Digitization & Workflow Automation: Twin Value-drivers for Healthcare HR Onboarding

Posted by MESHDS on Mar 8, 2021 8:06:00 AM

Organizations across industries adopted large-scale digitization and at least some automation in the last few years. Healthcare IT faced a host of hurdles in digitization, ranging from patient privacy issues, stringent regulations over records maintenance to institutional stakeholder concerns. This lag is now receding. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital workflow adoption. Increasing demands on healthcare systems, medical workers, and pressure on profile margins pushed up the pace of digitization.

Portrait of a female doctor holding her patient chart on digital tablet in bright modern hospital

Healthcare:The importance of HR onboarding

Healthcare systems are essentially labour-driven, and human resources account for about 80% of their cost structure. The HR department in any healthcare facility handles a heavy load of administrative work.  

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health care sector will undergo the fastest employment growth among all industries in the next few years. By 2025 we are likely to face a shortfall in demand versus supply of trained nursing staff. 

A sharp rise in labor requirements will put immense pressure on payroll, AP, and onboarding. A study from the Congressional Budget Office suggests that almost 60% of hospitals may face a negative margins situation by 2025 due to a combination of factors.

Increased HR efficiency directly translates into cost-savings for the institution. Digitization is the ideal tool to achieve this. Digitization and automation of HR onboarding processes will lower operational costs and reduce the pressure on profit margins. Turning HR and AP into profit centers may prove to be a game-changer for healthcare institutions. And digitization and workflow automation are likely to be the value-drivers to make this a reality. 


Estimate the real cost of HR onboarding

A hospital is as good as its medical staff. Identifying skilled doctors and nurses, validating their certifications and experience, and onboarding them is a daily activity in most modern hospitals. The annual turnover of medical staff is as high as 50% in many hospitals. Imagine the administrative load on HR for regular onboarding! Added to this, hundreds of hospitals still use paper records—despite incentivization to move to electronic records.

Paper-based healthcare systems are expensive both in terms of cost and labour. 

Here are some facts and figures that bring home the inefficiencies of paper trials in human resources for health (HRH):

Printed paper forms cost organizations billions of dollars annually. They get outdated quickly,  are printed-out multiple times, and take up expensive storage space. Yet, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year! Further, paper trails are difficult to trace. Estimates reveal that the average HRH employee spends 40% of his day searching for misplaced documents. (A paper filed in the wrong folder is as good as lost!) That is a significant loss of employee time and is directly related to cost inefficiencies.


Digitize HR onboarding in healthcare

Healthcare centres that still use manual workflows and paper records waste precious time—and time lost is as good as money lost. Conversely, using e-forms to capture data (in place of paper forms) and automating workflows saves hundreds of hours per week. Automated onboarding enhances productivity and reduces human error. Automation means less in-person time spent on onboarding, which reduces costs. New employees become part of the HR workflow even before stepping on-site.  

The HRH onboarding process is paper-intensive. Documentation is crucial at every stage—sourcing personnel, hiring, and training them. Manual processes must be replaced by technology if these healthcare organizations are to achieve high operational efficiency. 

Document scanning and imaging is the starting point for the digital transformation of HR onboarding. Once existing paper records are digitized and routed into a robust document management system, the next step is to maintain a paperless state by instantly digitizing any new paper record that enters the system. Use a Scan to Zero service provider like MES for paperless operations.

At this point, transformative processes that eliminate manual data entry come into the picture. E-forms are a powerful and highly efficient data capture mechanism. When you use e-forms to capture data for job applications, onboarding checklists, employee insurance forms, and employee information forms, significant process improvements are possible.


Automate workflows in HRH

Digital workflows simplify how essential but repetitive tasks are performed. A workflow automation system is a software platform that provides a single source of visibility and control into a range of HR functions.

Workflow automation reduces HR costs by 17% and cuts down the time spent on manual tasks by 21%. 

A workflow automation system is a software platform that provides a single source of visibility and control into a range of HR functions.

The key to achieving successful transformative results is to choose a single integrated system for workflow automation rather than disparate tools for multiple tasks or functions. 

Embrace the change to digital

Change management is a vital part of business process improvement. Give employees the time and the training required for them to benefit from using the new digital workflows. Once they experience the benefits of digitization, there is no going back! 

According to research conducted by The Workforce Institute at Kronos) with Regina Corso Consulting), healthcare institutions that invest in the digital employee experience will emerge as preferred employers and retain skilled staff.


MES offers a range of integrated services for document scanning and document management for HR. Talk to us to understand how to streamline onboarding processes to attract, retain and motivate top tier talent. Get in touch with us here for a free assessment of what you need to leverage digitization and workflow automation for your HRH.


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