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May 18, 2022
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Is your organization ready for intelligent automation?

Learn how to determine if your organization is ready for intelligent automation. How Reid Health assessed their intelligent automation readiness.

By
Gianna Fornesi
Is your organization ready for intelligent automation?

This blog post is the first in a series that will spotlight current Notable partners and their strategies for determining intelligent automation readiness and how they drove internal alignment to realize results.

Over the past few years, automation has become a core technology capability for many health systems. Increasingly, health systems are thinking about intelligent automation as a strategic, long-term investment to enhance patient and provider experiences, increase staff capacity, and drive operational efficiency — not just another technology tool.

Unlike traditional point solutions that digitize siloed healthcare workflows without eliminating the underlying work from staff, Notable's platform allows health systems to configure AI-enabled digital assistants that can perform any healthcare workflow with superhuman precision and speed. With so much potential, choosing where to start with intelligent automation can be difficult.

Intelligent automation readiness is a framework of key considerations and questions your team should utilize when evaluating an intelligent automation partner. At the core of this readiness framework is your organization’s vision for driving outcomes through intelligent automation. A shared vision, combined with actionable insights like those featured in this series, is key to determining whether an intelligent automation solution will ultimately address the challenges or business needs you’re aiming to solve.

Reid Health is a 271-bed medical center serving east central Indiana and west central Ohio known for leveraging technology to provide quality care with a personal touch. Reid Health deployed Notable with two main goals in mind: 1) alleviate administrative burden to allow staff to focus on higher value activities and 2) offer patients seamless digital experiences that empower them to feel more prepared for care.

Reid Health deployed Notable in just four weeks — a paradigm for other health systems looking to leverage intelligent automation to drive immediate results and long-term impact. Below are insights from Reid Health’s Chief Experience Officer, Michelle McClurg, about how she determined organizational readiness for this innovative technology.

Is there a clear charter for innovation from the C-suite?

“We had been struggling with the work around pre-registration as we’ve been growing, so we knew right from the start that that was a key focus area for us. As we evaluated our mission, vision, values, we knew Notable was a perfect match, because it allowed us to serve our patients upon arrival much better and meet one of our key values of excellence.”

At Notable, our goal is to support a long-term intelligent automation strategy that drives clinical, operational, and financial impact. At Reid Health, growth was a key strategic initiative, and therefore an important measurement of Notable’s success. Specifically, the organization’s charter was to find ways to serve patients better upon arrival. Notable worked closely with the Reid Health team to identify the solutions and scope that would drive the greatest outcomes quickly for their desired end-state, and define leading indicators for success: more patient registrations. This was an executive-level mandate in support of Reid Health’s growth strategy, a key focus in 2022 and beyond.

By working backward from an ideal “end-state”, the Notable team can scope an appropriate solution and provide peer benchmarks. Executive business stakeholder buy-in is key to evangelize the vision and align on what this technology should ultimately do for your organization.

If your organization does not have an executive-led charter at the outset of a technology initiative, start with aligning on an ideal end state. For example: “We envision a waiting room without lines at the front desk and staff who can spend more time with patients” or “More appointments scheduled online from geriatric patients with fewer no-shows.” A clear vision can kickstart the technology evaluation process and makes it easier to map measurable goals.

Is IT aware of a new technology investment early on?

“At the beginning of our Notable partnership there were a lot of concerns from IT about how much build time would be required. We had just launched our own instance of Epic four months prior, so the IT team was overextended. In reality, implementing the Notable platform was easier than any of us expected, and we were able to go live in four weeks without a lot of stress. We ultimately chose Notable because it could deliver on our strategic goals, but also for the ability to deploy rapidly, especially during a challenging time with limited resources.”

In contrast to traditional digital solutions, intelligent automation can be deployed with minimal internal IT assistance. Implementation of the Notable platform requires zero custom development work, which means valuable IT resources can be reallocated to other existing projects that require full in-house technical support. Engaging IT early, and leveraging them as advisors versus stakeholders who merely review and approve, creates new inroads for collaborative discussion and ongoing education. This alignment is especially vital to answering questions from IT around how intelligent automation is different from or will enhance existing technology investments. Leaders who are trying to drive the acquisition and adoption of an intelligent automation platform should anticipate IT leaders will want to know how it complements or replaces other investments, including the electronic health record (EHR) and point solutions. Be prepared answer common questions such as:

Q: "What can Notable do that our EHR can't?"

A: While EHRs enable patients to complete pre-visit intake forms through patient portals, they do not eliminate workqueues and other repetitive work for staff, like data entry and phone calls. For example, even after a patient schedules an appointment through their patient portal, staff may still have to validate or update the information, like manually entering in insurance card details.

Q: “How does Notable integrate with our existing EHR?”

A: Notable leverages a combination of robotic process automation (RPA), FHIR, HL7, and APIs to provide a flexible integration with any EHR. It is not a separate application that staff will need to learn, but instead added intelligence that reduces manual data entry into the EHR.

Q: “How much IT resources are required to deploy and maintain Notable?”

A: Notable is fully configurable, which means features and functionality can be turned on or optimized in real-time. For example, administrators can deploy practice- specialty- and physician- specific forms within hours, without IT intervention. Anticipating questions from IT builds confidence and momentum in the implementation process, and ​helps the team stay ahead of pitfalls before they turn into roadblocks.

Have expectations been set for testing, optimization, and expansion?

“We added MSPQ forms after the initial pre-registration go live. We used this as another inflection point to compare the difference in MSPQ completion rates before and after automating the form through Notable. Patients were asking us when other clinics would start utilizing the technology because they liked it so much.”

Our partners have seen the most success in quickly realizing value and ROI through a phased deployment strategy. Once the solution and scope is defined, Notable partners with your organization to identify the sites and practices that would benefit the most from intelligent automation. Reid Health saw success with this phased approach when it piloted Notable at its geriatric clinic, a patient cohort with the lowest overall engagement and no-shows.

Within the first week, the clinic reported a 38% digital completion rate among these patients. Two weeks later, after Notable adjusted engagement features to fit the patient population, engagement rates reached 56%. This engagement rate, which is significantly higher than the industry standard of 5-10%, can be attributed to Notable’s user-centered design, configurability, and low barrier to entry. Once results were realized (56%+ completion rates), the team added specialty components like MSPQ forms, which garnered a 55% completion rate and drove a 30% reduction in no show rates among geriatric patients. This difference in conversion confirmed an iterative approach to testing and optimization can be successful without disrupting patient engagement rates or the stability of existing systems.

“Implementing the Notable platform was easier than I — and our IT team — expected,” said McClurg. “Notable’s configurable platform and iterative approach to implementation enabled us to launch a digital first check in experience in just four weeks. On the back end, we have extended the capacity of our human workforce to serve patients, without having to increase staffing — the 96% patient satisfaction rating speaks for itself.”

You can read more about our iterative approach to implementation and the process here.

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