Jun 1, 2020

COVID-19: NHS adopts cloud-based digital workforce

Technology
Cloud
NHS
Digital Transformation
Georgia Wilson
3 min
COVID-19: NHS adopts cloud-based digital workforce
Blue Prism Cloud helps the NHS accelerate change and respond to COVID-19, with its SaaS based intelligent automation platform.

While the UK has begun t...

Blue Prism Cloud helps the NHS accelerate change and respond to COVID-19, with its SaaS based intelligent automation platform.

While the UK has begun to phase out its lockdown, it is not out of the woods yet and with the NHS being at the sharp end of the impact, Blue Prism Cloud has deployed its SaaS based intelligent automation platform within the NHS resource pool.

The implementation of this artificially intelligent platform will allow the NHS to swiftly adapt to unprecedented operational demand via the automation of a wide range of activities across functions to release more time to care for the frontline staff at the NHS.

“This global crisis has pushed us all to re-evaluate what operational agility entails and how critical it is to be responsive to change on a scale we haven’t seen before. The dynamic scaling capacity that cloud offers, coupled with the resource flexibility of a Digital Workforce, allows organisations to target sudden challenges faster than ever. We are immensely proud to be supporting the NHS and helping them in overcoming these significant challenges,” commented Terry Walby, CEO and Founder Blue Prism Cloud.

 In recent weeks, those who have adopted the platform include:

  • Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay

  • North East London Commissioning Support Unit

  • Great Western Hospitals

  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals 

Not only will this platform assist in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis, but it will provide an important foundation for the NHS to deliver sustainable long-term transformation to accelerate delivery of better patient outcomes.

“There are huge gains to be made in terms of incorporating intelligent automation into healthcare processes. For us the imperative is patient safety and experience,” commented Mike Ogonovsky, Assistant Director of Informatics at Aneurin Bevan Health Board. 

“The manual transfer of data between the systems used to manage the patient journey through primary care, ambulance service, secondary care and back into community care brings with it the risk of error and delay.  It also takes valuable time out of the day for highly trained staff who should be focused on caring for patients. We see an opportunity to overcome this challenge using Blue Prism Cloud’s Digital Workforce and are taking the first steps to re-shape our processes so that we can continue to move the bar for quality of patient care ever higher.”

The universityHospital of Morecambe Bay also highlights the positive impact automation can have on patient outcomes,  “We have run small, successful RPA projects over the past four years but now it’s time for us to scale the benefits of this technology. The Blue Prism Cloud platform will help us accelerate our plans and make it easier for us to expand the range of functions we support rapidly,” added Marc Hadwin, Head of Digital Services at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay. 

“The goal of improving patient experience sits at the forefront of our strategic initiative to apply intelligent automation into our overall operating model. For example, employing Digital Workers to help patients book, prepare for and follow up appointments can ensure everyone receives a wealth of tailored communications, confirming each step of their treatment. With 600,000 hospital appointments booked a year, there is no way our staff could proactively manage that level of personalised communication manually. For medical staff too, we see countless opportunities for removing the daily burden of updating patient record systems so that they can dedicate their time to providing frontline patient care.”

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

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