Though automation has proven to be an excellent addition to many forward-thinking businesses, the healthcare industry has lagged behind in adopting automated practices. This is stunning, considering that there are few industries that stand to benefit more from automation than healthcare. Automation can free up doctors’ and nurses’ time, allowing for more patient interaction and fewer hours spent in the office doing routine paperwork. In truth, healthcare leaders need to embrace automation in order to better serve their growing patient populations.Automation at Work
Automation is a major part of our lives. Many things we do on a daily basis—tracking our fitness through wearable tech, programming our thermostats for automatic temperature adjustments, setting our security systems remotely—are automated. This leaves us with more time and energy to devote to other things.
Many businesses have embraced automation as well. Starting with Henry Ford, manufacturers discovered the benefits of automation, including reduced production costs, improved quality and reduced waste. But automation has spread beyond manufacturing. For instance, banks have embraced automation in the form of ATMs. In the past, customers had to fill out withdrawal or deposit forms and interact with a teller. Today, ATMs allow customers to quickly complete simple transactions on their own, while bankers can concentrate on more complicated transactions. More recently, some supermarket chains have implemented self-checkout lanes, allowing customers to scan and bag their own purchases, shortening check out wait times.
The Potential of Automation in Healthcare
Despite automation’s success in other industries, the healthcare industry has been slow to implement automated systems. Yet automation could undoubtedly help in one major area: worker shortages. Automation can eliminate redundant tasks and repetitive paperwork, allowing available staff to do more in less time and freeing them to focus on patient care.
Since automation tools are not subject to human error or fatigue, automation can improve the patient experience by providing more reliable information services. New healthcare technologies can handle everything from managing and curating medical records to tracking a patient’s health plan.
Automation can even improve patient safety. Healthcare IT News cites a study in which Texas hospitals used automated systems for the management of patient data. These hospitals proved to have a reduction in deaths, complications, and cost. For instance, they saw a 16% reduction in deaths of patients over the age of 50. Researchers say this is a direct result of automation’s ability to collect information and data that may have been missed or overlooked by human workers.
Automation and the Employee Experience
Many workers in the healthcare industry resist automation because they have an understandable fear of being replaced. However, automation can actually help improve the worker experience. HIT Consultants, for example, points to the machine that counts out pills in pharmacies. At one point, pharmaceutical workers worried that putting a “robot” in charge of pill counting would eliminate the need for the position. However, as automation was adopted, pharmacists were freed from menial tasks and were able to focus on more meaningful work. It is no different for other healthcare workers. Far from being the boogeyman that will cut jobs, automation will speed up mundane tasks so employees can do what they are trained to do—take care of patients!
Automation in Credentialing
One of the areas where hospitals could see an immediate benefit through automation is credentialing. Credentialing, especially medical staff credentialing is complex, time-consuming, and detail intensive. For the safety of patients, it’s essential that it be done correctly. Automated, cloud-based credentialing solutions, like IntelliCentrics SEC3URE, automatically check for errors and conduct real-time background checks against external and internal watch lists. To learn more about how an automated credentialing solution could help your facility improve efficiencies, download our white paper, 5 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Outsource Medical Staff Credentialing.
Automation Is the Answer
Healthcare administrators are increasingly looking for ways to reduce costs, eliminate waste, improve the customer experience, and create a safer and more secure environment. In all four cases, the answer is automation.

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