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5 Reasons to Embrace Automation at Your Healthcare Facility
No matter what study you look at, physicians spend far too much time on administrative tasks. One study done by Annals of Internal Medicine, an academic medical journal, came up with these alarming results:
- During the office day, physicians spent only 27 percent of their time seeing patients but 49 percent on EHR and desk work.
- While in the examination room, physicians spent 53 percent of their time in direct clinical face time with patients and 37 percent on EHR and desk work.
Based on a 2005 study from Annals of Internal Medicine, the situation is actually getting worse. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
AI and other technologies can automate many repetitive processes and even more complex tasks. Here’s how doctors can focus more on patients by embracing automation tools.
1. Automation Allows for More Value Creation
It’s easy to think of machines as taking our jobs. While that’s true, in a sense, what automation actually takes away the need to perform basic tasks and allows us to focus on creating value at a higher level.
For instance, the Oncology Expert Advisor at MD Anderson automates cognitive tasks for doctors by delivering the world’s medical knowledge to their fingertips. It can match patients to clinical-trial protocols, rank treatment options and even offer care advice. The advantage here is that this tool gives doctors more mental energy to understand the patient as a human being, not a diagnosis. This allows the doctor to optimize and customize treatment.
2. Automation Eliminates Human Error
According to Frank Mazza, MD, chief medical officer at Quantros, “Human error represents the root cause of many adverse events in some healthcare settings.” That’s scary.
What automation does is ensure that patient data and events are recorded efficiently, accurately and in real time. This gives doctors peace of mind knowing the information they have is correct and up to date. That means they can then strategize with other staff and the patient regarding his or her treatment.
3. Automation Reduces Time-Consuming Tasks
Automation tools can easily handle simple tasks like scheduling, collecting insurance and sending invoices and processing payments. This makes the operation much more efficient. Automation technologies can even do more complex tasks.
For instance, chatbots like HealthTap talk with patients to assess their condition and provide solutions. HealthTap also can book appointments with doctors, fill prescriptions and more. What such a tool gives physicians is more time to talk with patients about treatment options.
4. Automation Presents the Opportunity to Learn More
Technologies like big data, IoT and machine learning should be thought of as partners. They can help physicians become more knowledgeable and effective. After all, they filter information quickly and deliver real-time data and valuable insights.
As Deanna Murray, a digital technology expert, states, automation serves as “a companion tool to make quicker diagnoses, evaluate patient health trends, and aid in higher-volume record keeping.”
5. Automation Enables Doctors to Focus on Being Human
Some argue that AI, VR, robotics and other advanced tech will replace human doctors. One study even claims technology will be able to do 80 percent of what doctors do.
Perhaps it’s better to ask this: What can’t technology do? Well, an illness isn’t just physical pain. There’s psychological pain. As an article in JSTOR Daily notes, “Patients don’t wanted to simply be treated. They want to be cared for.”
So technology will pave the way for doctors to focus more on the holistic side of healing. That’s a wonderful thing.
Hospitals and doctors can’t fear automation. They must embrace it. Patient outcomes and experiences depend on having the most advanced and holistic care. Automation tools provide the necessary assistance for doctors to achieve the best possible care.
By taking steps to hire physicians who embrace automation, such as partnering with a reputable recruiting agency like Adaptive Medical Partners that knows how to find such doctors, healthcare facilities can set up themselves — and their patients — for sustained success.