In the healthcare industry, efficiency is crucial. In many cases it could be the difference between life and death. We are talking about more than just in the OR, where anything can go wrong at any moment, or in the emergency room, where things have already gone wrong and time is limited. We are talking about medical records being updated, patients being able to get a hold of the doctor or department they need, and doctors coordinating treatments for various symptoms and diseases.
We are talking about communication as well.
Communication between doctors within a health system is extremely important, as it is with the different offices and departments within that organization. Information must be easily-accessed by everyone within that system with a need. Information must be shared quickly, to provide for timely changes to a treatment, and especially if new information is discovered that could be detrimental to a patient.
Below we will discuss the many ways healthcare can benefit from an improvement in its communication systems.
Efficiency in Communication
UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service, is a category of “as a service” or “cloud” delivery mechanisms for enterprise communications. By connecting the various communication systems within a healthcare organization into one cloud platform, communication efficiency is improved. Taking advantage of a cloud-based communication service will allow healthcare organizations to benefit from having one seamless environment for voice, messaging, and conferencing.
Phone systems can be integrated into one large directory where anyone within the healthcare system can communicate directly with another. It can also route calls to a personal home or cell phone if needed and most come with built-in disaster recovery features. These advanced features mean, that when medical emergencies, natural disasters, or other issues arise, the system is always online and the people who need to be involved can be reached from anywhere and stay connected to the problem.
UCaaS can help identify KPIs (key performance indicators) and lead to changes in operations within call center divisions. By tracking call volumes, the amount of times per calls, and the quality of the calls, center managers can improve the interactions with patients.
The healthcare industry is 2nd in cyber-attacks next to small businesses. With such a high crime rate against health providers and patient’s information, it leads to wonder why companies do not put an emphasis on protecting company data.
Part of the problem is the constant acquiring and merging of healthcare organizations. So many different companies with so many varying computer and phone systems, it can be a challenge to integrate a new acquisition into an existing system. And it can be expensive with so many mergers and buyouts.
Regardless of the reason, the fact remains that healthcare is failing to prevent and protect against cyber-attacks. Using UCaaS ensures that the most up-to-date security measures are constantly applied to your communications system. When coupled with a secure hybrid network, these sorts of advanced measures will extend to other equipment connected to the network such as X-ray machines, electric wheelchairs, and ventilators. If left unprotected, hackers can not only steal information, they can hijack the equipment, or even shut down the entire system.
A unified communications system can help in many ways financially. By using a service, healthcare companies are spared the expense of maintaining their old end-of-life communication systems. They pay a monthly fee for a system that is not only pre-developed, but one that is constantly evolving. This will help providers as technologies evolve and internal needs change. The risk of them falling into obsolescence is greatly reduced.
Switching over to UCaaS reduces the need for multiple internal IT technicians. The system provider will have a dedicated support team to help work through any issues that may arise, and they will contract out any physical repairs necessary for equipment. This will help reduce costs, as will utilizing the various analytics and data management tools that help streamline operational efficiency. UCaaS works within the cloud, reducing the need for additional memory space or computer equipment, and allowing for faster retrieval and processing of data.
When a healthcare organization opts for fully integrating their systems, they need to consider UCaaS first. These systems have all of the tools required to manage their data, use their data fast and efficiently, and protect their data. By doing this, they will be reducing capital expenditures and shifting to a more favorable operating cost model by combining all of their needs into one centralized system.