Automation technology is taking off in every sphere that it can be implemented in, thanks to the increased adoption of AI, machine learning, and mechatronics. Recent statistics show that up to 47% of jobs will be partially or fully automated over the next two decades. Though many assume this will only affect clerical, manufacturing, and industrial jobs, the technology has a far wider reach.
Automation can help in many mid and top-level management positions, including clinic management. Here we discuss the various tasks associated with clinic management. Find out how healthcare automation can help managers boost efficiency across the board.
Overview of Automation for Clinic Management
Clinical management is at its basic components very similar to the management of any other operation. The aspects of management (HR, Supply Chain, Finance, and Client Relations, to name a few) are simply geared toward managing a business that provides medical care. Healthcare automation is simply process automation specifically for healthcare facilities.
Conventionally, for example, a doctor or nurse would have to manually keep track of their patients’ visits. They would have to enter the data into a logbook or spreadsheet and then schedule checkups and reminders. They would then have to call the patient or send an email.
If clerical staff or the professionals themselves forgot a step, patients could miss checkups or important visits. Today, clinics can get software that automatically handles scheduling and even sends reminder emails and texts on its own. This eliminates any chance of double booking or failure to send reminders.
Automation software for healthcare management can handle many tasks, including:
- Reminding staff and patients about appointments
- Scheduling of appointments and follow-ups
- Transferring medical records
- Scheduling prescription refills
- The intake process
- Handling surveys, questionnaires, and FAQs
- Managing PPE and medical inventory
- Conducting triage
Automating Clerical Tasks
A recent study showed that managers spent more than half of their time on admin and only 7% of their time training staff and interacting with stakeholders. Ideally, you’d want your managers to spend the bulk of their time training, motivating, and engaging with staff. However, managers often end up pitching in when there’s a backlog of administrative duties.
With healthcare automation, you can relieve managers and staff of many clerical burdens.
Appointment scheduling software is a common form of this type of system. It can help track staff hours and patients’ appointment needs to schedule appointments efficiently. It can also integrate with automated messaging software that sends timely reminders to prevent missed appointments.
Inventory management software is also useful for clinics. Healthcare managers can integrate it with their POS system in the on-site pharmacy. This way they’ll be able to track the availability of different medications.
Managers can use these systems to monitor medical supplies in the clinic as well. The software will keep track of the amount of medicine, PPE, food, and emergency supplies as they get used. It can even integrate with automated supply chain software and automatically update purchase orders when stocks run low.
Automated supply chain software can fill orders for everything from new nurse uniforms to defibrillators and more. These systems do, however, always need a manager to watch over them to ensure the information is accurate. People will always be involved with these tasks, but computers make them easier and less vulnerable to mistakes.
One of the greatest leaps forward in tech and patient care is remote patient monitoring (RPM). RPM allows doctors to monitor patients without them having to be in the same building. This comes in various forms, each with its own benefits.
The tech that patients put on and take home for a few days is called wearable RPM tech. Remote cardiac monitors are a good example. These periodically test a patient’s vitals and send the data to the clinic.
Clinicians can read data from wearable RPMs to help them diagnose a condition. This improves patient comfort and frees up space in the clinic and in the doctor’s schedule.
AI and RPM
Adding artificial intelligence into the mix helps diagnostics go even faster. A computer never sleeps and can monitor the data feed 24/7. If a patient’s condition changes suddenly in the middle of the night, the computer can alert medical staff immediately.
A more advanced form of this is an algorithm that makes predictions based on the data. Programs like these can also be useful for reading X-Rays, MRIs, and other such diagnostic tools. At Stanford, they’ve even made one that can spot skin cancer faster than human dermatologists.
Improve Patient Experience
Automated systems can make the patient’s experience easier as well. Firstly, by helping clinic staff manage admin, the software also eliminates the effects clerical errors have on patients.
Patients will always be kept on top of their appointments. If they have a higher chance of showing up the first time, every time, they avoid cancellation penalties. They also get their treatment earlier and don’t have to sit with a condition that could get worse.
Inventory software can make sure medicine is readily available. This saves your patients from frustration and saves your clinic from stock-out costs.
Automated triage is another way to improve the patient experience. Automated systems can eliminate inefficiencies and free up staff to be more attentive to patients.
With AI diagnostics, patients can also get feedback sooner. This gives them more time to absorb the information and respond to it. They’ll also be able to speak to their insurer sooner.
Learn More About Automation and Healthcare
Automation is improving many industries, including the healthcare business. Using automation in your clinic management is a great way to cut costs and inefficiencies. With auto-payment, scheduling, and other programs, you can also boost productivity.
Healthcare automation can also go much further. With RPM you can monitor more patients at the same time. Advanced diagnostics and scheduling can then help handle the extra volume of patients.
These technologies are only going to keep getting better, which is why you should learn more about automation today. It may soon be a necessary tool for your job. Learn more today by checking out our technology blog.