Incorporating automation into your care processes can improve care coordination and take care delivery from good to great. But taking healthcare from great to exceptional requires evolution beyond simple automation – care orchestration.
Care orchestration integrates data from multiple sources, applies clinical knowledge in real-time, and uses intelligent automation to individualize each patient’s care at scale.
The good news is you can break down this evolution into manageable steps. When thinking of automating processes, you can begin anywhere, but consider looking at your patient access and intake processes to drive value right from the start.
Automation Your Way
With automation, you can think more holistically upfront and implement strategically in manageable phases. Starting small means faster deployment and value realization. Change can be managed more tightly and proof seen by stakeholders to drive project momentum and provide a clear picture of what orchestration can do.
Another automation approach is to dive in with the end-to-end workflow – tackling the access, intake, and post-visit communication to complete a single user experience throughout. Access can include automated appointment reminders and notifications, rescheduling, and cancellations. Post-visit communications can include simple outreach to check-in with the patient, surveys for feedback, and automated follow-up activities. A more holistic implementation centered around the patient’s care journey creates more value for the patient and the teams managing and coordinating care activities.
Tips for Automating Patient Intake
So how do you know how much to bite off? What’s the best way to think about this?
- Start with the key metrics and challenges for your area. Are you trying to reduce no-shows, increase capacity for your teams by reducing manual tasks, or help your teams focus on key activities instead of low-level tasks? Do you have staffing challenges? Where are the bottlenecks in the processes? Are there patient populations you have a hard time managing or reaching?
- Define what good, great, and exceptional care operations processes look like in your department and for your population of patients. Consider automating best practice workflows with different populations – primary care, chronic conditions, and day surgery.
- Do a gap analysis. Create one end-to-end care journey map for today – from the first patient interaction to the conclusion of their appointment and follow-up. Then look at what you’d like it to be in the future with automation. Be sure to include every step of the process, consider all user groups impacted, and involve all parties upfront.
- Treat ‘go-live’ as just the beginning. Once live, it is typical to adjust and optimize the pathway. But at this point, the work of orchestration – extending your starter pathway to encompass care more longitudinally or to alternative/parallel pathways based on diagnosis, response, or preference – is only just beginning.
Check out our new infographic, Pitfalls of Patient Intake and how to address them
Evolving Automation to Care Orchestration
There is no right or wrong way to tackle process automation; it’s hard to know where to begin, how much to bite off, and how to tie together an orchestrated environment. But one thing’s for sure – it helps to learn from the experience of others and build on what’s worked well rather than what hasn’t; patient intake is a good place to start.
Ready to get started? We’ve helped organizations like yours dive into automation with success. We’d love to show you the results and share how we can drive impactful automation for you, too.