New Zealand robotic process automation (RPA) specialist Quanton is breaking down barriers to integration and cutting costs in a duo of projects in finance and in health.
Healthcare provider OmniHealth, which delivers services from over 20 medical centres across 16 towns, harnessed intelligent automation to ensure its doctors spent more time dealing with patients rather than administration.
A virtual assistant called OH-Bot is now handling the mundane, time consuming task of transferring patient data from one system to another.
OmniHealth won a contract to provide medical services to three of the Selwyn Foundation’s residential care villages, encompassing five residential facilities.
To provide the services, OmniHealth had to be able to transfer GP notes, entered into a patient management system, into Leecare, an aged residential care system accessible by nurses at the Selwyn villages.
Mark Wills, OmniHealth chief executive officer, said the OH-Bot system helped ensure best use of GP resources, removed a pain-point for OmniHealth GPs and also providing benefits for patients.
“We have an obligation to ensure patient notes are transferred into Leecare ... however we don’t believe using doctors is the most efficient way of doing that," he said.
"Their time is very precious and asking them to do admin takes them away from patients.”
Based on data collected before automation, the solution was expected to free up over 194 hours for clinical staff; the equivalent of nearly five working weeks for a full-time staff member.
OH-Bot, which was developed and rolled out over five weeks, has helped bring down patient waiting times and reduced the need for OmniHealth to add additional doctors.
Quanton’s managing director, Garry Green, said most organisations had problems with data quality because it was not verified after being entered.
“In the solution we designed, data can be corrected each time so over time data quality improves,” he said.
Privacy and security are also improved because the data being transferred is never seen – unlike when an administration assistant or nurse transfers the data.
OH-Bot also wipes all data from its system once the data has been transferred.
Toyota Finance NZ, which provides private and corporate vehicle finance and car share subscriptions, has also benefited from RPA.
When over 39,000 hours in potential benefit from automation was identified in an opportunity assessment, the company launched its first intelligent software robot, Fabio, as a pilot to assist with fast quoting in March 2019.
Previously, creating quick quotes and spreads was a laborious and manual task. However, automation enabled Toyota Finance's fleet team to spend less time on admin and more time building customer relationships.
The approximate annual savings delivered by Fabio, which was also built on UiPath technology, were 1300 hours back to the business or the equivalent of 64 per cent of a full-time employee.
The company has now automated over 15 processes aimed at improving the efficiency of operations within the business, while still using the company’s core IT, software, and infrastructure stack and complying with strict compliance and security requirements.
Toyota Finance applications manager Anita Hogan said that had given almost 2000 hours back to the business in 2019 and a projected benefit of 4500 hours in 2020.
Russell Berg, Quanton’s general manager for product and emerging technology said RPA also fitted well with Toyota Finance's Kaizen programme.
“Continuous improvement is very important for Toyota Finance NZ and RPA heavily links back to that for the reason that you now have a far deeper and richer level of data relating to processes, actions and tasks," he said.
"Now you can form a view with quantitative information on where the potential for improvement is and what the benefit of improvement might be.”
As well as delivering costs savings and efficiencies, the intelligent automation programme also saw the local operation pick up a coveted Kaizen Innovation Award for the Americas and Oceania region, the first win for the local office in 13 years.
In May, UiPath centralised New Zealand partner management back into Australia and made local partner manager Craig Betts redundant.