Automating redundant tasks is a logical choice.

Any repetitive task that has a set list of instructions can be automated – from producing electronic claims or patient statements to compiling month-end reports for Billing and Accounts Receivable (BAR).

Do More With Less
Automation truly lets you do more with fewer people. Many companies find  ̶̶̶  to their happy surprise  ̶̶̶   that they no longer need an overnight person (or crew) to run reports and churn out claim statements. Those resources can be reassigned to higher-level tasks, like working claims.

Reduce Errors
Even the most conscientious person makes mistakes or misses a day of work. But software code runs like clockwork, never calling in sick or forgetting to run a job. It doesn’t make typos. Once you set up a job, you can count on it to run. You can also code it to alert you if something goes amiss.

Automating tasks doesn’t mean giving up flexibility. The program can be written so you can easily change how often a job runs, for example, or which payors to include in a claims production job.

Put Your Attention to More Important Matters
With automation, there’s no need to check on the progress of a job. You’ll get an email notice – to your computer or cell phone – when the job is complete. The month-end report will be waiting for your attention first thing in the morning. That batch of paper claims will be ready for mailing at the designated printer.

If the job runs into a snafu – missing information or offline printer, for example – you’ll be notified about that. You only pay attention to the task when it matters.

Brain Power Where It’s Needed
Automation isn’t a good option for tasks that require decision-making beyond a simple yes-no choice. Complex decision-making is what people are good at. Automation frees them from boring, repetitive tasks and lets them spend time on work that requires brain power. Win-win.

Ready to automate? See my post on choosing which redundant tasks to automate.

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