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Singapore's healthcare tops Asia-Pacific in automation adoption
Tue, 12th Dec 2023

New data from SS&C Blue Prism illustrates that Singapore’s healthcare sector leads the Asia-Pacific region in applying automation technology to cope with the sector’s pressures. A considerably larger portion of healthcare companies in Singapore have integrated intelligent automation systems compared to other developed markets like Australia, where only 38% of firms utilise the technology.

A more automated approach allows healthcare providers in Singapore to prioritise patient care, as it lessens the time spent on administrative tasks. For organisations, this enhancement renders them financially stable despite the industry’s growing financial stress.

The research includes the following key data points: 49% of healthcare firms in Singapore have employed intelligent automation to directly confront industry challenges; 46% of healthcare decision makers believe intelligent automation will positively affect patient experience; 44% of decision makers admit that healthcare workers are still heavily involved in administrative processes, which diminishes their patient care time. In the face of a challenging climate, healthcare companies are prioritising operational efficiency improvement (56%), maximising financial sustainability (24%) and raising patient satisfaction (22%).

The survey involved 164 healthcare companies across Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, India and Thailand. Of these, over half (53%) of healthcare organisations in Singapore have incorporated automation into their daily activities to enhance operations. Despite being an advanced market, intelligent automation is used by just 38% of healthcare companies in Australia. Singapore’s healthcare organisations maintain a stronger position for automation rollouts compared to their Asian-Pacific counterparts. For instance, two in five (39%) decision makers highlighted cultural challenges and staff resistance as hurdles when introducing intelligent automation, which is lower than the APAC average of 45%. Over a third (37%) indicated a lack of skills and expertise as an obstacle which is also lower than the APAC average of 43%.

Furthermore, 44% reported that workers are spending excessive time on administrative processes, which is taking away from patient care. More than a quarter (27%) are concerned about the quality of workforce-assisting technology, while miscommunications between staff and patients (20%) is the second largest challenge identified. Over the next 12 months, healthcare companies are prioritising improving operational efficiency (56%), maximising financial sustainability (24%), and increasing patient satisfaction (22%). Intelligent automation can play a crucial role in helping healthcare companies meet these operational goals.

James Lucas, Vice President ASEAN-GCR VP, SS&C Blue Prism, said "Singapore has a world-leading reputation for healthcare, where new technology is constantly embraced to enhance operational excellence and patient outcomes. Intelligent automation is no different, empowering firms to stay ahead of the curve to relieve clinicians from tedious and mundane administrative tasks, thereby allowing more focus on patient care. Additionally, it paves the way for new and innovative patient experiences." As the sector emerges from a once-in-a-generation pandemic and faces an uncertain global economic outlook, the readiness of Singapore firms to embrace intelligent automation fortifies them to deliver world-class healthcare despite any challenges along the way."