Automation Becomes a Future-State Mandate
Shifting business dynamics driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 have intensified the need for automation as organizations face massive financial pressures while abruptly transitioning their teams to remote work. When a hold on elective procedures and other early restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of the virus, many organizations had to furlough staff, operate with reduced capacity, and facilitate new work-from-home arrangements. When demand returned, hospitals and health systems had to bring staff back on campus and pivot operations once again. These challenges have many providers shifting their perspective of automation tools for the revenue cycle from nice-to-haves to future-state mandates. Organizations with robust automation solutions in place to fortify their revenue cycle operations were better able to mitigate the impact of these disruptions on their staff and their bottom line.
Challenges of Deploying New Technologies in a Pandemic
Traditional approaches to deploying automation or other technology tools typically require consultants to shadow employees to document workflows and processes. The new work-from-home environment and social distancing requirements for staff working on-site significantly limited the ability to shadow staff. As a result, implementation timelines slowed or projects were paused altogether, especially for solutions that rely on tandem work with consultants to develop and maintain them. As a result, revenue cycle leaders are prioritizing the ability of technology partners to deploy their solutions rapidly and entirely remotely.