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Cloud-based Software Empowers New Zealand’s Healthcare Sector

New Zealand’s smaller Allied health firms now have access to a new reporting solution that can assist staff with managing their business at a fraction of the cost of those commonly seen in larger enterprises.

A local provider of business intelligence services has released the reporting software called eHealthSmart. The software is designed to provide daily revenue updates, as well as appointments, productivity, and retention within practices using a cloud-based practice management system.

The tech company further states, the system is a cost-effective way for small to medium-sized health practices to have access to reporting to manage their business like a larger organisation, without the costs normally associated with a business intelligence project. Pre-built visual charts also show the most common reporting requirements within a practice.

According to the developer, smaller practices can struggle to find affordable solutions. Therefore, the company developed eHealthSmart and made it accessible and easy to use.

According to initial users from the healthcare sector, the immediate benefit was the ability to easily identify appointments that had not been completed correctly. They could now go into the platform to fix them straight away, which helps them capture missed or delayed reimbursements.

The company plans to evolve the platform to include outcomes data that tracks treatment successes for patients, and patient’s recovery goals. eHealthSmart is accessible from a computer or mobile web browser.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) take the guesswork out of doctors’ handwriting at some of New Zealand’s medical clinics. These medical institutions believe that their usage of robotic process automation has been key in digitising mundane processes and better engaging customers—all without costing human jobs.

To put things into perspective, a doctor’s handwriting is a notoriously difficult read and has become something of a truism, but robotic process automation (RPA) can make short work of even the most indecipherable writing. That is the experience of 13 clinics, where the technology is achieving 98% accuracy rates when processing clinical referrals.

The medical practitioners say that it has often been difficult for their staff to transcribe clinician notes but giving the job to the robots resulted in fewer transcription errors and a process that has sped up remarkably. They said that the first robot, Matilda, was on-premises, but Matilda and their additional e-robot are now in the cloud, which has enabled more functionality, such as the use of optical character recognition technology to process referrals.

As robots can consume large amounts of data, they can scan all the clinic’s referrals and so it gives the AI all that data and it keeps learning and improving at a very rapid rate. So, when somebody writes an ‘I’ or an ‘E’ or an ‘R’, and the application has seen that several times, it is now well adept at recognising that that is the character that person has written down. It is the continuous learning loop and the ability to ingest huge amounts of data that makes it accurate, the medical practitioners say.

The clinics using the AI tech now consider themselves as a “bionic organisation”, by getting the best of people and digital technology. The clinics also see plenty of applications of RPA for the public healthcare sector — including with the COVID-19 response in the country. They added that the medical profession needs to recognise the commonalities, and in doing so embrace areas where automation can be used to make efficiencies and focus on the care of people, at the end of the day.

Accordingly, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has developed a Health Technology Innovation Framework to provide direction to health technology innovators and guide the use of emerging health technologies in supporting a strong and equitable public health and disability system. This is a key part of the Digital Health Strategic Framework and the role of the Ministry.

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