Automation: No longer Nice to Have… But Need to Have!

Hospital systems believe overall cost reduction and efficiency are their top two financial priorities, Health Leaders recently reported. With the healthcare industry continually looking to cut costs and improve efficiency, automation of manual tasks can be an important part of a strategy for performance improvement.

An aging population along with more people in the healthcare system will require more care, and staffing levels in healthcare will not be able to keep up. A shortage in staffing is a potential threat that hospitals must prepare for. The looming shortage of nurses demands efficiency and the elimination of redundant work and manual tasks. At Output, we want to help the charge towards automation.

Once the industry transitions to population health automation goes from a “nice to have” to a “need to have.” There are not enough care providers to continuously monitor and check in with large patient populations for this new model of care. A report by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation says, “Automation makes population health management feasible, scalable and sustainable.”

Automation is often linked to a negative connotation in association with the loss of jobs in manufacturing industries. However, the goal is to remove counting tasks that require little cognitive value, and instead allows highly trained professionals to focus on more clinically-relevant work for productivity.

Make no mistake: automation cannot replace doctors and nurses. Not close.  However, automation can be blended in to their workflows to make a wide swath of care delivery processes much more efficient and to improve productivity.

When looking for ideal areas to apply automation in the healthcare environment, a standardized, repeatable process is the first thing to look for. Within hospital walls, a common procedure that is performed on a large population of patients on a routine basis, like urine output measurement, is a prime area to apply automation tools.