Driving Efficiency with Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Process automation is technology that can be implemented today that can impact the bottom line for labor costs and increase efficiency. Such automation can also be used to improve processes across an organization — a tougher task, but one that can open the door to cost savings. An example of this would be invoice three-way matching, a process that involves procuring, receiving and paying for goods. It’s very labor intensive but helps to control costs, reduce fraud and improve cash flow. Automation through systems integration can make invoice three-way matching seamless and decrease the time spent performing these tasks.
Many enterprise resource planning solutions, such as those from Oracle and others, have process automation built into their platforms and can support healthcare organizations as they migrate to the cloud. Altogether, ERP tools can help streamline administrative processes in HR, finance and supply chain management that are contributing to skyrocketing labor costs.
Automation can also improve clinical processes. For example, Monument Health in South Dakota turned to Artisight, a solution that combines video and artificial intelligence to automate hospital workflows. It first used the tool to track handwashing and has plans to use it to help with patient monitoring.
Improvements in AI also help providers offer better diagnoses. Physicians or specialists who can provide quicker interventions will ultimately help drive healthcare costs down.
Upfront Investments in Cybersecurity Lead to Long-Term Savings
For healthcare organizations that are still working on their cybersecurity strategies, there may be initial upfront costs, but the long-term payoff of avoiding a cyberattack will make the investment worth it.
Cybersecurity threats in the healthcare space have increased at an alarming rate over the past several years. If you consider the costs of recovering data, the labor involved in rebuilding and the potential of lost revenue from system downtime and reputational harm, it’s no surprise that recovering from cyberattacks can turn a healthcare organization’s financial status upside down.
Rather than building a security team in house and scrambling for skilled professionals who are already in short supply, a more cost-effective and achievable solution might be to partner with a company that has the expertise and depth of experience in healthcare cybersecurity.
Other Opportunities for Managed Services in Healthcare
Cybersecurity is not the only area where managed services can help drive cost savings. Healthcare leaders can outsource specialties such as IT, HR, food service, labs and pharmacies as part of their cost-reduction strategy to reduce overhead and free up hospital dollars for re-investment in technology, clinicians and other critical functions.
However, it’s important to manage these services correctly. Having too many vendors and protocols can lead to increased expense and be counterproductive. Also, variability in services provided can impact quality and, potentially, patient care. Conversely, consolidating services through a single partner can lead to lower overall costs and increased quality. A single partner also makes it easier administratively, which can also reduce costs.