In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, organisations are constantly seeking innovative solutions to streamline operations and improve patient care. Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur has achieved this by harnessing the power of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in its finance department.
The hospital utilised RPA to automate repetitive and rule-based tasks within its finance department, such as credit card matching and debtor receipting, allowing the institute’s finance team to work more efficiently. It freed up resources for them to work on tasks that are more complex and value-adding, ultimately enhancing overall patient care.
The implementation of RPA at Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur provided a welcome respite for the finance team, as they grappled with the persistent growth in the volume of credit card payments and merchant transactions necessitating daily reconciliation. These transactions, which would reach around 12,000 to 15,000 in a month, required significant time and effort. The same can be said for debtor receipting, which involves around 15,000 transactions monthly.
Given these hurdles, Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur realised the need and potential for automation and identified credit card matching and debtor receipting as suitable candidates for RPA implementation.
The RPA robot is able to seamlessly process credit card matching through templates, whilst the debtor receipting process utilised unique identifiers such as patient visit reference numbers and invoice numbers to automate receipt applications.
It was for their adoption of RPA technology that Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur took home the award for Medical Technology – Healthcare at the recently concluded Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards. The prestigious awards programme recognises outstanding companies that are embracing the challenges brought by disruptive technologies and spearheading the digital transformation of their respective industries, thereby contributing to the rapid growth of Malaysia’s economy.
Boosting productivity and empowering staff
The implementation of RPA involved a thorough study and understanding of each step by the appointed vendor. Custom scripts were developed and rigorously tested to ensure accuracy. Once the acceptable level of accuracy was achieved, staff training was conducted, and the processes were officially rolled out.
RPA has since had positive impacts on Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s finance department. Credit card matching, which previously consumed 3-4 hours of daily work or 70-man hours a month for accounting staff, now requires just half an hour daily of uploading transaction details into the template, or 10-man hours in a month.
Similarly, the debtor receipting workload has been reduced by at least 90%, from 160-man hours per month to one hour daily. These time and cost savings have significantly increased efficiency and productivity within the department.
With automated processes handling repetitive and rule-based activities, staff can now dedicate their skills and expertise to activities that require human judgment, analysis, and decision-making. This not only enhances overall productivity but also ensures faster turnaround times for finance processes, leading to improved patient care.
Increased efficiency through automated charging
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur is continuously exploring new areas where RPA technology can be implemented for further efficiency gains. One such area under consideration is inpatient charging. The initiative, though still under review, will use RPA to automate the charging process using specially designed charge sheets.
The hospital’s ward nurse will be required to fill out the number of daily items used by patients on a special design charge sheet, which will be scanned into dedicated folders for the robot to “translate” into forms and forward clerks to verify.
Should the initiative be done successfully, manual charging by the ward clerk will be eased and there will be lesser risk of human error.
However, expanding the use of RPA in the inpatient charging process poses unique challenges. As this process involves a larger number of frontline staff, additional training and careful planning will be essential to ensuring a smooth implementation. Compliance with the new process will need to be reinforced, and phased implementation may be necessary to mitigate any potential disruption to patient care.
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s successful adoption of RPA technology for credit card matching and debtor receipting automation sets an inspiring example for the healthcare industry. By leveraging automation to optimise finance processes, the hospital has achieved significant time and cost savings whilst redirecting resources toward delivering high-quality patient care.
As they continue to explore new opportunities for RPA implementation, Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur remains committed to advancing efficiency and improving healthcare outcomes through innovative technology solutions.