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Healthcare Organizations Benefit from Unified Communications Report Finds

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Workers in the healthcare field need to be able to correctly and quickly receive and analyze data in order to give patients the best care possible, often in a fast-paced hospital environment. A unified communications (UC) strategy is beneficial to healthcare organizations that want to stay connected and efficient in all necessary functions, including patient care, billing and support.

According to a report by IDC Health Insights, UC can help healthcare organizations more efficiently process information and thus make decisions related to patient care more quickly and accurately. In today's collaborative healthcare field, the accountable care organization model is being adopted more than ever. As a result, the use of technologies to streamline clinical information systems and automate point-of-care processes is on the rise. Teams of doctors, nurses and specialists work together to ensure the delivery of the best patient care possible, and in order to do this they need to ensure everyone is on the same page. Communication delays between team members and issues regarding access to important data are not only frustrating, they also can result in inferior care. UC provides collaboration solutions for healthcre organizations that help to avoid such delays. 

"The highly mobile and collaborative nature of today's healthcare is highly conducive to deploying mobile UC," said Lynne Dunbrack, the report's author and the program director of connected health IT strategies at IDC Health Insights, in InformationWeek Healthcare. "Changing reimbursement strategies from fee-for-service to a pay-for-performance model under accountable care organizations will require improved coordination of care and collaboration among caregivers, especially for patients with multiple chronic conditions who are treated by various specialists."

Increased Efficiency

The level of care a patient receives is dependent on the speed at which healthcare workers obtain and analyze information. When data is coming from multiple sources from different parts of the hospital and from different providers, valuable minutes are often lost trying to distinguish one source from another. Yet since UC combines data, voice, messaging, location awareness, event management and more on one platform, healthcare providers can streamline where they're getting their data, which leaves less room for error. Workers can more quickly make important decisions as well because they have more time to consider options.

Optimized Patient Engagement

Healthcare organizations are becoming more aware of patient gratification due to the implementation of new federal rules that restrict Medicare payouts to those providers that score high on satisfaction surveys. Patient engagement is a crucial aspect of making sure a person has the best experience possible when dealing with an organization's staff and procedures.

Personalized automated appointment reminders for medical offices and contact center solutions that handle sensitive patient data are only two examples of how a UC strategy deploys in practice. According to TechnologyAdvice, 68.6 percent of patients feel that it's important for physicians to follow up after an appointment. UC enables the automation of follow-up actions by eliminating the need to manually make telephone calls. This allows follow-ups to be done in a timely manner and has the potential to increase patient satisfaction.