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Bridging the Gap in Healthcare with Intelligent Automation for Better Patient Experience


The healthcare industry is currently grappling with a critical issue of patients often having a disjointed experience due to the lack of integration between various systems.

However, there is a solution that promises to bridge these gaps and improve the patient journey while boosting productivity for organisations at the same time. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or Intelligent Automation (IA) has emerged as a game-changing technology in this domain, according to Garry Green, Founder and Managing Director of Quanton. 

Enhancing the Patient Journey with Intelligent Automation

As Green explained, Intelligent Automation can help healthcare organisations integrate patient management systems, enabling information to be input once into the appropriate systems securely. 

“We’ve seen it used to great effect in health GP practices. A great example is where independent GP practices provide medical services to nursing home facilities, and bots are being used to integrate across organisations as different organisations are utilising different patient management systems. They have a need to exchange data between them, but these systems don’t communicate or there are issues around sharing of data.” 

“With a resource crunch especially more so in this industry, it doesn’t make sense for GPs having to manually enter the same data in two systems, which is not a good use of a doctor’s time as they should be focusing on patient experience.” 

Bots help integrate data across the varied systems in these organisations, making it easier for healthcare professionals to interact with patients even out of hours while also ensuring confidential patient information is protected.  

Another great example is the use of digital workers to help government health agencies automate HR processes such as verifying medical registration. This is a vital but time-consuming task and has peaks in demand. Delays in this process can mean that vital medical or nursing staff are not onboarded rapidly and can impact the provision of front-line medical staff. In just a month, the initiative resulted in the BOT employee being voted as employee of the month! 

Strategic Implementation of RPA

Although RPA can offer quick wins, there are many other use cases for RPA in healthcare. As technology continues to develop, it is likely that RPA and other intelligent automation tools will become increasingly prevalent in the healthcare industry, leading to a more efficient and effective healthcare system.

“Once you start to automate processes and link those systems, you start to get better data, and improve quality because you get rid of erroneous data in the system and get a more unified view of what is happening and more valuable insights,” Garry said.

A number of District Health Boards (now part of Te Whatu Ora) in New Zealand, have turned to RPA to streamline their electronic patient referrals. With the help of Quanton New Zealand, a silver-certified partner of SS&C Blue Prism, these District Health Boards were able to improve the patient experience.

New Roles and Productivity Gain

Despite some misconceptions about technology threatening the workforce, automation is proving to be otherwise helpful. According to Garry, automation systems like RPA technologies, when put in place, can help ease the pressure on the workforce, leading to lower turnover rates as it helps to increase employees’ satisfaction and involvement in more rewarding work.

He emphasised that automation technology is not replacing the workforce but rather augmenting it, allowing staff to be involved in more patient-centric activities. With the challenges of accessing skilled resources that all industries are facing, it provides a valuable alternative to ensure that the work gets done. The implementation of RPA and Intelligent Automation has also created new roles in automation teams such as automation analysts, automation developers and automation team leads as well as allowing managers to rethink how work gets done and the composition of their teams. 

The introduction of new roles has significantly increased productivity in various business sectors, particularly in healthcare. Given the shortage of staff in the healthcare industry, automation has emerged as an alternative workforce that complements the existing staff and supports them.

With SS&C Blue Prism’s digital workforce, clinical support staff can now focus on work that enhances patient care and outcomes, freeing them from tedious manual processing.

Garry noted that there was initial skepticism when they introduced the appointment referrals bot. People were naturally wary of using new technology and worried about the possibility of missed appointments. However, they were mindful of these risks when designing the automation and took the team along on the journey to ensure the project’s success. The team was fully engaged in specifying the design and testing of the bot, and they came to realize that the automation was extremely robust and would process 100% of the referrals without any loss. As a result, their biggest critics became their strongest supporters. 

SS&C Blue Prism: A Reliable Choice for Healthcare Organisations

In the most recent The Forrester Wave™: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2023 report, SS&C Blue Prism has been named a “Leader”.  With a proven track record in helping healthcare organisations across many regions, its Robotic Operating Model (ROM)TM ensures successful implementation. Working alongside experienced partners like Quanton in the ecosystem network to ensure a smooth delivery. 

Originally designed for the banking sector, SS&C Blue Prism boasts high security and resilience, making it ideal for protecting patient data which is highly confidential, and it is essential in the healthcare industry where patient data is of utmost importance.

“Digital Workers are the backbone of patient care in our healthcare use cases, from patient admission through to discharge. Automation is elevating patient experience and giving more time to healthcare workers to focus on patient care”, added Greg Eyre, Vice President – Australia & New Zealand, SS&C Blue Prism.

Triple Win: Organisational, Staff and Patient Value

Implementing intelligent automation strategically and intelligently leads to a triple win: driving organisational value, increasing staff value, and delivering patient value. Each group has different needs, such as cost-effectiveness and delivery outcomes for the organisation, improving job satisfaction and enabling better work life for staff, and enhancing the patient journey by allowing quicker response times for patients.

When all three key areas are being addressed, the results present a powerful value proposition.

Garry explained that in addition to direct financial benefits, there are also gains in productivity, equality, compliance, risk management, patient care, staff satisfaction and more.

Embracing Intelligent Automation into the Future

In the current post-COVID world, resilience, security and flexibility have become increasingly important. Attracting and retaining good staff and making their work enjoyable is also paramount, especially given the great resignation and talent shortage.

The key is to design processes with an automation-first mindset, automating wherever possible and focusing on exceptions. This helps organisations maximise talent and skills, link apps and data for fractional insights and use automation to improve decision-making, workflows and patient journeys.

Embracing intelligent automation is essential for the survival and continuity of any organisation going forward.

“If they have not embraced automation, they’re basically going to wither and lose out to their competition.”

However, younger or smaller organisations tend to adapt and bring in this technology faster than older and more bureaucratic ones. It requires a top-down leadership approach to guide and support people in transforming their environment and embedding an automation mindset.

Governance, frameworks, risk management and data policies should be embedded from the start, and SS&C Blue Prism can easily fit within existing structures.

Garry explained that in the healthcare industry, there is no big bang approach. It is crucial to not only implement new initiatives but also to get people on board with a unified goal and gradually increase gains from there.

“When you have people on board from the start, it’s fantastic. However, when someone who was initially skeptical becomes a complete convert, it’s even more rewarding to see the transformational impact they go on to create.”

While frameworks can be put in place to facilitate change, it is ultimately the people within the healthcare system who drive change. They must believe in the benefits of the new approach. Therefore, it’s important to start with quick wins and build upon them to maintain momentum, according to Garry.

Learn more on how Hutt Valley Delivers e-Referrals With 100% Accuracy Saves $527,000.

Ready to experience the benefits of RPA/Intelligent Automation for yourself? Claim your FREE Blue Prism RPA Trial today or Jumpstart your Automation Journey and discover how you can deliver the real value of patient experience in healthcare.

Download this eBook Your guide to what’s next for RPA, intelligent automation and the future of work to learn what the future holds for automation and practical guidance on what you should be doing today.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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