7 healthcare trends and how technology can help

Cloud-based communication solutions offer immediate access to the latest communication tools without significant capital overhead, allowing healthcare providers to scale up as needed and easily accommodate new locations or remote workers.

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healthcare trends

Healthcare providers face a variety of obstacles in their efforts to provide high-quality patient care. As they continue to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they must also deal with the new realities of healthcare, such as emerging virtual care models, rising costs, staff shortages and an aging population.

In this environment, providers need a secure and reliable communication solution to meet the needs of patients. Here are seven healthcare trends impacting patient care—and how improved communication technologies can meet those challenges:

1. Demands for an improved patient experience

Patients are accustomed to the high-quality experiences they get as consumers. When they don’t receive the same treatment from healthcare providers, they end up frustrated. In a recent survey, 70 per cent of respondents say ease of use should be a top priority for healthcare, while 68 per cent cite the need to improve patient interactions. Expanding communication options through telemedicine, secure messaging platforms and additional channels can give patients the experiences they’re used to getting outside of healthcare.

2. An aging Boomer population

More than half of American adults over 55 years of age are retired. As they face rising costs and an increasing need for healthcare, streamlining communication with these patients will become a necessity. Offering telehealth options may help keep the cost of each interaction lower for aging Boomers. In addition, by simplifying communication with providers, those with limited mobility may be able to connect more frequently.

3. Staff shortages

Many healthcare providers will face staffing shortages in the coming years. In fact, a Mercer study found that 29 U.S. states will not be able to fill the demand for nursing staff by 2026. As healthcare workers leave the profession, providers will need to do more with less. The right communication technology can improve efficiencies and give clinicians more time for patients. In addition, modern cloud-based solutions are easy to use and allow a high degree of flexibility and mobility, giving users a better experience and freedom to move around.

4. Adoption of new communication technologies

healthcare trends

Traditionally, the medical profession has been slow to change when it comes to the latest communication technologies and healthcare trends. However, the pandemic accelerated adoption of technologies such as videoconferencing and telemedicine. As hospitals struggle to keep up with patient care demands, these new tools can help screen less critical needs and provide routine, non-critical care.

5. Enhanced care coordination

Providers often have multiple locations. Leveraging cloud solutions can help them connect with other care team members immediately, allowing them to speed up the decision-making process in the delivery of care. Instead of being reliant on email to discuss treatment, caregivers can use collaboration tools such as video meetings and real-time messaging to discuss cases in real time. They can also access these tools using an Internet browser from anywhere, and shift instantly between reading messages, calling patients or colleagues, sharing files and collaborating. Modern, integrated communication solutions allow this kind of flexibility without sacrificing reliability or quality.

6. Improved scheduling

Often when patients need healthcare, they call and talk with a receptionist who will hopefully transfer them to someone else for scheduling. This means that at least two employees are needed in order to handle this type of call. At the same time, these employees may have patients that are waiting to be helped. With a cloud-based communication platform, patients can use a telephone-enabled portal that allows calls to be routed to the appropriate facility and person without waiting on hold. In addition, there are online scheduling tools that can allow patients to make their own appointments without speaking to anyone.

7. Improved communication reliability

Traditional landlines are vulnerable to events such as power outages and building emergencies. If a building is closed, calls will go unanswered. With modern cloud-based communication systems, patients are able to talk to their caregivers regardless of where they’re located. This makes it possible to conduct telehealth appointments from home if necessary. Auto-attendants are able to route calls to the right department, allowing healthcare providers to work even when their physical office may be inaccessible.

Read more:

Optimizing healthcare delivery with Cloud Connect
How to stay competitive through virtual health
How technology could ‘humanize’ healthcare

Cloud-based communication solutions offer immediate access to the latest communication tools without significant capital overhead, allowing healthcare providers to scale up as needed and easily accommodate new locations or remote workers—and to support the latest healthcare trends.

Using a cloud voice solution like Unified Communications Cloud Voice lets you dramatically reduce the management and maintenance costs of traditional phone systems, while ensuring that healthcare organizations always have access to the latest communication technologies. To learn more, contact us.

Images: FatCamera/iStock; Geber86/iStock

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