It is no surprise that the COVID-19 vaccine distribution is one of the biggest health system challenges in 2021. Health systems will need to efficiently identify and engage eligible patients using state or federal vaccination criteria, route patients to appropriate vaccination sites, manage capacity constraints and ensure effective post-vaccination follow-up so that patients receive their second dose. Some stakeholders are turning to AI for help, particularly robotic process automation, or RPA — software that emulates the actions of humans interacting with systems. RPA and AI could bolster efficiency in hospitals and supply chains overwhelmed by the challenges of COVID-19 vaccine management.
Once the vaccines arrive at the point of care, health-workers must track which patients have — and have not — received them. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be taken in two doses three to four weeks apart, and health systems are responsible for maintaining their own tracking databases or opting for prebuilt state and federal solutions.
The recording and handling of patient information can take 50% or more of a caregiver’s time but is an essential part of healthcare to ensure patients receive the most accurate and best care possible. The system also needs to ensure the highest-risk patients receive the vaccine first.
Case Study: Track COVID-19 Testing and Monitoring Results
Gleematic, a Singapore-based AI and RPA automation startup, has a framework that’s being adapted for this purpose. Using a combination of computer vision and RPA, Gleematic software is able to support COVID-19 testing operations in health systems by automating manual data entry. In the next phase of its work, Gleematic will track which patients receive the vaccine and when, something it expects will reduce administration time and help monitor vaccine recipients for side effects while providing data to government regulators.
Not to mention, other challenges such as the need to follow CDC guidelines, limited ability to share and correlate data, scheduling patients’ pre- and post- visit, identifying each patient’s certain conditions. These are other major factors of time-consuming situations that health-workers need to face. Robotic process automation (RPA) equipped with artificial intelligence-powered digital health workers can substantially reduce the time spent prioritizing and communicating with at-risk patients. These digital health workers can intelligently analyze patient records and send communications 24 hours a day, reducing the time needed per patient from hours to minutes.
Once the vaccine has been administered and the information updated in the occupational health system (OHS), it automatically pulls the OHS vaccination report. It then inputs the vaccine data into the required state fields to accurately complete the local and state registration within the 24-hour timeline.
Intelligent automation – which is the fusion of two concepts – artificial intelligence and robot process automation is expected to grow in healthcare over the next several years. The new vaccination automation will significantly relieve caregivers’ administrative demand everywhere, giving them back time to deliver excellent patient care to those that need it the most.