Upcoming summit highlights automation solutions to improve direct patient care, streamline clinical work
A half-day Healthcare Summit happening on 6 December will feature industry case studies and best practices for integrating AI-powered automation to improve efficiency, build strong foundations and spur innovation to deliver better services for citizens.
The Healthcare Summit will explore how AI-powered automation can transform the healthcare sector. Image: UiPath
“Healthcare has long been the focus of futurists and thought leaders, who could see advancements in technology improve direct patient care and streamline clinical work,” says Jason Warrelmann, VP Global Services & Healthcare, UiPath.
As such, he says an upcoming healthcare summit organised by UiPath, a leading enterprise automation software company, will allow attendees to get immersed in practical use cases built by global healthcare systems and discuss how they apply to the regional digital health strategy.
Leaders attending the event, he adds, “will gain an understanding of how intelligent automation can be used as a transformational engine and a workforce enabler that can pivot as changes happen.”
The Healthcare Summit will take place on 6 December from 8am to 1pm, at the Atrium Ballroom, Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, in Singapore. Summit attendees will gain valuable insights from public and private-sector leaders, who will showcase the pivotal role of automation in fostering operational efficiency and developing more innovative services.
Ahead of the event, GovInsider sits down with several speakers to hear their thoughts on the role of AI-powered automation in healthcare.
Understanding how automation can alleviate pain points
Chia Kuok Wei, Assistant Director, Artificial Intelligence & Automation, Future Health System, Singapore General Hospital says that one of the pressing challenges in healthcare is the shortage of manpower, compounded by a shrinking and ageing population.
“It is thus crucial to minimise manual and repetitive processes that staff have to do, in order to allow them to focus on what is truly important and value-adding,” he says, adding that providing direct patient care and a seamless experience would be a priority.
“Besides elevating the patient care that we provide, streamlining processes and implementing automation also help us to improve speed, accuracy, and at the same time, greater staff satisfaction. A simple yet beneficial automation project was data entry into a rostering system which staff had to perform monthly.”
Alvin Ang, Chief Information Officer, Vanguard Healthcare, says that time is always of the essence in healthcare.
“Business functions in healthcare tend to focus on day-to-day operational work, and this prioritisation extends to the allocation of resources, favouring clearing critical tasks over investing in digital transformation initiatives,” he adds.
“Additionally, it takes an extended period, or an event as significant as COVID-19, to remove employees from their position of resistance to change that arises from their familiarity with age-old, traditional processes.”
Through the implementation of digitalisation and robotic process automation (RPA), manual processes, such as those that required copying information from one format to another, were automated, resulting in a substantial reduction in lead time from several hours to a matter of minutes.
“The stakeholders expressed profound appreciation, recognising that this streamlined approach liberated their time for activities that truly enhance organisational value. Consequently, employee morale will see an increase,” he says.
Sharing knowledge and lessons learned in use cases
In 2023 some of the most impressive use cases Warrelmann saw were in the clinical administrative spaces.
“EHR (Electronic Health Record) like Epic and Cerner will generate over 1 million tasks per health system a year. Optimising these tasks by connecting processes across technologies and departments can reduce clinical abrasion by three to four hours a day per physician,” he says.
“The application of automation in these spaces were not surprising but the adoption and outcome was 40 to 50 per cent better than anticipated.”
Chia tells GovInsider that the first RPA use case at SGH was implemented in early 2021.
“It demonstrated the ability of automation to take away manual and repetitive tasks, allowing our staff to spend their time on more meaningful work. Through the success of the first use case, we started receiving an overwhelming interest in RPA and numerous wonderful ideas for automation,” he says.
“Since then, our team has been working on several high-impact projects, the first being the automation of repetitive administrative processes in Medication Delivery Service (MDS) in mid-2021, which allowed staff to be redeployed to do higher value tasks than just data entry. For the MDS project, it is calculated to have saved the institution close to 6,000 manhours per year.”
Looking at the impact of AI in healthcare
Ang added that generative AI is an area of exploration for further integration within the healthcare setting.
“With the launch of ChatGPT using generative AI as a technology, there’s a huge upside in the potential use cases,” he says.
“This realisation prompted us to explore and integrate these technologies into our operations to leverage their transformative capabilities and enhance efficiency. We have seen opportunities where RPA could possibly be integrated with Generative AI one day, where the bot could be a very smart and intelligent one.”
Chia agreed that AI could have a significant impact in healthcare, but that guardrails are required.
“AI offers novel solutions to address longstanding and upcoming challenges faced by the healthcare sector. In this space, AI has been researched to accelerate drug discovery, automate analysis of medical imaging, and even assist with preliminary diagnosis,” he says.
“Juggling with the advancements in technology and AI, it is crucial to address the challenges it brings along. Regulatory framework for data privacy and ethical considerations are required to ensure responsible, safe and secure AI implementation.”
To hear from UiPath, SGH, Vanguard Healthcare, and others at the Healthcare Summit, happening on 6 December, from 8am to 1pm at the Atrium Ballroom, Level 5, Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, register now.