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Intelligent Automation: Powering Health & Human Services Outcomes

Abstract image of computer hardware and wave pattern network data connections representing intelligent automation powering health and human services outcomes.

There’s so much excitement about AI (artificial intelligence) right now. In health and human services, however, it’s also important to consider IA (intelligent automation). 

IA is a collection of advanced technologies that, when used separately or together, will drive efficiencies for state health and human services agencies. IA typically includes robotic process automation (RPA), chat and voice bots, cognitive computing, automated workflow and process automation technologies like no code/low code platforms. Health and human services agencies are exploring how to integrate IA into modernization, data management and analytics efforts to streamline high-volume tasks, improve outcomes, reduce costs and transform experiences for recipients and employees.

What IA Is — and Isn’t

With as much interest as there is in IA, it’s important to understand not only what it is, but also its benefits and limitations.

Think of it like this: IA augments existing systems. Running all the time, it improves efficiency and quality, enhances customer experiences, increases throughput and ensures policy compliance and audit controls. Many IA solutions are easy to implement with minimal integration requirements.

To be clear, IA does not replace existing systems. While it’s not a complex technical application that needs massive IT support, IA is also not a solution that organizations can deploy and simply walk away from. And it’s not maintenance-free. 

Outcomes and More Outcomes

With IA, human services agencies can deliver outcomes against the very same strategies that drive modernization efforts today. This is what makes IA an outcomes powerhouse. It can help agencies deliver:

  • Deeper and More Reliable Data Insights. As agencies exchange data, it’s critical to match the right data to the right person. IA can de-duplicate data and improve quality.  

  • A Whole Person View. As data converges, health and human services agencies can better meet the multifaceted needs of their recipients. IA is a breakthrough in this area, using advanced analytics and predictive models to provide agencies with a view of the whole person across multiple dimensions of health.

  • Need-Based Strategic Prioritization. IA can improve health outcomes and reduce administrative costs by prioritizing and automating outreach to those most in need.

  • Better Recipient and Worker Experiences. Finally, IA can improve experiences across the health and human services ecosystem — inverting the administrative labor pyramid so that agency resources can spend less time on administrative and transactional tasks and more time working directly with people. 

The Evolution of IA Continues

That excitement I mentioned about AI? It’s coming to IA fast. IA has evolved over the years alongside technology advancements. We’ve come a long way from the days when macros and scripts saved a few keystrokes here and there.

As AI intersects more with IA, we expect outcomes to multiply across the health and human services landscape — from provider enrollment and management to outcomes-based impact analysis. Why? IA will be able to rationally solve complex problems and take actions to achieve goals, often proactively. This next wave of IA will be very exciting, and making the most of it will depend on strong commitments to responsible AI practices.

Learn More About Intelligent Automation

As you can tell, I’m passionate about all the ways IA can help health and human services organizations deliver outcomes. I recently had the opportunity to share my thinking with a panel of state experts in a State Healthcare IT Connect webinar, Building Better Outcomes Through Automation. Check out the recording for an in-depth look at some of the concepts discussed here. We also have excellent state speakers who share how their agencies are using IA to advance their goals.

About the Author

Alan Hansen is Gainwell’s senior principal application architect, responsible for consulting on and providing innovative strategic systems and technology direction for state human services and public health, private sector healthcare and commercial payer leaders.

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