What is workflow automation in Healthcare?
Automating workflows is particularly useful in healthcare because they have several programs, disparate systems, and data requirements that need to collaborate daily. A single clinical process relies on several disparate systems. Although existing systems have worked well so far, the lack of accuracy, labor-intensiveness, and siloed working model of these systems do not work in their favor. Automated medical workflow management is focused on improving process efficiencies and effectiveness, increasing productivity, and cutting costs.
Workflow automation for healthcare is a dependable way to improve patient safety and quality of healthcare. A streamlined hospital workflow enables healthcare providers to improve compliance, accountability, and accuracy. Workflow automation in healthcare focuses on streamlining the healthcare process workflows by eliminating redundant steps. The first step is to map out existing workflows to identify areas for improvement. The next step is to involve all the stakeholders to plan out a new workflow that is in sync with process requirements and expectations. The new workflow must achieve the end goal of the process through optimal resource utilization.
Once the new workflow is run by the team, the next step is to implement the new changes. All the stakeholders must be informed about operational the new changes and their impact on the workflow. Post-implementation the workflow performance must be reviewed. The feedback from the review process helps fine-tune the workflow as per user expectations. The success of healthcare workflow solutions is measured based on key metrics.
Benefits of Automating Healthcare Workflows
Automating the healthcare workflow process brings several benefits to clinical processes. Healthcare providers are bogged down by inefficient, disparate processes that bring down work efficiency and productivity. Healthcare providers that have automated their key workflows swear by their benefits.
The key benefits of automating healthcare processes are listed below:
Centralizes and simplifies business operations – automated workflows provide a single source of truth for all healthcare-related information. Centralized access to data saves a lot of time for the users.
Manages capital and operational expense processes – workflow automation in healthcare helps healthcare professionals manage capital and overhead expenses efficiently.
Standardizes admission and discharge processes – a workflow automation solution standardizes the patient admission and discharge process. Speedy admission and discharge of patients help improve the brand image of the hospital.
Ensures compliance with HIPAA regulations – a healthcare workflow automation solution ensures that patient information records are maintained as per HIPAA regulations.
Ensures a compliant vendor approval process – only compliant vendors are to be admitted into the healthcare system when they come through the workflow automation solution.
Manage incident reporting and management – incident reporting and management is managed efficiently through healthcare process workflows.
Examples of Workflow Automation in Healthcare
Some of the key healthcare workflows that can be automated are health information management (HIM), cyber security incident reporting, hospital facilities management, vendor qualification, and capital and operational expenditure reporting.
Capital and operational expenditure – healthcare organizations receive large volumes of capital expense requests that need to be managed efficiently. Handling these requests manually is prone to delays, errors, lack of visibility, and lack of compliance. Deploying a consistent and compliant workflow via automation brings down the risk of mishandling and errors and increases the speed of returns on capital spending. Audit trails can be standardized for internal purposes and external compliance.
Vendor qualification – healthcare companies are responsible for ensuring that processes are in place for the proper qualification of external vendors and contractors. A workflow management system helps assess the accountability, consistency, and risk of inconsistency while vetting new vendors. Consistent screening of vendors and their approval can be standardized by the workflow management solution.
Hospital facilities management – efficient facility management is vital in a healthcare environment. Top-notch levels of hygiene need to be maintained in a clinical environment and managing ambulance service efficiently is critical for healthcare providers. From managing building security access to fixing the HVAC issues to maintaining hospital rooms automated hospital workflow management systems enable centralized, consistent facilities management.
Health information management – efficient management of patient health information is essential for a smooth admission and discharge process. Forms requests and approvals, audit management, pharmacy recall notices, pharmacy drug tracing, and many such activities involved in patient information management can be effectively automated by workflow management.
Not just the above examples, there are several healthcare processes that can be effectively automated. Workflow management in healthcare helps improve the accuracy and consistency of operations. Workflow automation eases the burden of expense management.
The success of workflow automation in healthcare depends on the automation solution that is chosen. Cflow is a workflow automation solution that automates key business workflows easily. Visual form builders enable users to create workflows within minutes.