Even before healthcare professionals began grappling with the COVID-19 virus, hospital systems had started to evaluate how best to modernize their communications. In the UK, for instance, the government's Health Secretary set a goal of eliminating all pagers used by the National Health Service (NHS).

With all the challenges healthcare workers face today, communicating with colleagues and patients shouldn't be one of them. Yet, hospital staff still rely on outdated equipment that doesn't meet the unique challenges of today's healthcare environment and clinical collaboration needs. With strict privacy laws, doctors who need to share patient information must also have tools that ensure data is kept private. Medical teams need the ability to send group messages to expedite care and simplify clinical collaboration.

However, the reality is that many medical staff walk around with multiple devices. For instance, staff physicians could carry two mobile phones — one for work and one for personal use. They're also likely to tote multiple pagers so colleagues in different units and offices can quickly contact them.

How AI and Unified Communications Will Transform Healthcare >

A unified healthcare communications solution can reduce the need for healthcare professionals to carry multiple devices. We look at ways cloud communications enable medical teams to collaborate faster and more efficiently in a secure environment.

Advantages of Simplified Healthcare Collaboration 

Single Device, Multiple Channels, Easy Collaboration

A distinct advantage of a secure cloud communications system is that collaboration via multiple channels is possible from a single device. Whether healthcare professionals are sitting at a desktop, working on a laptop or tablet, or checking their mobile, they can access a secure, personal dashboard via the web.

Quick Communication and File Sharing 

Within this environment, they can discuss cases securely with staff or patients using voice, email, chat, SMS, and video conferencing. They can share files with colleagues and access patient records. Once stored in separate areas of the organization, information is now accessible from one central location.

Healthcare communication is much more streamlined with capabilities such as presence. MiCollab, Mitel's collaboration software platform, allows medical staff to see at a glance which colleagues are available at the moment and contact them using multiple methods.

Hunt and Ring Groups for Easy Contact 

Further, physicians and staff can create hunt and ring groups to ensure no call goes unanswered and colleagues can reach each other easily. For example, in a ring group, all phone numbers, extensions, or physical telephones ring simultaneously when a call comes in. Any medical staff member in that ring group can answer, making this an efficient way to reach specific areas or locations. By contrast, hunt groups route incoming calls to a group of users until someone answers. This feature is especially useful for on-call physicians, who can change their status directly from their personal dashboards.

How does it work? Let's say a doctor who has been gone for the day returns. On her personal dashboard, she switches her status from "Absent" to "Present." Her mobile then becomes her primary calling device. The doctor also retains her unique phone number, enabling external callers to contact her directly.

Single Point of Access Means Better Clinical Collaboration

There's another benefit to a single point of access for communications: Less to carry. You can access multiple ring groups and hunt groups from one device, which replaces all of your devices and pagers.

COVID-19 Placed Extra Pressure on Healthcare Workers. >

Healthcare organizations are under incredible pressure to serve patients during this pandemic. MiCollab helps healthcare professionals easily, efficiently, and quickly communicate with each other.

We often think that the technology we provide has no bearing on the outcomes of staff and patients, but it does. It can save lives.

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