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ROI Measurement Features while Implementing RPA in Healthcare Organizations

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ROI Measurement Features while Implementing RPA in Healthcare Organizations

According to Cloudmed, a leader in Revenue Intelligence™ solutions for healthcare providers, the vast majority of revenue cycle leaders are not looking to eliminate positions through RPA adoption despite promises of labor savings. Oftentimes, organizations actually promote staff to higher levels and/or they’re redeployed to other areas to support the organization. This reality poses obvious problems for revenue cycle leaders feeling the pressure to justify RPA projects based on an assumption of an actual reduction in headcount.

Healthcare organizations with experience using RPA technology understand that automation has a multitude of benefits: quantitative, operational, and qualitative, and individual use cases often drive value across all three. Automation such as RPA technology can be a real game-changer. But when the game changes, so too must the approach to evaluating performance and measuring success.

“Before healthcare organizations go live with automation, they must make sure to revisit their productivity metrics. Not doing so is the fastest way to ensure the revenue cycle team is not on board with automation if staff think they will be held to the same productivity standards for more complex tasks as they had with more basic assignments.”

Lynne Hildreth, VP of Workforce Automation, Cloudmed

Revenue cycle staff are integral to the successful adoption of RPA technology. Therefore, their leaders have the responsibility to explain the benefits of automation and the opportunities it presents for meaningful work.

“If the organization takes those easier rote tasks away without discussing how metrics and goals will change, like AR days, initial denial rate, clean claim rate, etc., it will come face to face with skeptical staff. The other piece of the puzzle is looking at all the productivity metrics used for evaluating the human workforce to determine that RPA is doing what it is supposed to.”

Matt Jarvis, VP of Automation, Cloudmed

Truly measuring the success of RPA adoption requires a wide set of metrics to avoid disappointment.

“We always talk about measuring labor benefits by touches and work avoided. For example, a bot might check something 15 times a day which a person would only do once, with a single touch. That does not translate to 15 times the value. That’s where we’ve just seen a lot of criticism around ROI growing in RPA.”

Lynne Hildreth, VP of Workforce Automation, Cloudmed

This confusion around measuring how RPA technology benefits a healthcare organization highlights the value of working with a strategic automation partner with revenue cycle expertise and the ability to guide the organization on where to look for value and track progress toward goals.

“There’s a perception among vendors who do not work every day with revenue cycle teams that staff just want to show up, do their job, and go home and have little concern for the work in front of them. But I’ve worked in organizations that have MBAs working on denials who want to spend their time identifying trends and solving more complicated problems. This kind of job satisfaction goes a long way toward staff retention and improves quality in those more complex workflows. There’s huge value in that, but it may be harder to quantify than the more ‘obvious’ benefits of automation.”

Matt Jarvis, VP of Automation, Cloudmed

When making the business case for RPA technology, revenue cycle leaders need to bring a few essential bits of information to the table. They begin with baseline data against which the organization will be able to set realistic expectations for automation and its impact and finally turn to the effect of improvements on staff performance, quality of work, value of data, and reduced compliance risks. By focusing the conversation about the benefits of RPA implementation across three categories — quantitative, operational, and qualitative — revenue cycle leaders can garner support for leveraging powerful technology that improves efficiency, quality, and revenue.

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