A critical component of your Robotic Process Automation (RPA) strategy is to start by determining the best business processes to automate in the very early stages of your journey with RPA. Processes you might consider for RPA typically share the following characteristics:
- High-volume and repetitive: High transaction volume, routine processes running periodically (daily or weekly).
- Rule-based: Standardized processes, decision-making based on predictive rules.
- Mature and stable: Documented and stable with predictable operational costs.
- High ROI potential: Choose processes that provide significant automation savings, usually 2 FTEs work-effort.
- Readable inputs: Processes triggered by standard and readable electronic inputs like MS Word, Excel, XML, PPT, PDFs. If working with scanned images, RPA can be enhanced with an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) add-on.
- Operations: Back-office processes in Finance & Accounting, HR, IT, and front-office processes (e.g., customer onboarding and support).
According to a 2018 Deloitte Global RPA Survey, RPA is already delivering value, and early adopters are achieving significant benefits. Key findings include:
- 53% of respondents have already started their RPA journey. This is expected to increase to 72% in the next two years. If this continues at its current level, RPA will have achieved near-universal adoption within the next five years.
- The benefits of RPA adoption are significant. Payback was reported in under 12 months, with an average 20% of full-time equivalent (FTE) capacity provided by robots. RPA continues to meet and exceed expectations across multiple dimensions including improved compliance (92%), improved quality/accuracy (90%), improved productivity (86%), cost reduction (59%).
- 78% of those who have already implemented RPA expect to significantly increase investment in RPA over the next three years, yet scaling RPA is proving more difficult than anticipated: only 3% of organizations have scaled their digital workforce.
When it comes to the healthcare ecosystem—which has experienced rapid transformation due to evolving patient expectations around playing an active role in choosing their treatment path—where are the opportunities for RPA?
Let’s look at some Healthcare Provider use cases to highlight where there’s a high, medium, or low potential for RPA:
When these use cases are put into practice, some benefits healthcare providers are seeing from RPA include:
- Better cost management: A software robot’s cost is a fraction of that of a human employee. For repetitive tasks that are prone to errors, RPA provides significant savings that can be reinvested, enabling better patient care.
- Optimized regulatory compliance: RPA ensures all process steps are tracked, traceable, documented, and organized in well-structured logs—facilitating readiness for external audits.
- Increased Appointment-Turnout and Fewer Cancelled Appointments: Healthcare providers suffer financially when appointments are missed due to last minute no-shows or cancellations. With the use of RPA to automate scheduling and send appointment reminders to patients, doctors can maximize the number of patients they see each day, increasing productivity and efficiency.
But implementing change can be difficult for any company as it often involves changes in employees’ day-to-day tasks. RPA is no exception. Some challenges you’ll experience when implementing RPA include:
- Lack of the Required Skills: A team makes a process successful. If your team lacks the required skills to implement robotic process automation, significant investment in training or outside consulting will be necessary.
- RPA Maintenance: Often, challenges or difficulties are only revealed once the implementation is complete and all RPA processes have successfully been deployed. One such challenge is Maintenance. During running and efficiency processes, RPA solutions will require maintenance. If you’re not initiating the maintenance protocols, you will find it difficult—which will have downstream cost implications for your organization.
- Business Case Issues: RPA implementation requires buy-in from all department leads, whether IT, Finance, HR, etc. Working in isolation will not be effective for any BPA solution.
Despite the above-mentioned challenges, the benefits of RPA solutions for your company, partners, and clients far outweigh these challenges, so long as you hire a trusted partner like Anexinet to help put the necessary risk mitigation strategies in place to improve your RPA success. To get started with RPA or to learn more about all that RPA can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’d love to help you get started.
Senior Mobile Strategist & Digital Transformation Leader at Propelics
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