The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed healthcare organizations with an influx of patients, stretching their resources when trying to meet patient needs and provide critical, life-saving care. Now, as the vaccine distribution begins, hospitals and healthcare facilities want to ensure a safe, efficient rollout. Over the last few months, healthcare providers have been faced with the challenges of outdated infrastructure, heavy web traffic, catastrophic snowstorms and communication obstacles while trying to provide communities with the COVID-19 vaccine. But intelligent automation has been key in overcoming these by providing a bolstered workforce with digital workers to unburden and speed up some of the most important steps of the vaccine journey.
The pandemic has highlighted how many healthcare organizations are struggling to operate with outdated technology infrastructure and legacy systems. For example, as vaccines become available to new groups, healthcare administrators are relying on virtual waiting rooms where people can book vaccine appointments. However, many healthcare organizations’ legacy systems are ill-equipped to support this sudden spike in web traffic, causing webpages to crash and delaying vaccine registration. These online challenges have been compounded by recent snowstorms across the United States, delaying vaccine shipments, canceling previously registered appointments, and disrupting communication between healthcare providers and vaccine manufacturers.
This is where intelligent automation and digital workers come into their own. Intelligent automation enables interoperability with legacy systems and new technology to great effect and we’ve seen some impressive success stories already where solutions have effectively streamlined this critical effort.
Intelligent Automation in COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
As healthcare organizations find themselves entrenched in the complex logistical process of COVID-19 vaccine rollout, they are now ready to embrace solutions that will support the heavy administrative workload that comes with reporting first- and second-round vaccine recipients, and the potential backlog this can create. According to Gartner, half of U.S. healthcare providers plan to invest in robotic process automation (RPA) over the next three years. RPA can offer significant time and cost savings, helping healthcare organizations avoid $150B worth of revenue loss every year tied to manually managed errors for patient appointments and bookings without increasing labor for healthcare administrators. Not only does this use of RPA, a key part of intelligent automation, enable trained, skilled healthcare workers to focus on higher-level, interpersonal tasks by automating their administrative workload, but also it can offer improved data quality and eliminate the risk of human error.
Quality data management is essential in vaccine distribution, enabling various locations to quickly and accurately report first- and second-round vaccine recipients, and accelerate the distribution of vaccines where there is a need. For example, Blue Prism recently partnered with Information Builders (ibi), a TIBCO company, to offer a secure, automated solution for the fast tracking of vaccination management capable of generating and gathering information needed to accurately and swiftly provide vaccine orders, and register, track and distribute vaccinations. By combining real-time public health data with supply chain information received from vaccine manufacturers, distributors, and healthcare organizations, intelligent automation solutions give healthcare workers time back to focus on what matters most: their patients.
Cultivating Safe Patient Interactions in Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare organizations have faced a number of obstacles in their efforts to deliver essential, life-saving care over the past year, from outdated infrastructure to poor weather and communication delays. Intelligent automation has the potential to help address the many logistical challenges of vaccine rollout and help highly skilled healthcare workers return their focus to the critical tasks at hand.