RPA Initiatives and Platform Migration: Surgical Preference Cards

Boston Software Systems is working with a leading regional health system based on the East Coast of the United States on a series of robotic process automation (RPA) software solutions and platform migration initiatives. It is a prominent provider comprised of 3 hospitals, an oncology treatment center, several multi-specialty treatment centers and more than 150 access points which include urgent care, outpatient imaging, cardiac testing and other services. The organization also supports a sizable academic health program. On an annual basis the health system performs over 24,000 surgical procedures and delivers over 4,000 babies.

As part of an EHR conversion initiative, Boston Software Systems created a series of process automations for surgical preference cards, a unique and specialized document used in hospitals / health systems and their outpatient surgery centers. The surgical preference card specifies items / materials a surgeon needs to complete a particular procedure. It is a pivotal resource used by nurses and other staff to assemble the correct supplies from stock and have them ready for the surgeon for each procedure. They also have a role in what purchasing / materials management staff use to determine what items need to be procured as well as ongoing inventory levels necessary to support caseloads of surgeons and facilities.

Some surgical preference cards are highly standardized for more basic / routine operations; these are known as “generic” preference cards. For most, the list of products varies with the individual preferences of surgeons. Depending on how advanced individual surgical procedures are, the cards can be extensively detailed.

Boston Software Systems developed an extensive series of automation services for use via Citrix-published Cerner; each card requiring a minimum of 50 base steps:

  • Automations processed surgical facility location, generic or surgeon-specific card type, multiple steps / entries based on pick / list individual item entries, descriptions and related fields
  • Steps continued to progress through segments, comments, reporting, archiving

Additional Details:

  • Multiple machines were deployed to facilitate automations
  • Due to non-standardization of content / categories / comments, most cards were processed in multiple stages to capture all data and maximize use of RPA versus manual transfer


  • A mission-critical series of records was updated / transferred as a whole with direct ties to all surgical procedures performed by the health system
  • Clinician and administrative interests were positively impacted across the organization
  • An enormous and complex series of data / records was successfully processed via automation versus manual order entry with a much higher degree of accuracy
  • Reduced burden on staff and budget resources; enabling them to focus on other tasks
  • Helped the customer make better use of their data management / technical resources and improve level of care provided to patients through surgical procedures

EHR migration initiatives have intertwined benefits and challenges. These are opportunities, as in the case of surgical preference cards, to discover new, highly specialized applications for RPA and ways to accelerate and enhance EHR conversion initiatives. The outcomes are positive, with increased organizational productivity, better use of clinical, administrative, technical and operational resources while lowering costs.

For over 30 years, Boston Software Systems has been providing RPA and EHR conversion solutions for hospitals and health systems worldwide. Our pure focus in healthcare enables us to immediately collaborate with customers and partners to develop innovative, cost effective ways to apply RPA solutions. Platform migration has a clinical, financial, technical and operational impact on healthcare provider organizations. We have the established experience necessary to facilitate your EHR conversion initiatives on-time and on-budget; enabling customers to gain maximum ROI from EHR platforms, increase the level of patient care and organizational productivity while reducing costs.

Contact us to have a conversation about your platform migration challenges and goals.