The AHSN NENC was able to assist with brokering, funding and evaluation of this project. Intelligent Automation is a platform of technologies that can be used to ‘intelligently’ automate manual, time-intensive, and repetitive tasks. Implementation for cancer pathways is currently ongoing at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust after success in other areas of England; two further Trusts are in the planning stage.
RPA provides an opportunity for Trusts to improve capacity, scale, and quality of administrative processes, both back office and clinical and patient facing, without increasing the workforce. RPA/Digital Workers can perform tasks at scale and at pace with a near zero error rate. It is the combined accuracy and speed that will deliver improved performance, provide significant quality improvements and in turn improved patient, staff, and clinical satisfaction. Most significantly, RPA will provide benefits and positively impact across the Trusts, within all services and departments.
RPA will automate some Cancer Tracking Processes, such as transferring data and automatically uploading new two week wait cancer referrals (whilst checking for missing or incorrect information and coordinating the clinical triage process).
Automation has significant potential to be applied to all Specialties, particularly back-office functions that have several time-consuming administrative tasks. The objective is to implement several RPA processes within the next 12 months for back office high-volume administrative activities, which will deliver service and quality improvements.