Digital Workers Help KFM Rapidly Process Invoices for King’s College Hospital’s Pharmacy
We had to use a lot of legacy systems. We weren’t going to spend millions updating and upgrading them, but they were so old they weren’t talking to each other. Digital workers can bridge the gap between systems.Sam Proposch RPA Lead, Technology and Innovation Team
KFM is a wholly owned subsidiary of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. Acting as its commercial arm, KFM was created by the Trust to provide it with a broad range of medical support services, such as procurement of supplies and equipment, supply chain management and outpatient pharmacy services. KFM aimed to increase efficiency by automating legacy processes, so they reached out to Blue Prism and deployed a digital workforce.
As one of London’s largest teaching hospitals, King’s College Hospital requires a constant supply of many medical products. The outpatient pharmacy alone could generate about 1,000 invoices per month, and the invoices could arrive in any number of ways, even as a printed slip stuck to the delivery. The pharmacy department used an inventory ordering system built on old technology, which required staff to enter every detail from each paper invoice into the system. Forced to use the pre-existing, outdated hospital systems, KFM had no other option than this painstaking, manual process.
Updating the Trust’s pre-existing tech stack was too expensive and working with it wasn’t an option because it couldn’t communicate with the multiple systems required. To bridge the gap, KFM turned to intelligent automation. Now, as invoices are received, Blue Prism digital workers work in combination with optical character recognition to read, convert and upload the information in compatible formats, which can be distributed throughout the Hospital’s network. Freed from the laborious and highly repetitive task of manual invoice entry, KFM staff now focus their time on negotiating preferential supplier rates. What’s more, having seen the many significant advantages that come with intelligent automation, KFM has automated 30 other processes across its operation, including procurement, HR, finance, supply chain management, and technician support.