Today’s healthcare workforce relies more and more on new and emerging technologies to improve the quality of care. More advanced monitoring systems, tablets for patient information, as well as a myriad of other tools and gadgets have made nursing and caregiving, and indeed working in healthcare, a remarkably different environment than it was even ten years ago. With all of these new tools to empower healthcare workers, facilities themselves may not see the same rate of upgrades.
While workers may perform better with specific technologies, this improvement will only matter if the worker’s team and the whole facility can communicate efficiently. This is as true for hospitals and hospices as it is for senior living facilities and general practitioner offices. The best technology available today to provide seamless communication across all channels is a hosted unified communications platform, or hosted UC.
Here are a few ways a Hosted UC can modernise the healthcare workplace:
Deployment and management of a Hosted UC
Traditional PBX phone systems required hardware to be installed on-site, as well as the hiring of expensive technicians to set them up and sort out any problems. These were inefficient systems that caused many problems. A hosted PBX, such as those deployed as part of a Hosted UC, are managed off-premise in The Cloud.
Moving communications to the cloud means a faster, less expensive deployment of equipment and services, as well as much cheaper upkeep and seamless upgrades. This is a critical requirement for healthcare facilities who need to maintain near-perfect uptime for their communications while grappling with increased fiscal pressures. External and internal communications become an afterthought with a Hosted UC, and administrators can rest easy knowing that their communications technology and data is in the cloud.
A communications outage, no matter how short, can spell disaster for a healthcare facility. For hospitals and hospices, in particular, a communications outage can result in life and death scenarios. Luckily, Hosted UC platforms offer 4G failover systems. What does this mean? Simply put, if a facility’s communications fail for whatever reason, whether because of an internet outage or power outage or something else, a Hosted UC platform can switch over to a 4G wireless network to keep their communications running.
Nurse Call Solutions
In healthcare facilities, the ability to call a nurse during an emergency improves patient outcomes. The Nurse Call market is expected to reach $1.6B by 2020 as ageing populations around the world’s healthcare needs increase. Nurse call systems in healthcare facilities need to be integrated with other communications systems to ensure proper responses.
Long-term care facilities do not need disruptive tones and alarms used in hospitals. Such nurse call systems can use modulated and pleasant sounds, track calls, and send out reminders about unanswered calls. Patients can contact nursing staff seamlessly and effortlessly, and these same systems can help facilities track response times and ensure the team is meeting their KPIs.
Many services fall under the heading of telemedicine. The term is used to refer to a variety of technologies that all provide health, medical, and educational services digitally. Live conferencing is now used to deliver therapy appointments in areas where it might be difficult for patients to find a provider. Remote patient monitoring can also fall under the heading of telemedicine.
Monitoring patients remotely can reduce the need for readmissions to healthcare facilities by identifying problems early after a patient returns home. Monitoring also helps with diagnostic procedures and the transmission of image studies.
A hosted UC allows the transfer of shared records, virtual meetings and video conferencing, which save on costs and increase productivity and avoid duplication among healthcare workers. Using video networking and webinars enables staff to remain current on continuing education without travelling long distances, and provide a creative solution to meetings involving a large number of people.
An example of this is a community-based nursing team caring for older people, such as in a senior living facility. Instead of having a morning meeting in a central office, using technology, the staff can call in by video link, which saves travel time and enables them to spend more time with patients. Effective communication also helps staff remain engaged and focused in the workplace.
Technology enables people to work remotely and to operate flexibly. A Hosted UC is essential when workers need to function across departments and in a collaborative way. Ensuring systems are compatible with each other is another vital factor when using a specific technology. Workers can operate in a flexible mode across teams and on various work streams if there are consistent systems in place.
Technology also helps a team’s agility by enabling team members to work remotely, ensuring continuity of services. If a building were unable to be accessed due to adverse weather, for example, a Hosted UC with a robust network enables staff to work remotely to provide essential functions.
Hosted UC Additional Benefits
A hosted UC provides a large number of benefits to healthcare facilities and their staff. From better team collaboration to more seamless integration with vital systems such as nurse call, healthcare facilities’ day-to-day stand to greatly improve with the implementation of a unified communications system. There are, of course, many other applications of a Hosted UC for healthcare. To learn more, visit our Hosted UC page.