Research by the Ponemon Institute has found that when hospital staff members use outdated communication tools, money is wasted and time is lost. The use of obsolete devices like pagers, or communicating across an antiquated technology infrastructure is costing hospitals over $8.3 Billion per year. Ponemon surveyed 577 physicians who indicated that, on average, 45 minutes a day is wasted in trying to communicate with peers. With so much money and time wasted communicating using yesterday’s technologies, the healthcare industry is looking for an improved communication solution.
The $8.3 Billion question: What tools can hospitals and other healthcare organizations put in place to reduce inefficiencies and improve the way in which communication technology is used in the healthcare industry? The simple and low-cost answer: Unified Communications (UC) and Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS). UC and UCaaS allow healthcare organizations to provide quality care promptly, resulting in fewer costs and an increase in overall patient satisfaction.
Connecting Doctors and Staff Members
When lives are on the line, timely communication is key – especially in health organizations. Doctors, nurses and other staff members must be able to communicate with one another in real-time, to stay on top of patient statuses. UC provides the perfect solution for this situation. Whether through email, chat/IM, messaging, presence, or voice/video/web conferencing, answers to questions can be attained right away. Using UC tools such as Microsoft Lync or Cisco Jabber - IM, presence status, voice and web conferencing are bundled in mobile and complete communications solutions.
Collaborating with other Experts in the Field
To provide patients with the best care and outcomes possible, it is routine for doctors to collaborate with other experts and specialists on patient cases. Oftentimes doctors prefer to work in a collaborative group setting to formulate a consensus for care. However, specialists are often spread out across the country, if not the globe; bringing these individuals together for simultaneous consultations can be a challenge. UC tools meet this need with flying colors. Across the internet, patient records can be shared in real-time, and voice, video and web conferences can be held through secure web portals and even across apps on mobile devices.
Mobile Medical Healthcare
With advancements in mobile app technology, major insurance companies and medical institutions now offer their patients the ability to connect with medical professionals through secure apps for quick evaluation and diagnosis of run-of-the-mill issues such as colds, burns, ear infections, rashes, etc. Using updated patient records, uploaded patient photos, instant messaging and video conversations, doctors can use mobile UC apps to provide remote care for patients who are in isolated regions, vacationing away from home, students away at school and so on.
Additionally, conferencing and real-time or pre-recorded demonstrations allow patients in rehab (and other situations) to review and follow along with step-by-step instructions from the comfort of home. Not only is patient satisfaction increased when they can get virtually instantaneous answers to their questions and concerns, but hospitals and clinics save money and time in travel costs by handling follow-up care across unified communications.
UC Improves Patient Communications
Gone are the days of waiting anxiously by the phone for test results from your doctor. Patients now have the ability to log in to secure portals to obtain information regarding their past and current health histories, current and archived test results and other factors related to health care. Consolidating this data into a single, secure digital location means that data is accessible to doctors, patients and consultants, for comprehensive care - a vast improvement over paper files that can be lost or damaged.
Medical professionals can now send text reminders for appointments, email secure links for test results, refill prescriptions, update patient charts and more. UC again helps to reduce inefficiencies and foster goodwill in the doctor/patient relationship – all through cloud-based software communications tools.
Related Video: Using Unifed Communications in the Healthcare Industry
Unified Communications is changing communications technology in the healthcare industry for the better. UC promotes an enhanced quality of care with improved collaboration between medical professionals. It delivers better, more convenient customer service through mobile apps and increased interaction via automated messaging tools. UCaaS helps healthcare organizations drive improved efficiencies and better communication workflows, so doctors can maximize their time with patients and increase their overall productivity. The future of healthcare unified communications starts today with West – contact us today and learn how you can get your part of that $8.3B back to your bottom line.