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Nancy Powaga
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 |  December 04, 2020

healthcare-1Enterprise IT leaders across the globe are increasingly looking for new ways to optimize operational efficiency, increase employee productivity, and accelerate the speed of innovation to stay competitive and meet customer demands. To achieve these goals, leaders across industries are embracing automation as a way to reshape their digital strategies in the face of extraordinary risk and challenge. 

Automation removes the barriers of legacy systems, manual processes, and a shortage in skilled technical staff so that organizations can accelerate their digital transformations – and healthcare leaders should take note. Because the healthcare industry has been traditionally slow to embrace digital, its CIOs and IT leaders are now facing unprecedented challenges: According to Gartner, 63% of healthcare providers have faced severe disruptions due to internal organizational changes, cost pressure, regulation and compliance requirements, funding issues, or shifting consumer demands. Savvy healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to solutions such as no-code automation to help address these disruptions and usher the healthcare industry into a new digital era.

Google Cloud’s AppSheet’s no-code platform makes it easy for caregivers, receptionists, billing teams, and others working in healthcare to create easy-to-use applications and automations that streamline and speed up workflows – all without needing help from the IT department. Below are just a few ways that teams in healthcare are leveraging automation to drive efficiency today, while laying the groundwork for a healthier tomorrow:

Appointment scheduling: Automating appointment scheduling not only reduces scheduling errors, but also increases staff efficiency, effectively fills provider schedules, reduces no-shows, and improves patient satisfaction. According to a recent Accenture Health analysis, nearly 40% of the top 100 U.S. health systems and 10% of remaining U.S. health systems offer patients the ability to digitally self-schedule appointments, and these numbers are predicted to sharply increase over the next few years.

Claims processing: Healthcare providers are facing increased competition and customer demands, but often struggle to keep up due to a lack of operational efficiency. Automation software can help speed up the processing of insurance claims and billing, leading to improved customer satisfaction, as well as more efficient bookkeeping. Automated anomaly detection can also flag potential errors — a benefit impossible to achieve with paper-based systems.

Post-visit information: Today, consumers expect seamless, personalized digital experiences, whether they’re checking out in a store or at the doctor’s office. Just as a retail store might send consumers a digital receipt after a purchase, healthcare providers are now using automation to automatically send exiting patients push notifications with after-visit summaries, information about prescribed medications, and billing updates. 

Treatment analysis: With automation software, healthcare providers can track an individual’s health and treatment history. Over time, this data can inform improved treatment plans and methods of care. Additionally, the data can be anonymized to study health trends in populations to inform complex decisions around public health issues such as vaccination, the benefits of exercise, and the impact of nutrition and diet changes.

Automating healthcare workflows: Stagnating legacy systems are notorious for creating bottlenecks that stifle IT’s ability to support new initiatives or drive innovative solutions. Yet many current healthcare workflows and tools – including patient intake forms, medical history lookup or reference, patient communications, surveys, and insurance verification – depend on legacy systems that require time-consuming repetitive and error-prone manual tasks. Digitally-mature healthcare organizations are automating these tasks to streamline processes, reduce error, and allow employees more time to focus on patient care and other high-value, strategic activities. 

Staffing: Automation in healthcare staffing can be invaluable, as automation systems can leverage machine learning (ML) to project staffing needs based on a number of changing variables. With automation, providers can more accurately predict staffing needs in the event of a patient influx due to, for example, flu season. Appropriate staffing can not only reduce patient wait times, but can also save lives.

COVID-19 screening: COVID-19 has created a new set of challenges, as providers must screen every patient based on symptoms, body temperature, and potential exposure. To alleviate strain, clinics are using chatbots and other communication apps that can screen patients and automatically connect them with a COVID test or physician’s appointment. This type of automation can be applied to other types of health screenings – for example, chatbots are being used effectively to screen for depression – as well as to scale and streamline patient flow.

Ordering prescriptions: To provide immediate service to every patient — regardless of location — many providers are choosing to automate prescription renewal requests. This allows patients to easily request refills when they need, without having to call into an office, an approach that  saves time for providers and patients alike.

Automating workflows not only accelerates healthcare’s digital transformation and increases patient satisfaction, it also reduces manual processes and drives operational efficiency. To help organizations achieve their digital transformation goals, Google Cloud’s AppSheet combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with the benefits of no-code development to enable all employees to quickly automate existing processes without having to write code. This means that all employees, regardless of technical skill, can automate work in order to keep patients — and the industry — in good health.

Ready to start your own no-code automation project? AppSheet is always free to start:

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Nancy Powaga

Nancy helps app creators build and learn with AppSheet.

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[Healthcare Apps, AppSheet Automation]