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The Appian Low-Code Platform: Taking Healthcare to New Heights

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of an e-visit was merely aspirational in healthcare—the industry had a long way to go to catch up with the world’s consumer-driven technology trends and expectations and embed them within its delivery models. Providers and payers faced pressure to become more technology-forward in order to increase patient and member confidence in their policies, procedures, accessibility, and storing of sensitive clinical data. Organizations attempted to address this pressure by building code-heavy platforms and complex tech stacks, but this only served to fragment the healthcare ecosystem.

In today’s climate, healthcare constituents are readily implementing robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML), process mining, and artificial intelligence (AI) to offer a top-notch, tech-enabled experience for all—enter the Appian Low-Code Platform. Appian uses low-code technology to speed application development, automate workflows, and ease integrations to empower healthcare teams and other stakeholders to function seamlessly in the virtual world. Appian has been demonstrating its unique ability to bridge the technical, clinical, and financial dimensions of healthcare since long before the pandemic, and it will continue to do so into the future.

Over the last 30 years, innumerable healthcare IT platforms and system implementations have emerged, creating the ‘accidental architecture’ of today. For our clients and partners, being able to stitch together the various aspects of their ecosystem through Appian is a major benefit.

“Pre-pandemic . . . dealing with workflows around revenue cycle optimization, biomedical device asset management, and physician quality assessments was the norm,” recalls Fritz Haimberger, Global Industry Lead for Healthcare at Appian. “Post-crisis level of the pandemic and beyond, there have been significant increases in magnitude for these same use cases, however, the patient journey management and care coordination applications are coming into their own.” Not surprisingly, the backbone of patient engagement applications is a robust technology platform that is easily accessible to all patients. The Appian Low-Code Platform is a great tool to simplify the process—for both patient and clinician—of bringing together disparate technologies like EMRs, 3rd party adjuncts, IoT wearables, and remote patient monitoring devices. Appian is a global leader within the enterprise technology market, including digital process automation (DPA), intelligent business process management (iBPM) and dynamic case management. Appian has extensive experience transitioning from legacy systems to cutting-edge, electronic medical records with low-code. “Over the last 30 years, innumerable healthcare IT platforms and system implementations have emerged, creating the ‘accidental architecture’ of today. For our clients and partners, being able to stitch together the various aspects of their ecosystem through Appian is a major benefit,” explains Haimberger.

Reusable components and automation speed app development and streamline complex healthcare workflows.

“When a client purchases Appian, they get the entirety of the platform—reusable components, drag-and-drop process mapping, pre-built smart services, intelligent automation capabilities including RPA and intelligent document processing—all without the need for multiple modules to deliver on a single use case.” The reusability of the components accelerates application development time, allowing healthcare organizations to rapidly build solutions that reduce the burden on clinicians and patients alike.

It is evident that automation solutions really do make a difference. “Taking an enterprise workflow like clinician onboarding, biomedical device asset management, or even home health servicing and bolstering it with intelligent automation truly takes those applications to the next level,” adds Haimberger, citing a customer success story of a healthcare client that continues to realize over $1 million in savings per month after integrating digital capabilities to assist clinicians in call centers, freeing them up to take on an additional 25% patient caseload.

In another instance, a large, academically-renowned, oncology-focused provider approached Appian seeking to improve the onboarding process for newly-affiliated entities. Providing top-notch service to physicians and their patients across the US is paramount for this provider. The more quickly clinicians can be brought into the organization, the faster patients can access world-class cancer care protocols and clinical trials. Within a matter of weeks, Appian helped the client implement a system that automated and increased the throughput with which physician quality assessments were undertaken and completed. To date, multiple weeks have been shaved off the timeline for getting a physician into the organization and operationally viable, and patients are able to get the life-saving care they need more quickly than ever before.

No more working in silos.

Ignyte Group’s Mental Health Management solution is another flagship offering that is built on the Appian platform. The solution helps connect patients readily and rapidly with their caregivers anytime, anywhere. It tracks personal qualitative and quantitative trends through remote patient monitoring tools, allowing patients to be intimately involved in their care continuum. And the solution is automatically mobile-ready. Having access to these tools on a computer or in an Android- or iOS-based mobile environment facilitates instant communication between provider and patient for emergencies.

Even situations as non-acute and simple as medication or appointment adherence can be managed with gentle, automated nudges to the patient through their preferred method of communication. Using intelligent automation (like workflow, RPA, AI, and ML) to stitch together existing EMRs and other clinical adjuncts with the Appian platform gives Ignyte’s Mental Health Management solution a true 360-degree view of a patient. And it presents all this data to a provider in a clean, unified way that allows them to make the best treatment decisions possible and take actions from within a single interface.

Appian is tech-agnostic—giving clients the power of choice.

As an open platform, Appian supports organizations’ freedom to choose the solutions that work best for them. If a health system has made investments in other technologies, Appian can easily integrate with them, extending their value and usable lifespan. Appian does not lock organizations into proprietary data structures and systems. For example, the company has demonstrated exceptional value across clinician onboarding, as the workflows for recruiting, onboarding, licensing, credentialing, and payer contracting necessitate various departments and systems working in harmony. By bringing the siloed entities together for a seamless hiring experience, Appian has enabled many healthcare systems to mitigate the challenge of pandemic-induced employee attrition. “The natural stress of the job was causing early burnout long before anyone had heard of COVID-19; the pandemic has put such added strain on these clinicians that we’re struggling to replace the holes left behind when these valuable employees depart,” says Haimberger.

Creating a patient-first culture through technology.

A significant portion of the success of Appian is attributable to the four founders’ vision and culture. “They have no qualms about jumping in the trenches with the troops on the ground, and I’m proud to be part of the leadership team that is cut from that same cloth,” reminisces Haimberger of his journey since 2015 and his hand in helping to take Appian public in 2017. “The ‘All for one and one for all’ mentality that is so pervasive here is infectious, and I love celebrating the greatest and the smallest of wins with our broader team.” 

Appian emphasizes collaborative relationships among employees and healthcare partners, with the goal of putting patients first. “It humbles me every day to be able to spend time with my fellow Appian employees who truly ‘get it’ when it comes to healthcare—there is a higher calling afoot here, and we’re appreciative of being given the opportunity to be even a small cog in that continuum,” emphasizes Haimberger. Appian is continuously looking for opportunities to invest in technology partnerships that facilitate patient-first outcomes. In fact, the company recently acquired a leading process mining organization, Lana Labs, to help healthcare providers and payers better understand their current processes so they can optimize them or discover new ones to better serve patients and member constituents.

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