A “forcing function” will occasionally appear and alter the course of a business or an industry. The pandemic has changed healthcare by mainstreaming telemedicine, making it one of memory’s most powerful forcing functions. This has been possible with the help of automation in healthcare.
That final sentence may support the idea that we are being forced to use a new function. The need for clinicians, mental health workers, and home health care providers will be particularly urgent.
According to the research, healthcare businesses must invest in expanding their talent pool, boost employee retention by training and assisting them, and finance alternative care models. What if traditional staff retention and talent pipeline development strategies don’t produce the intended results?
One approach may be utilizing technology, particularly automation, to solve the workforce shortage.
Automation in healthcare for humans
Technology, in general, is about automation. However, in recent years, technologies like robotic process automation have become more prevalent. By replicating repetitious jobs, these technologies may successfully replace humans.
RPA has successfully reduced the number of labor humans must do in administrative tasks like claim filing and revenue cycle activities. Many RPA technology firms have successfully deployed “digital employees” that can carry out repetitive activities for a small portion of the price of hiring human labor.
Five years ago, both employers and employees found this value proposition unsettling. However, with the realities of a labor crisis staring us in the face, there is a renewed interest in using RPA to fill the labor gap and perhaps redistribute personnel from mundane jobs to ones that provide value.
Other technologies have emerged as feasible solutions for operational and clinical domains that can alleviate the labor shortage and lessen the stress on physicians, even if RPA has demonstrated its efficacy in a restricted range of administrative tasks.
Recent advancements in voice recognition technology include Microsoft’s ambitious purchase of Nuance and Amazon’s unrelenting investment in Alexa capabilities for inpatient and senior care.
Due to the pandemic’s forcing function, which caused a surge in screening for many people with COVID symptoms, conversational interfaces like chatbots have also gained prominence. It’s safe to assume that COVID-19 screening has been the most well-known use for chatbots.
By expanding on the success of the original use cases, RPA, audio, and chatbot technologies are migrating streams into fundamental healthcare operations.
New technologies are simultaneously developing as workable substitutes to lessen human interaction. Although they have not yet had a significant influence on operational processes, Automated systems are moving past administrative use cases and into key business functions like patient interaction and marketing.
Health institutions must immediately acknowledge the enormity of this 8-point Richter Magnitude change in the ground underneath our feet.
The conventional approaches of developing pipelines, reskilling employees, and improving morale will no longer be effective; therefore, they must develop a multifaceted strategy to address this talent issue head-on.
Due to worries about privacy protection and other issues, health organizations have been sluggish in implementing workforce models based in offshore locations. That will have to alter.
However, the current situation cannot continue. Today, there is no alternative to using automation in healthcare; health systems must do so with caution as part of a long-term, technology-driven transformation toward a digital future.