Communication inefficiencies have long been a struggle in healthcare settings. In fact, one study suggests that healthcare teams lose approximately 45 minutes of productive time each day to poor communication systems.
Besides the risk to patient health presented by these inefficiencies, poor communication technologies also contribute to healthcare worker fatigue and burnout. A 2021 survey by Spok found that 69 per cent of healthcare workers believe improved exchange of data between care team members can reduce burnout.
For healthcare providers still relying on legacy on-premises phone systems, it’s time to consider how unified communications (UC) can improve care delivery and healthcare employee experience. With UC solutions, healthcare providers can:
1. Improve system integration
In the Spok survey, 66 per cent of healthcare workers suggested that poor technology integration into workflows was a contributing factor to employee burnout. UC solutions provide voice, contacts, voicemail, instant messaging, email, presence awareness and conferencing—all from one application that can be accessed from anywhere. These systems can also be integrated with electronic health record systems to allow for greater communication with complex care situations.
2. Streamline communications
By combining unified communications with presence tools, healthcare providers can see the best way to communicate with colleagues and other stakeholders within seconds. They can find out who’s available and then set up secure communications using phones, laptops or tablets, despite geographical limitations.
3. Reduce delays
Unified communications systems reduce delays in care by giving professionals real-time ways to connect and collaborate. In addition, robust collaboration tools mean that providers can share information within seconds and review it together. This streamlined process means that patients can connect with providers and get answers to their concerns faster.
4. Reduce costs
By streamlining communications and collaboration, providers can improve diagnoses and treatment plans and reduce the risk of making mistakes in care. Fewer mistakes translate into reduced costs. One study suggests that reducing mistakes in healthcare could save US$38.2 annually across the industry.
5. Enhance patient experience
When providers are using integrated systems, everyone has access to the same information, reducing the need to re-enter details or patient data. This centralized approach means better communication and less frustration for patients. In fact, according to Spok, 38 per cent of healthcare workers believe improving communication technology will improve patient satisfaction.
Modern healthcare teams no longer work side by side at all times. From telemedicine to collaborating with specialists around the world, healthcare providers need to be able to connect with up-to-date patient information in real-time. With unified communications solutions, your healthcare teams can improve collaboration and reduce inefficiencies to provide the best possible patient care.
Learn more about how Allstream UCCV can help you coordinate dispersed care teams.