Cleveland Clinic Adopts Automation to Provide High-Value Care

Cleveland Clinic and Huron streamlined operations and improved care by utilizing robotic process automation (RPA). The automations, which were implemented in eight weeks, yielded significant financial return.

Challenge

Driven by its vision to be the best place for care and the best place to work in healthcare, Cleveland Clinic was seeking innovative ways to improve its patient and employee experiences. Aware of healthcare industry successes with automation, the team chose to initiate an RPA project to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and better serve patients. Lacking the internal resources and expertise to begin its RPA journey, Cleveland Clinic would have to build its capabilities from the ground up.

Approach

Cleveland Clinic and Huron worked together on three main goals: prioritize processes for automation, rapidly implement automation solutions and build a structure to drive sustainable, ongoing automation efforts.

Identify high-priority processes, and design and implement automation. To begin their automation journey, Cleveland Clinic and Huron used predefined criteria to select workflows most suitable for automation, including those with the greatest potential return on investment (ROI).

The teams designed and implemented automation that would optimize two electronic health record (EHR)-based revenue cycle processes: claim edits and registration eligibility processing. Production-ready automations were implemented within an eight-week period using UiPath technology.

Claim edits for provider and hospital billing work were selected for automation due to their high volume and the repetitive and routine process required for resolution. Automation resulted in a reduction of outsourced labor and contract cost savings. Due to expedited account processing, claims are sent faster, and errors are resolved more quickly.

Patient registration eligibility processing was selected for automation based on its well-defined process involving repetitive, routine work with minimal variation. Automation was deployed that adds, updates or verifies patients’ accounts with primary and secondary insurance information more frequently, resulting in a reduction of claim denials through real-time preapproval of treatment. Costs were reduced, and staff hours were reallocated to more value-add activities.

Establish a framework for growth and sustainability. The criteria established for the two initial automations served as a framework for Cleveland Clinic to identify future automation initiatives. Huron experts worked side by side with the Cleveland Clinic team of developers, training them on how to build and test automations. This training approach created in-house expertise and empowered an automation team to complete future automations independently.

The Huron team supported the building and implementation of an internal RPA department, or center of excellence, to align teams and coordinate automation across the enterprise. The center of excellence established the structure to maintain a prioritized, sustainable approach to continued automation success.

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multi-specialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. With nearly 1,400 beds on the main campus and 5,895 beds systemwide, Cleveland Clinic is one of the largest and most respected hospitals in the country.

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