• David Chou

Navigating The RPA Landscape In Healthcare


Industry experts are predicting that the usage of RPA in healthcare will increase while transforming the organization. The adoption rate has been low and slow due to rudimentary use cases of the technology. Automation to assist with tasks in HR and revenue cycle continues to dominate most healthcare RPA examples on the market today. Unfortunately, it is difficult for a CIO to justify an enterprise-level scripting system financially.


According to Gartner, 50% of U.S. healthcare providers will invest in RPA in the next three years. However, healthcare provider CIOs are not searching for standalone RPA systems. Instead, they will consider RPA features when they upgrade an existing system in their current portfolio.


Examples of Healthcare RPA Use Cases

An example use case of RPA in HR is in the area of hiring and screening candidates. Software robots can compile all the resumes to compare the information with the job requirements. The combination of robots with AI is a predictor for when an employee may leave while identifying potential replacement candidates quickly.


Another example is HR onboarding automation, specifically in IT system credentialing. This function traditionally resides with an identity access management system or with an RPA automation solution. The robotic software will integrate with ERP as the employee system of truth, and workflow will be designed to streamline enterprise system access privileges for the user. Usage of software robots coupled with an ERP solution, will simplify employee system access while ensuring an audit trail for regulatory compliance.


Healthcare revenue cycle, specifically in patient insurance authorization, has been a prominent use case to collect information from the insurance's website and other disparate systems to integrate with the EMR.


All of these examples have been the highlights of many RPA vendors for the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the current RPA solutions solve a fundamental task versus a complicated task, putting technology decision-makers in a difficult position to justify the return on investment for a standalone RPA system.


CIOs Buying Decision

Currently, the RPA vendor landscape includes many niche players, but as many healthcare organizations are in the evaluation stages of their cloud ERP solution, this is the perfect time to explore the ERP's built-in automation tools rather than a standalone RPA solution.


Some next-generation cloud ERP offers the platform to build intelligent automation within the ERP system. This approach allows the workflow automation and mapping to focus on the back office transformation in functional areas such as HR, supply chain, and finance.


Recently, we have also seen many enterprise systems grow their presence in the RPA space. Microsoft acquires Softomotive to expand the robotic process automation with Power Automate. The acquisition is a big move for Microsoft as CIOs now have another decision to think through if they are currently a Microsoft O365 enterprise user. Should the CIO develop automation on their existing Microsoft Power Automate platform?


Hyland, a content management vendor with a significant presence with healthcare providers, acquired RPA vendor Another Monday to boost their automation offering. As the CIO focuses on helping their organization automate, they will have to contemplate their portfolio strategy since they have many choices to choose from within their current portfolio.


Post pandemic, healthcare organizations are under extreme cost pressures, and CIOs have to be prudent with their procurement decisions. The consensus is that RPA will save money. Still, the key will be to utilize a solution within the existing list of products in the portfolio to minimize additional systems to support and integrate. Next-generation RPA solution must solve complex routines with features such as process mining and process discovery to attract the CIO’s attention as a must-have solution.


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ABOUT David Chou

David Chou serves as the SVP/CIO for a public academic health system.  Chou has held executive roles with the Cleveland Clinic, Children's Mercy Hospital, University Of Mississippi Medical Center, AHMC Healthcare, and Prime Healthcare.  

David is a dynamic keynote speaker and industry commentator working with clients to transform their business models using technology. He has spoken around the world at healthcare tech-related conference including keynotes for leading industry events and intimate executive settings. Chou is also one of the most mentioned CIOs in the media and well quoted in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, HIMSS Media, ZDNet, CIO.com, Huffington Post, and Becker's Healthcare.  David is an active member of both ACHE and HIMSS while serving on the board for CHIME. 

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