By Gururaja Yellapur
The shift from old paper-based method of record keeping to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and online sharing of information are all indicative of the fact that we are well on our way into a digital era. Valuable petabytes of data is being generated on a daily basis which healthcare service providers want to harness to improve their business.
These factors are further propelling the widespread adoption of automation in the healthcare sector with an aim to help people work more efficiently, better utilise resources and provide better services to patients. Healthcare outsourcing business is largely affected by this transformation on the payers (insurance companies) and providers (hospital) side. Companies are seeking data-driven solutions and partnering with the ones who are early adopters of the same.
Firstly, with the onset of automation in healthcare outsourcing business, companies are now able to help healthcare payers and providers with data-driven solutions. This is possible through proactive analytics done based on the voluminous data being worked upon. Health systems, physician groups, health plans, self-insured organisations are among other players benefiting from this revolution in healthcare industry.
Secondly, automation has also helped in increasing reimbursements, enhancing coding compliance, improving billing efficiency to accelerating cash flow, reducing accounts receivables and minimising write-offs and accelerating turnaround of claims and payments.
Thirdly, artificial intelligence is also helping patients receive more appropriate care tailored to their needs, in a more timely manner, as providers adopt predictive analytics.
A recent study of the France job market revealed that over the last 15 years or so, about 5,00,000 jobs were eliminated due to internet and e-commerce; at the same time about 1.2 million new jobs were created in various skill categories. In effect, for every job lost, 2.4 new jobs were created. A similar phenomenon holds good for the advancement of automation in the healthcare industry too.
A study by McKinsey estimates the number of jobs in the healthcare industry to grow by 50 million to 85 million by 2030. Simultaneously, in a study by Transparency Market Research, the Global Healthcare Automation market was valued at $28.31 billion in 2016, pacing ahead at a CAGR of 8.8% to reach a valuation of $58.98 billion by the end of 2025.
This clearly depicts the fact that the number of jobs will continue to grow in the healthcare industry whilst automation advances too.
Discussions on predictable disruption caused by automation and their impact on jobs are trending across the globe. Routine, manual jobs are being automated to enable people to focus on their core service and other strategic tasks that can better benefit the organisation.
For example, in a scenario of incremental coding standards and medical charts, computer-assisted coding is helping coders increase their productivity and accuracy. They can invest their time on predictive analysis that can help healthcare companies increase revenues and provide enhanced healthcare services to patients.
Automation is only a supplement for the existing job roles. To be able to derive better outcomes, the advancement of automation is not possible without human intervention.
With artificial intelligence and data analytics making big strides, there will be a visible change in the business ecosystem in India, and globally. Technologies that enable efficiency and accuracy in businesses are spreading across the ecosystem. This would lead to "systems that do" being less preferred and "systems that think" taking over.
Automation will help integrate advanced technological tasks with the traditional manual ones. Though automation will help in doing our jobs in a better way, human intervention will continue to play a key role in innovation and reasoning. It will provide newer opportunities for workforce in various healthcare segments, thus enabling the elevation of existing job profiles.
For instance, potential employees who are better at customer interaction, relationship building, analysis and mining data to gain deeper insights about customers would be sought after by employers.
People that are good in mathematics, statistics, etc will be in more demand as these skills are quite essential for harnessing the massive volume of data that need to be processed by the organisations in the coming years.
(The writer is Vice President - Software & Product Development, Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd)Read More