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Automation: Go to the front lines

Automation: Go to the front lines Q. What are the quickest ways to see ROI on automation?

A. The quickest way is to go to the front lines of where the work is being done. This is where you'll find large volumes of documentation that need to be completed, authorized, and passed on to the next person to work. Here are three ways you can add automation that will guarantee you improve productivity and reduce costs:

Electronic faxing

A physical fax machine wastes time and effort, and maintaining hardware can be expensive. Electronic faxing allows incoming faxes to be automatically routed to the right person, with alerts keeping you aware of new arrivals. Outbound faxing can be set up so that coversheets are pre-populated, reducing data entry. E-faxing also allows for centralized oversight of everything coming in and going out.


For any document that comes into your system and needs to find its way into a specific file, auto-filing technology improves accuracy and guarantees complete files at all times. OCR and barcode-reading technology route documents to the correct file without human intervention.

Automated hand-offs

Once documentation is received, typically work has to be done. Perhaps it is what is needed to authorize an order or release a claim. Or maybe it's the proof needed to pay one of your vendors. With a workflow automation or BPM system in place, no one needs to get up and walk files to another desk or send emails with lengthy explanations. This not only saves time, and therefore money, but also creates an audit trail so you can keep track.

Ellen Sluder is vice president of marketing for Medforce Technologies. Reach her at


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