Automation in healthcare is anything that is powered by information technology (IT), takes lesser time for execution of clinical and operational processes, saves resources, enhances outcomes and is sustainable.

Most CEOs and CFOs of hospital and healthcare systems are focused on bringing balance between the two opposing priorities of overall cost reduction and improving quality and efficiency as one of their top financial and clinical priorities. The recent healthcare reforms and increased competition among providers has brought healthcare systems under immense pressure to adopt newer technologies to reduce costs and eliminate waste in healthcare delivery.

Most healthcare systems are now keen to experiment with an array of technological solutions to cut costs and contain wasteful expenditure while not impacting the quality of the quality of care they deliver. Moreover, as hospitals move closer towards value based reimbursements, it has become imperative for them to adopt superior technology, analytics and software that help them reduce sepsis mortality by offering highest quality of care, as a corestrategy for improving outcomes and bottom lines.

According to Dr. Peter Buerhaus(Health Affairs) the nursing shortage in the US is projected to reach 260,000 by 2025. Many healthcare systems will have a hard time keeping up with the clinical demands posed by the growing aging population suffering from critical disease like sepsis, organ failure and mitochondrial infraction. This makes it all the more important for hospitals to be equipped with the right technologies and software that streamlines the recurring processes, streamlines clinical orders, automate protocols, and train the physicians and nurses in implementing them to get the desired outcomes.

Sepsis care is a case in point wherein automation can be introduced to significantly improve outcomes. Sepsis programs can become more efficient by ensuring the timely implementation of the sepsis bundles and complying with the sepsis protocols. AcesoCloud’s SepsisClock is one such software that not only automates the sepsis care program, but also ensures compliance and care coordination between the sepsis coordinators, clinicians, nurses, technician and administrators.

As the industry transitions, automation in healthcare will become a mandate rather than being an optional thing to have. Though automation will never replace doctors and nurses, it will however empower them to streamline their workflows that will reflect in improved care delivery processes and higher productivity.

Here are 6 benefits that can be realized by introducing automation to healthcare:

  1. Frees time of clinical staff
    The sepsis automation software, SepsisClock allows nurses to integrate patient and clinical information from EMR and EHRs into the software thereby eliminating the need for manual data entry, which is not only time consuming but also error prone.
  2. Improves quality of data
    Since the data is imported from linked sources, data is consistent and aligned to a single source of truth. A study gives evidence that automation in the areas of medical records, order entry, and decision support appeared to result in a reduction in deaths, complications and cost.
  3. Contains wasteful expenditure
    Use of paper and spreadsheets and other workarounds needed for an overfull workload can lead to a lot of waste. For example, rather than playing phone tag with a discharged patient in the free minutes between hospital nursing duties, automation can help get nurses and patients connected more efficiently.
  4. Increased predictability of outcomes
    When physicians and care providers adhere to standardized protocols driven by automation, predictable outcomes are expected. Additionally, with automated processes in place it is lot more easier to identify any patient who have deviated from the suggested care path or have failed to meet the protocols or timelines calling for immediate intervention from the care team.
  5. Increased efficiency
    When the care team, especially the nurses are equipped with a good quality automation solution, they can be more efficient in their services and handle a larger number of patients at one time without being stressed or making errors. An automation software can be scaled to meet the needs of different patient volumes at different times with minimal nursing staff.
  6. Data driven analytical insights
    Leadership and governance can derive multitude of anaytical insights based on the data in EMRs, EHRs and other clinical databases to take critical decision to drive performance improvement and optimization.

But, what is a good area to apply automation in the clinical process?

As a good practice, any process that recurs and can be standardized to get results that are more or less stable is worth being automated. Sepsis programs are have great potential to be automated to ensure compliance with sepsis bundles and protocols and the CMS core measures, while also lowering sepsis mortality and costs. Sepsis software solutions like SepsisClock are not only easy to use and affordable but also produce sustainable, reproducible and measurable outcomes in a matter of days.

As healthcare systems are transition towards value based reimbursements regime, the twin goals of cutting costs whilst providing high quality of care can only be achieved with the help of automation.