Process automation is used for many things: to ensure consistency, availability, quality, throughput, compliance, and, most frequently to save time and money. And, some companies use process automation to improve their customers' experience!
A good example of a company using process automation to improve customer experience is McDonalds. In the past, we stood in line to order from a person behind the counter. Now that McDonalds has implemented automated kiosks, you can simply walk-in, enter your order in a digital touch screen, pay for it, and pick up the order without waiting in line and without any miscommunication. This is digital transformation! In this process, automation starts from the point when a customer enters the order, and continues through the financial transaction, receipt of the order, preparation and delivery.
The efficiency is delivered to both McDonalds and its customers: there is no standing in lines, ordering is accurate and fast, and no orders require reprocessing as a result.
Similar and more vital customer journeys that can benefit from digital transformation also exist. Patient processing at hospitals is a good example. Patients come to the hospital, are registered by a clerical worker, triaged by a nurse, and then sent on one of several possible internal journeys within the hospital. Patients with less critical issues are managed differently from those with more potentially serious issues. In addition, constraints on personnel, equipment, and facilities also inform the path a patient may take and the length of time it takes to traverse that path.
Business process automation is used by some hospitals to manage and monitor the customer journey more efficient through the hospital. For example, some hospitals provide a barcode or RFID based wrist band for the patient to monitor a patient's movement through a hospital. Data gathered from these patient wrist bands give real time views of patient backlogs for areas of service. Hospitals analyze this data to make patient service and throughput more efficient. A hospital may have hundreds or thousands of patient workflows running at any one time, and in aggregate (and individually) they give vital process and status information to hospital administrators who then make decisions that lead to continuous improvement.
Automation of hospital processes sees a typical return on investment of 3-6 months. By connecting and automating across systems such as electronic health record systems, financial systems, insurance systems, and more, hospitals realize quality and efficiency boosts for themselves and their patients. Business process automation systems like FlowWright are vital to orchestrated processes across multiple systems in order to realize real benefits.
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