Automation: Understand tools at hand

Q. What are the main tools that enable automation?
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Friday, February 24, 2017

A. Automation can deliver the biggest impact on your bottom line through document management and business process management (BPM). Document management goes well beyond being paperless. True document management can store any information to create a complete file—including documents, pictures, spreadsheets, notes and even data capture through digital forms. It is a single portal through which your team can access information, collaborate and track progress.

Automation can be leveraged in multiple ways. Barcoding and OCR text reading minimize manual filing. Alerts keep you abreast of missing data or important patient information. Audit trails improve tracking and compliance. Instant handoffs happen without leaving your desk. Reporting provides valuable insight into your patient population. In a nutshell: You don’t just improve how information is stored, you improve how work gets done.

BPM is often referred to as “workflow automation,” but there is more to it than that. With BPM you get a platform you can configure to meet the needs of your own operation. You determine the who, what, when and what next of every step of a process. BPM acts as a hub where data and documents are pooled from multiple sources for automated assignment to the most qualified employee, based on logic you set. BPM software allows you to automatically trigger and update work assignments as data comes in, employ alerts and escalations to keep you on track, and provide real-time reporting to continually refine your processes, avoid errors, and improve your margins. BPM is all about letting the technology handle the clerical tasks.

Ellen Sluder is vice president of marketing for Medforce Technologies. Reach her at esluder@medforcetech.com.