The adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will soon be critical for enterprises to optimize costs and scarce resources amid COVID-19, says Gartner

The latest report from Gartner reveals that half of U.S. healthcare providers will invest in RPA in the next three years, up from 5% at present. The healthcare sector is witnessing shrinking payments, enhancing patient experience, and a push in innovation credentials. Healthcare providers consider cost optimization as a consistently recurring challenge, said the report.

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The research firm surveyed 161 finance executives on May 3, 2020, and found that nearly 25% of them anticipated more spending on RPA during the pandemic, to drive cost reduction. A 2020 CIO survey by Gartner also said that prior to the virus outbreak, 41% of healthcare provider CIOs experienced a shortage of funding. RPA promises to reduce operating cost pressures that are the main concern for the healthcare industry CIOs. By 2023, 20% of all patient interactions will involve some form of AI enablement within clinical or nonclinical processes, up from less than 4% at present.

Healthcare providers are using RPA for non-vertical-specific tasks, including staffing IT help desk as well as critical vertical-specific tasks like physician credentialing or verifying insurance eligibility. In addition to automating simpler routine tasks, RPA also optimizes costs and outputs to allow resources to focus on higher-value tasks. The need to reveal detailed patient data and better decision making is driving the demand for AI cloud services said the report. More than one-third of all healthcare workloads will be in the cloud by 2023.

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The cloud-based AI will help healthcare providers in predicting upcoming patient needs and identify optimum interventions before critical issues come up. The report also found that CIOs prefer cloud-based as-a-service solutions as a preferred strategy that is about converting capital expenditure outlays to operating expenditures. Healthcare providers find better leverage to spend on evidence-based decision-making capabilities that solve business problems and challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

RPA will optimize costs as well as outputs and give the healthcare resources the necessary time to focus and invest on higher-value tasks.