The coronavirus pandemic that continues to spread worldwide demands a fresh wave of innovation to respond to this unprecedented event. Many health care facilities face capacity issues and need to optimize efficiency while ensuring safety for patients and staff members.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a powerful solution for organizations facing these challenges. RPA automates repetitive, high-volume manual processes involving multiple applications and process steps. This enables rapid response—bots can enter the data from a vast number of spreadsheets into, for example, an epidemiological database, in a matter of seconds.

The bots in RPA are made purely of software code—no plastic or metal bodies are involved, let alone complex humanoid shapes. Developing and deploying an RPA solution is a COTS-based software development effort; organizations must incorporate their operational and governance processes.

Bots increase accuracy and quality across high-volume workloads, enable standardization, increase capacity and drive down costs.

Bots, however, are only half of the story. A Robotic Operations Center (ROC) is important when delivering large scale RPA implementations, such as responding to the pandemic. The ROC will provide enterprise governance, implement a comprehensive strategy, provision a framework for RPA and implement an intake process to vet potential use cases. Experts who understand how RPA is applicable to automate existing processes should carry out that vetting. Clients across the agencies that CGI supports are using bots in various ways to address needs created by the pandemic. Bots generate reports, respond to events and assist in performing administrative tasks so front-line staff are able to help their customers.

At one major health care client, CGI had already developed RPA initiatives over the past several years. When the pandemic struck, our knowledge of their systems enabled CGI experts to quickly develop three RPA processes to aid with the pandemic.

These three solutions included:

  1. Texting visitors with information before a scheduled appointment. By collecting information from various secure databases and following policy guidance coded in the software, this solution provides up-to-date information and precautions for scheduled appointments. The end result? A reduced number of non-critical visits and decreased risk of spreading the virus.
  2. Communicating test results. The bot collects data on virus lab tests and sends text messages or e-mails to patients, relieving office staff of that task.
  3. Contact tracing of patients and health care staff. Contact tracing plays a critical role in slowing the spread of the virus and helping authorities make informed decisions. This solution enables a more streamlined infection tracking process that lowers the risk of additional exposure.

CGI’s pandemic-related solutions will reduce end-to-end processing time by 95%, and free 2,000 hours of hospital staff time over six months, enabling them to focus on more value-creating tasks and interactions with patients.

CGI is helping clients, communities and members respond to unprecedented challenges, rebound effectively and reinvent ways of working for the future. Talk with us – we are here to help.

To learn more about CGI Federal's capabilities in RPA, AI and machine learning, visit our Intelligent Automation site

About this author

Steve Sousa

Steve Sousa

VP Consulting Services

Steve Sousa is a health IT innovator, a leader of major IT modernization efforts who effects change across federal agencies. In his work at CGI, he drives regulatory compliance, enables improved user/stakeholder experiences and builds enhanced mission effectiveness by successfully applying technologies, best practices, and ...

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