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Industry Focus: Healthcare Finance Management

Healthcare finance management requires automation to streamline financial tasks. Learn about automation shaping the future of healthcare in this blog.

Integrating automation into healthcare’s finance processes is a pivotal step towards transformative efficiency and enhanced patient care. While the concept of automation may cause concerns about job displacement or technological complexity, its potential to streamline processes, reduce errors and alleviate burdens on finance teams in the healthcare industry is undeniable.

In this blog, we explore how automation isn't just a tool for simplifying healthcare finance management but also a catalyst for empowering healthcare workers to deliver exceptional medical care.

What Is Healthcare Finance Management?

More than reducing costs, healthcare finance management is balancing expenditures with all the necessary day-to-day needs to provide the best care. It involves all the actions done to make sure that a healthcare organisation continues to operate effectively, including risk management and cash flow monitoring.

Why is finance important in healthcare? Without finance, the healthcare industry won’t be able to understand its profitability, interpret financial data and deliver insights to stakeholders.

As challenges emerge in the industry (e.g. increasing costs, limited funding, etc.), finance and accounting teams use their expertise to navigate issues. Automation in healthcare, specifically, makes solving issues a lot easier.

To understand modern-day healthcare finance management, first, let’s look at how automation is changing the healthcare industry. 

What Is the Role of Automation in Healthcare?

1. Improving patient experience

No one likes manually filling out forms these days, especially when they’re at a hospital or clinic waiting to be accommodated. Manually booking an appointment is no fun either. With automation, patients can input their details in an online database that stores their info and patient history which will be helpful for their next visit. They can book appointments, access their health information and get telemedicine services too. These simple yet helpful changes not only improve patient experience but also relieve staff from doing tedious tasks.

2. Enhancing employee productivity

Automation is the elimination of manual paperwork. Employees will no longer have to manually work on patient tracking, auditing and shift planning, to name a few. Having all these done through a system enhances employee productivity and overall performance.

3. Helping provide precise diagnoses

Doctors no longer have to go over pages and pages of information to check patient records and medical history. Automation allows them to check the patient’s records within a few clicks so they can easily evaluate their health. When medical records are kept together in digital form, doctors can provide a precise diagnosis and better interpret test results.

4. Processing accurate claims

Employees in the healthcare industry deal with insurance claim management every day. It’s no secret that manually working on claims is a tedious and error-prone process. When healthcare companies use automation, they won’t have to manually enter or verify data. They eliminate errors while still ensuring that the claims are accurate.

5. Settling patient bills

Healthcare involves bill calculation, but it’s such a routine task that’s prone to human errors, especially when they have to compute for all the treatments, tests, promotions and discounts. Automation can easily compute the total and notify the patients about the costs.

Automating Processes: What Is Automation in Healthcare?

Finance automation in healthcare is leveraging technology to streamline and optimise financial processes and workflows within a healthcare organisation. The main idea of automation in healthcare is reducing manual tasks and increasing efficiency across various areas, such as finance, HR and admin.

How to Automate Paper Processes in Healthcare

1. Audit your business

Before you start automating, know what you need to automate. Find this out by asking your team which paper-based and manual processes are causing the most delays and/or prone to errors.

2. Review your existing systems and processes

If all your current processes are paper-based, then you may proceed with choosing your tech partner or automation software. However, if there’s already existing software in your processes, find out if it needs to be upgraded based on new legal requirements or software specifications. That way, you get a better estimation of the timeframe, budget and tech partner or software needed.

3. Choose your tech partner or automation software

Research potential tech partners and automation software solutions that specialise in automation. Consider factors such as industry experience, customer stories and case studies. The one you choose must have a proven track record of successful implementations and expertise.

4. Work with your tech partner to create a development plan

Develop a detailed list of tasks and deadlines. The plan that you come up with will serve as a navigation guide for your project and give details on where the team is at.

5. Develop the modules and integrate them into your systems

Integrating a new automation software into your healthcare organisation's processes requires careful planning and collaboration. This is the part where you work with your in-house technicians so they can move databases and help you navigate the whole process.

Benefits of Automation in Healthcare

1. Streamlined processes and simplified scheduling

Automation in healthcare can help admin staff schedule and manage appointments because the system can book appointments and send reminders to patients, allowing staff to focus more on patient care.

2. Reduced errors

Manual errors in healthcare can have severe consequences due to the critical nature of healthcare services. Automation eliminates the risk of human error inherent in manual data entry, calculations and documentation.

3. Alleviated burdens and reduced workload

Reduced workload also reduces overhead costs. With automation, staff can do more in less time, and they get to divert most of their attention to quality patient care.

4. Empowered healthcare workers

Automation empowers healthcare workers by reducing administrative burden, providing access to real-time data and optimising resource allocation. With automation in their processes, healthcare organisations can empower their workforce to deliver high-quality, patient-centred care.

5. Improved patient communication

Automation can provide email and SMS communication to help build patient relationships. It improves patient communication by using mobile interaction for appointment reminders, bill payments and care instructions.

6. Compliance

The Privacy Act 1988 is the Australian equivalent of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). It protects patients’ personal and healthcare data and holds healthcare organisations accountable for any breaches. Automation can help ensure your organisation’s compliance by configuring data usage rights.

Healthcare financial management plays a pivotal role in ensuring the fiscal health and sustainability of healthcare organisations while delivering high-quality patient care. By automating financial processes, healthcare organisations can accelerate processing times, increase accuracy and enhance revenue.

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