After RPA implementation you need not switch EHRs, here’s why

 Erika Regulsky RCM, RPA
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No need to switch EHRs after RPA implementation

The usual misconception when it comes to  RPA implemention is changing EHRs. The key reason why this happens is that most hospitals, medical groups, and individual practices have not utilized their EHR to the full extent or didn’t have the right experience to navigate the system.

There are some EHRs that have only basic functionality. If your practice uses those types of EHR and you wanted to have an upgrade by choosing a more versatile EHR then that is the best option. But switching EHRs that are already capable of managing full-scale end-to-end RCM when implementing RPA is not a wise move. Let us break that down for you in more detail.

Systematic RPA implementation in EHRs:

The first rule of implementing any automation or even robotic process automation bots for that instance is to evaluate the structure of your current RCM operations. If your hospital, medical group, or individual practice is an already established one and your CFOs or board members are looking for an alternative workforce that can manage manual entry-level tasks and your EHRs are one of the top 10 EHRs listed on websites like software advice then you are already in the high-end spectrum of RCM operations having various teams to undertake various RCM processes. 

For practices like this, it is clear that there is an overwhelming need for temporary staffing as the volumes get higher and you’re in-house staff cannot keep up with it. These high-end EHRs have various features that are not yet explored by your RCM staff and most mistakes occur as a result of this. It is not a good approach to switch EHRs after RPA implementation because RPA bots already are customizable and can be programmed to adapt to your current EHR. 

The other reason for systematic RPA implementation in EHRs is that switching EHR is a long and tedious process where data migration can be a problem for healthcare organizations that have years-old data. The time consumption of switching is much greater that implementing RPA. Think about the cost involved in switching EHR and migrating data. RPA implemented EHRs function better than RCM staff because the EHR is being used at its full potential making your monthly subscription fee for the EHR a worthwhile investment.

Structuring your RCM operations and RPA compatibility:

Blaming EHRs for lack of revenue or operational inefficiencies is a false notion. Sophisticated EHRs when used correctly will provide benefits that will be used in the future even when your RCM staff leaves your practice. The reason why is that when an EHR is set up it is typically from the ground up such as EDI enrollment and integration, ERA setup, etc. Even when your staff is on a long leave of absence or just quits without notice. This setup will back your RCM operations and keep the processes running smoothly when implemented RPA. RPA bots can be programmed in such a way that using only 2-3 staff you can perform the entire operations for months and even years without even hiring replacement staff. So structuring your RCM operation is the first step to better RCM performance and not switching EHR for the comfort of your staff.

The types of RPA bots that can be implemented without switching your EHR:

  1. Patient scheduling and registration chatbots with NLP and NLG optimization can easily communicate with patients and provide the right support 24/7 365 days.
  2. Data verification bots are some of the useful bots to implement in your EHR so that less time is taken in verifying certain data manually which includes eligibility and benefits verification, demographic data verification, prior authorization verification bots, etc.
  3. Data entry bots are the ultimate tool for your overwhelming patient volumes and claim to be billed on a daily basis completely unattended with only 2% of manual staff work required.
  4. Reconciliation and consolidation bots should be implemented in your EHR because they will avoid you going through the expensive task of switching EHR and keeps all things accounted for such as charges, payments, AR, denials, patient collections reports, etc.
  5. Interoperable bots are unique RPA bots that can navigate between various applications including third-party applications like Availity, EDI, and payer websites so that certain RCM processes that use these sites can be easily performed without switching your EHRs.

Understanding the functionality of your current EHR is the better way to improve your RCM operations with RPA and do not have the necessity to switch EHR any time soon. EHRs are constantly developing new features but the updates we receive from various EHR systems that we have a close connection with a state that drastic features are yet to be discovered when it comes to developing a self-sustaining EHR. It will probably take decades to solve this problem of developing an EHR that is self-aware and can automatically perform RCM tasks by only providing the patient’s information and the services or procedures performed to them. 

In the meantime, BillingParadise has developed various customizable RPA bots that can suit your EHR, practice specialty, and RCM operations requirements. Our dedicated team of well-experienced RPA and RCM experts research new ways to automate EHR systems and are more than capable of answering any questions in terms of deciding whether or not to switch EHRs after implementing RPA. Let us know your problem areas and we will provide you with the best solution!

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I’m a multi-certified revenue cycle management professional and compliance officer with 20+ years of experience. I contribute articles to leading healthcare publications and journals. I am currently working as Senior Transition Manager, in BillingParadise headquartered at Diamond Bar, California. BillingParadise offers Medical Billing Services that intersect perfectly with the EMR/Practice management system you use.BillingParadise has offices in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Texas.

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