The healthcare spending in the United States in 2016 stood at 3.3 trillion dollars, roughly, 10,348 dollars per individual, representing about 17.9 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2018). Healthcare expenditure in the United States remains one of the highest worldwide, with hospital care costs and physician and clinical service costs accounting for 32 percent and 20 percent of the overall healthcare spending respectively (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2018). There is a lot of wastage due to inefficiency and duplication of roles and activities, which increase the duration of care, and ultimately the cost of care (Bughin, Manyika, & Woetzel, 2017). These issues manifest themselves in long patient waiting times especially due to the high number of human interactions that patients have to encounter in healthcare institutions. On average, a patient spends more than two hours to receive medical attention in the United States (Bughin, Manyika, & Woetzel, 2017).
The high cost of healthcare, and the long duration it takes to receive medical attention can be resolved by incorporating technology and automating some aspects of medical care. For instance, as previously mentioned above, the high number of human interactions in the emergency department ultimately manifests itself in the patients’ hospital bill. The same high number of human interactions increases the time it takes for a patient to get medical attention in the healthcare institutions. Automating some services such as collection of patients’ information and the checking of vital signs can greatly reduce the time spent in the emergency department, as well as reducing the overall cost of healthcare (Bughin, Manyika, & Woetzel, 2017).
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2018). National health expenditures 2016 highlights. Published January.
Bughin, J., Manyika, J., & Woetzel, J. (2017). A Future That Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity: McKinsey Global Institute. January 2017.