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Five Ways AP Automation Can Ease Burnout, Turnover in a Healthcare Organization’s Finance Department

Key takeaways:

  • Employee burnout and turnover are real threats to a healthcare organization’s mission to provide quality care delivery.
  • These staffing challenges aren’t limited to doctors, nurses and others on the front lines of patient care; a healthcare organization’s finance department can be affected as well.
  • Remitra® accounts payable (AP) automation solutions can help minimize burnout and turnover by reducing stress and fatigue associated with overwhelming manual workloads and giving staff time for more challenging work that drives the business of healthcare forward.

It’s no secret that burnout in the U.S. healthcare workforce is on the rise, but it’s not just physicians, nurses and others responsible for direct patient care who are suffering from the effects (e.g., excessive stress, mental and physical exhaustion and depression). Burnout is taking a toll on non-clinical, back-office staff as well, including accounts payable (AP) professionals.

Surveys conducted by the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM) point to increased workloads and longer hours due to inefficient manual processes as a catalyst for employee burnout. Among AP professionals who responded to the survey, nearly one in four said they’re considering leaving their current organization.

High turnover negatively impacts healthcare organizations in terms of both finances and resources. How can healthcare finance leaders help ease employee burnout that may result in costly resignations? The answer: AP automation.

Streamlining and automating work such as invoice processing and vendor payments can go a long way in reducing the risk of burnout in the AP team. Without automation, AP staff may spend hours on tedious, repetitive tasks – reviewing and keying in data from paper invoices, working through price mismatches, chasing down information and manager approvals, answering suppliers’ questions about invoices and payments, and cutting and mailing paper checks, just to name a few.

As a result of these inefficient, time-consuming manual processes, AP teams can feel overworked and overwhelmed and left with little energy to focus on the tasks at hand (these are burnout risk factors), which can lead to slower invoice and payment processing, more errors, missed early payment discounts and strained relationships with vendors.

An AP automation solution, such as Premier’s Remitra® procure-to-pay platform, can take the burden of manual work off AP staff and help to create a more satisfying work environment that may contribute to less burnout and lower turnover rates. Here are five ways how.

  1. Paperless processes, more productive staff. With Remitra® AP automation, monotonous work tasks associated with the processing of paper invoices and checks can be eliminated – saving both time and money – and help free up AP staff to focus on more strategic activities that can drive business forward (e.g., sourcing new prompt-pay discounts and other financial incentives from suppliers and rebates from credit card processors).
  2. Potential to unlock hidden working capital. With the possibility of more time available for challenging and rewarding strategic work, AP staff can have an opportunity to contribute to the healthcare organization’s overall margin improvement efforts. Using Remitra® Cash Flow Optimizer (CFO) technology, staff may be able to uncover hundreds of millions of dollars in working capital hiding in the organization’s manual, paper-based AP processes – dollars that can be optimized to invest in operations and back into communities, offset rising costs due to inflation and declining Medicare reimbursements, address labor challenges and more.
  3. Less human intervention, fewer match exceptions. Remitra® AP automation enables touchless processing of supplier invoices and payments, which cuts down on opportunities for human error that can lead to price discrepancies and match exceptions between a provider’s purchase order and a supplier’s invoice, as well as opportunities for check fraud and theft. These issues create unnecessary extra work and expense for the AP team, can bog down the procure-to-pay process and even put patient care at risk when clinicians can’t access the supplies they need when they need them.
  4. Stronger supplier relationships. A Remitra® survey of suppliers revealed top pain points experienced as a result of the lack of automation employed in healthcare purchasing. Respondents pointed to errors and exceptions as well as late payments and lack of visibility into their receivables as major sources of frustration, putting a strain on their customer relationships. Automation can help ease that frustration (and the resulting stress on AP teams), helping AP professionals and the suppliers they work with conduct business more efficiently and effectively.
  5. Flexibility of remote work. Automating invoice processing, approvals and payments with the Remitra® platform means that AP team members can work remotely. Staff gain 24/7 access and 100 percent control and visibility over the procure-to-pay process without having to go into an office. Furthermore, a remote working environment can support a healthy work-life balance while increasing employee engagement and satisfaction.

Remitra®: Helping AP Professionals Reclaim Joy in their Work, Build Resilient Supply Chains

A healthcare organization’s finance department plays a critical role in its ability to deliver quality patient care. Manual, paper-based AP processes make it challenging for hospitals and health systems to effectively manage AP professionals’ time and their finance department’s resources, which can cause ripples in the supply chain that affect care delivery.

With Remitra® AP automation solutions in place, healthcare organizations can help smooth out those ripples and benefit from:

  • Increased procure-to-pay efficiencies.
  • Reduced costs.
  • Enhanced security.
  • And, importantly, an AP staff that’s less prone to burnout and less likely to resign because they’re more fulfilled with their work and can see how it contributes to the organization’s overall mission.

For more on this topic:

  • Check out our blog on how healthcare organizations can thrive in the face of labor shortages with Remitra® AP automation.
  • See how Remitra® AP automation solutions are helping healthcare organizations optimize their labor force.
  • Deep dive into the inflation-busting, labor-extending power of Remitra® AP automation and discover how forward-looking health system leaders are using it to address today’s financial pressures.

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