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RPA 2.0: From Nice-to-Have to a Necessity in Healthcare's Digital Transformation

by Emily Yan, on 12/21/22

In what seems like the blink of an eye, mentions of robotic process automation (RPA) have become ubiquitous in the healthcare industry.

Since the pandemic, RPA has solved multiple challenges effectively — from reducing errors and costs — to freeing clinicians to focus on more strategic initiatives. As a result, half of US health systems have reported investing in RPA by 2023, according to Gartner

But the concept of RPA is still evolving to address the unique complexities of the healthcare industry. Forward-thinking tech leaders are now leveraging the combination of RPA and AI to maximize automation benefits at scale. This brings me to the subject at hand — welcome to the era of RPA 2.0.

We’ve been watching these technology trends with great interest to ensure our customers’ continued success. Keysight clearly sees automation technologies that are changing the world (again). This time, it’s about blending RPA and AI to increase business efficiency. We’re excited about the possibilities. In this blog, we’ll cover why RPA 2.0 is becoming a necessity in healthcare's digital transformation, dive into critical use cases, and explain how Keysight Eggplant helps accelerate the implementation of RPA 2.0 healthcare.

What is RPA 2.0 in Healthcare?

To many sci-fi fans’ disappointment, there is still no physical robot involved in RPA 2.0. Instead, it combines AI and machine learning technologies to make robot software even smarter.

The initial iteration of RPA was all about using software bots to mimic human-computer interactions to carry out mundane, repetitive tasks. It focuses on replicating or automating basic business workflows such as logging into a system, downloading files, and transferring data. Clinicians still need to choose which workflows to execute and be very involved with initiating and verifying the process.

However, RPA 2.0, with the help of more advanced AI algorithms, unlocks new abilities such as natural language processing (NLP), character and image recognition, and enabling bots to see, think, and even improvise. Ultimately, you can expect them to be self-guiding to:

  • Automate more complex cognitive or decision-making processes.
  • Process a broader range of documents (handwriting, email, scan, and image) by analyzing both structured and unstructured data.
  • Understand information on the screen with intelligent computer vision.

How RPA 2.0 Accelerates Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Staff shortages, high patient volumes, and stringent regulations have overburdened the healthcare industry with increasing costs. With heightening pressures to optimize efficiency and improve patient experience, 90% of US hospitals had AI strategies in place by 2020. With the walk-in by AI, RPA 2.0 plays a crucial role in scaling the automation benefits at an enterprise level, which can help:

Reduce costs by automating healthcare workflows at scale

Running a healthcare institution involves various complex workflows — from appointment scheduling to diagnosis, treatment, and discharge. RPA 2.0 can orchestrate multiple tasks across teams, legacy or modern systems, and devices to scale quickly without increasing risk or compromising quality. It also gathers and analyzes data, enabling organizations to improve operations continuously in this complex, interconnected environment. 

Enhance accuracy and consistency

One of the biggest technical challenges in RPA is the increasing speed of software updates. Any changes —no matter how small— could cause errors or require the bots to be reprogrammed manually. The good news is that RPA 2.0 can further reduce manual effort and minimize the risk of human errors.

Improve patient self-serve

Automated patient self-service is vital to fostering disaster resilience. With advanced natural language understanding, RPA 2.0 can automate responses to inquiries on the website, patient registration at kiosks, front-line administrative queries, and many other communication services, significantly shortening the time to diagnosis, and freeing up resources.

Address compliance with confidence

Regulatory risk is a perennial concern for all healthcare industry leaders. RPA 2.0 provides a more consistent approach to compliance by automating and documenting each business process for increasingly changing requirements.

Simplify Your RPA 2.0 Implementation with Eggplant

The current economic climate demands that healthcare organizations identify ways to do more with less. The Eggplant platform design provides automated testing and RPA capabilities within one low-code platform, enabling our customers to kickstart their RPA 2.0 journey effortlessly.

Powered by its TensorFlow-based AI engine, Eggplant creates a digital twin so you can automate the business process. You can automate pretty much anything a human can do, such as responding directly to visual or audio inputs, quickly switching between applications or transferring data. Besides, it can also validate the process through its extensive verification functionality, allowing instantaneous alerts in case of a problem.

Eggplant addresses the essential privacy concerns in healthcare as our technology operates outside application software without interacting with the source code.

Customers across multiple industries have already seen efficiency gains in database migration, audit trails for federal organizations, and security patches for hospital servers. A London-based health system has also used Eggplant to automate workflows across multiple systems. The software manages three systems: student information, timetabling, and electronic medical records (EMR), by integrating different data sources into one single source of truth for scheduling optimization.

Reasons to choose Eggplant for RPA

The Path Forward

There is no doubt that the pandemic was a wake-up call. To thrive in the coming decade, healthcare organizations must accelerate the digital transformation to withstand disruptions and emerge stronger. With RPA and AI working in harmony, RPA 2.0 plays a more critical role in transforming the healthcare industry in a direction focused on healthier patients, more accessible healthcare, improved patient experience, enhanced use of data, and an industry-wide commitment to value and quality.

Learn more by reading RPA, the Eggplant Way. Get your copy here. No time to read it? Watch the on-demand Keysight webinar to hear from Redpoint Summit founder Chuck Schneider about his insights on the future of RPA in healthcare.

Topics:Healthcareartificial intelligencerobotic process automationRPAdigital transformation

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