Cleveland Clinic: Cutting waiting times with Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

The Cleveland Clinic (TCC), based in Cleveland, Ohio, is an exemplar of cutting waiting times with Robot Process Automation (RPA). The TCC is a non-profit multispecialty academic medical centre that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. The clinic had already started its RPA journey in 2018, led by Bob Gross, senior director of revenue cycle transformation.

By December 2019, Gross and his team had completed two use cases – insurance verification and claim auditing – and had established an automation Center of Excellence (CoE). They were looking for new processes to automate. Then COVID-19 hit.
In March 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved drive-through testing for the virus at hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic. The approved testing sites immediately began experiencing huge demand and long lines.

The testing protocol required a patient to be registered and for test kits to be correctly labelled for collection and reporting. During the first few days of testing, the manual nature of the process, in combination with human errors in printer routing and intense demand for testing, was contributing to six-hour waiting lines.

The Cleveland Clinic team knew they had to do something quickly to ease the congestion at test facilities and get patients processed faster. They also wanted to make the registration and printing process as automated as possible, so untrained caregivers could augment staff as required, scaling testing capabilities.

Gross and his team decided to implement attended robots that would take over the registration and printing process once the human attendant had verified the patient’s identity. While it typically took a human two to three minutes to execute these tasks, the robot could do it in fourteen to sixteen seconds. What’s more, there were zero instances of labels being sent to the wrong printer. The result? Waiting times dropped, errors were reduced and backlogs cut.1

Want to learn more about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and real-world use cases post-pandemic?

Download our free whitepaper where we consider the role of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in healthcare to date by reviewing real-life use cases of RPA in the UK, US, Canada, India, and Norway, as well as exploring how healthcare leaders can use RPA in the coming years to catch-up and then accelerate.

Facilitating better Patient Care Beyond the Crisis: Real World Use Cases for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Healthcare

1. The Guardian, Number working from home in UK rises after government U-turn, October 2020

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