How can healthcare billing workflows Be made accessible to novice users through increased levels of automation?

As healthcare processes and organizational operations increase in complexity, it has become imperative that technology does not add yet another layer of difficulty. Current revenue cycle systems require experienced (and therefore expensive) staff to complete billing tasks each day. This falls short of client expectations in two key ways: 1) Operational efficiency and costs do not change significantly when moving to our new system and 2) User frustration with system usability is compounded by a comparison to daily use of technology (e.g. Facebook).

This this project overall sought to simplify billing workflows making them accessible to less-experienced users. This would allow for hiring of less-expensive staff, help experienced users work more efficiently, and allow small practice organizations [with minimal budget for billing staff] to complete work on their own.


The project team held a vast amount of billing process knowledge, but needed a tool to organize and prioritize the workflows with the right balance of impact for clients and potential for simplification. Impact mapping was used to better frame the project space as well as begin to prioritize the billing workflows for improvement.

Following the impact map a literature review on automation, sensemaking, and situation awareness was a logical next step as more automation education was needed to inform major design and development decisions.


Senior design researcher supporting a development team


  • The impact map served as a continuing resource for writing user stories and tasks in our agile environment.

  • The team and greater product zone increased their understanding of the human-machine collaboration that must exist for automation to be successful and trusted.

  • The literature review continued to serve as a reference for decisions made on the new user experience.

  • Partial implementation of the ideal and highly-automated user experience, exposed technological limitations that spurred changes to back-end architecture and a re-framing of automation definitions.

  • Success of initial improvements continues to lead to tackling of further billing workflows.