Improving Healthcare Outcomes with Mobile Unified Communications
Good healthcare outcomes rely on the ability of physicians and their teams to communicate patient information quickly and accurately. All too often, though, the process is littered with obstacles.
For example, outdated equipment may fail or be incapable of connecting to essential patient information. Or, a facility’s communications system may not have the ability to facilitate a conference call when a patient’s team is scattered yet an exchange of information is immediately needed. Plus, healthcare organizations need to comply with HIPAA regulations when communicating through different devices.
That kind of inefficiency in communications costs time and money. According to one study, for example, clinicians lost more than 45 minutes each day by relying on pagers and other outmoded technology. Those delays cost the U.S. healthcare industry more than $5.1 billion in a single year.
But when you talk about healthcare, you’re concerned with more than just time and money. You care about outcomes, and gaps in communications put human lives at risk. According to the Joint Commission, which accredits U.S. healthcare organizations, ineffective communications have been the primary cause of more than 70 percent of treatment delays and unexpected deaths or injuries.
In addition, outdated communications put healthcare organizations in danger of violating federal patient privacy laws. A 2014 study found that at least 60 percent of physicians at pediatric hospitals sent or received work-related messages on their personal cell phones – sometimes more than 10 times per shift.
The Answer Lies in Mobile UC
But healthcare systems can address such issues and improve clinical workflows by deploying unified communications. In a nutshell, UC offers several advantages for clinical teams including:
- Better Collaboration: When healthcare applications are integrated with the communication platform, physicians, nurses and other team members can easily access and share patient information and operational processes from the exam room, hospital corridors or even home.
- Better Ease of Mobility: UC enables doctors to move seamlessly between devices. They can review records on a desktop, respond to messages on a tablet, and participate in a video call on their smartphones.
- Better Patient Experiences: Good healthcare doesn’t stop at the hospital door. Even after discharge, contact center software can coordinate and automate patient services by, for example, sending reminder calls ahead of follow-up appointments, reducing no-shows and improving recovery rates.
- Better Measurement: Healthcare practices can also use UC to continually improve care. With access to better metrics, such as satisfaction survey results and appointment data, hospitals can improve HCAHPS scores, which measure a patient’s perception of their hospital experience.
- Better Care Coordination: With features such as presence, UC enables physicians to connect in real-time with other team members. This reduces communication lag time, so necessary care can be performed more quickly.
To learn more about how mobile unified communications helps improve team collaboration, care coordination and the overall patient experience, be sure to register for ShoreTel’s upcoming webinar: How Mobile Unified Communications Transform Clinical Workflows.
This webinar will feature Gregg Malkary, founder and Managing Director of Spyglass Consulting Group; Lance Mehaffey, MHA, ShoreTel’s National Healthcare Program Manager; and Jared Baker of the Boston Baskin Cancer Foundation. They’ll explore how mobile how the healthcare industry can get the most from secure, easy-to-use mobile collaboration tools.
When: Thursday, December 3 at 9:00 am PST
Duration: 60 minutes including Q&A