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3 Unified Communications Tools for Minimizing Risk in Health Care

June 11, 2015 by

When it comes to health care, efficient and reliable communication is crucial. If there is a lack of contact between all members in a hospital, it is putting patients at risk and contributing to an incompetent health care system. The implementation of unified communications solutions could streamline discussion among employees to ensure people receive quality care.

According to CIO Insight, hospitals lose approximately $11.2 billion annually on insufficient communication systems. Because of these lacking programs, approximately half the time admitting, coordinating an emergency response team for, and transferring one patient is wasted. The squandered minutes could be spent helping other people or fulfilling other responsibilities that would simplify and speed up the process. Instead, they're used to track down other staff and to figure out inadequate technology.

UC solutions give health care providers the tools they need to create a dynamic communications system. Hospitals require programs that allow them to contact co-workers within and outside certain department. The ideal system is two-way, centralized, inclusive, and simplified, InformationWeek explained. UC would fulfill all these needs with the following tools.

1. Presence - When there is a full floor in a hospital, staff need to know where their co-workers are at all times in the event of an emergency. Nurses and doctors can easily track down their counterparts and communicate instantaneously when they see that people are online or are in their offices.

2. Mobile convergence - Medical professionals are always on the move and rarely at their desks. However, no matter where they are in the building, they need to be reachable. When mobile technology is combined with UC, they are always accessible. Landline calls can be redirected to cellphones and patient alerts can be answered right from their hand-held devices. Mobility opens up communication between not only hospital staff, but between patients and doctors and nurses, as well.

3. Conferencing - In today's increasingly technological world, people want services where and when they desire them. Audio and video conferencing are becoming popular within the medical field, especially in regards to telemedicine. This increases efficiency, reduces costs, and makes patient care more widely available, according to TechTarget. Video and audio conferencing also allow doctors and nurses to consult specialists outside their hospitals to get second opinions and expert knowledge.

  • Instant messaging - Email is great when people don't require an immediate response. However, it's not such a useful tool when they need answers right away. Instant messaging for business allows doctors and nurses to communicate without the wait and gives them the responses they need to provide top care to patients.
  • Cloud - Doctors and nurses need to access patient records from anywhere in the building. They look at them at their desks, but they then have to update them in people's rooms. A cloud service provides them with the opportunity to do that. When everything is stored in the cloud, it can be opened from anywhere.
While an effective communication system is necessary in any industry, it's even more important when people's lives are in doctors and nurses' hands. UC provides health care professionals with the tools they need to create a productive and streamlined program.

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