Healthcare has been at the forefront of mainstream consciousness since the pandemic started, and the strain on hospitals and medical practices has sharply accelerated. Yet clunky communication through outdated, siloed systems can slow things down, drain money and resources, and reduce patient care quality. According to findings by the National Library of Medicine, U.S. hospitals waste over $12 billion annually due to communication inefficiency among care providers and the average 500-bed hospital loses over $4 million annually.
Modern communication technology can improve everything from office-patient appointment scheduling to life-saving procedures. Unified communications (UC) is one of the best remedies for inefficiencies by combining communication lines across a single platform or umbrella.
Channels like phone, video calls, conferencing and meetings, messaging, and even broadcasts are typically delivered through a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) solution. Here’s how UC can benefit healthcare practices and hospitals and create leaner organizations:
Shrink Efficiency Gaps
Medical professionals and patients alike can probably relate to the cumbersome chain of phone calls and emails required to set appointments, ask medical questions, or even refill prescriptions. Sometimes, simple requests can feel like a significant obstacle after all the communication runaround.
If a healthcare organization relies on siloed systems, multiple sign-ons, or sporadic communication, the information chain slows down, making it harder to reach the right personnel in time. Additionally, if there is a bloated or disjointed communication chain, important details can get lost in translation.
Since communication inefficiency in the medical field can range from inconvenient to life-threatening, it’s vital healthcare professionals have access to the most efficient tools possible.
Fortunately, unified communications can help consolidate separate channels, meaning fewer steps to get in touch. Simplified communication leads to better access, easier collaboration, more reliable record-keeping, and an enhanced patient experience.
Improved Data and Record-Keeping
Many UC platforms allow you to integrate essential systems like CRM, FinTech, scheduling apps, or other tools that collect data. If you can connect your communication channels with these tools, you’ll improve documentation and data collection, such as inventory, HR, and patient medical records, helping to tighten up daily operations and boost efficiency.
You’ll also be able to get better insights into things like peak busy times, trends in health issues, call volume, and more, giving you the clarity to make data-driven decisions that improve your organization’s productivity.
Work From Anywhere Connection and Collaboration
The world has moved toward a work from anywhere mentality and staying flexible is key for business survival. Therefore, it’s vital to equip healthcare workers with accessible communication whether they’re onsite or not. UCaaS solutions are critical for successful connection and collaboration between staff members, allowing conversations in real time to verify data, schedule follow ups, and hundreds of other daily tasks within medical facilities.
Set Up for Simpler Future Transitions
Modernizing communication channels through UC is the first step to simplifying the adaptation of new technology down the road. Scalability and agility are key when considering the growing need for telehealth and other digital solutions in the healthcare field. UC provides the necessary flexibility and technology to integrate these solutions into practice without massive upheaval and expense.
Save Costs and Improve Security
Part of operating on a lean level means reducing unnecessary spending and wasted resources. A single system for phone, messaging, and meetings can be a significant savings particularly if you have multiple offices or hospital wings. Using a single platform to bundle several channels together can eliminate the additional costs from multiple vendors and systems as well. Additionally, staff becomes more efficient and productive without having to fight through disconnected communication silos, which ultimately saves both time and money.
In terms of security, healthcare confidentiality is top of mind. UC providers employ many methods to ensure the security of their systems, so medical histories, employee records, financial information, and the like are not at risk. Not all providers are rated equally, so be sure to do your homework. They should be able to provide you with information on their UC platform with regard to their high-security ratings, and how the system protects against data leaks, system downtime, and cyberattacks.
Hospitals and medical practices can become more efficient and function optimally with a unified communications solution by their side. For more tips on UCaaS, industry insights, and the state of modern business communications, sign up for our monthly newsletter.
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