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Medical Professionals Need Better Communication Technology Survey Finds

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The health care industry is currently undergoing one of the largest technological revolutions of any sector today. Doctors and patients alike are benefiting from the creation of electronic health records, big data initiatives and online health care portals. Not only are these new processes improving efficiency and productivity, they are also increasing the effectiveness of treatment and making health care better for all.

However, the medical is ailing when it comes to effective communication. A recent survey by PerfectServe revealed that a large number of medical professionals are not satisfied with the technology their organization uses for secure communication.

According to the study, which included responses from nearly 1,000 providers, 30 percent of health care workers weren't happy with the communication technology being employed by their company. A vast majority (96 percent) said inefficient communication is a barrier to effective population health management. The professionals included in the survey covered a wide variety of positions, including primary care physicians, office managers, nurses and case managers.

Lack of Effective Communication Makes Clinician's Jobs more Difficult

A majority of clinicians said a lack of newer, secure communication tools make their jobs more difficult. An estimated 69 percent of clinicians admitted to experiencing  delays in patient care while waiting to receive important information about the patient. So it's no surprise that of those medical professionals who weren't happy with their organization's communication technology, more than two-thirds said their dissatisfaction was caused by different departments within the company using different technologies. Another 55 percent of respondents said that the problem was compounded by the fact that not all members of each team had access to the same technology.

According to the report, the most common form of communication used by the health care providers to contact patients was a phone call, with 83 percent of survey participants citing this has the main communication tool used in the office. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they also used online portals to communicate with their patients. As for the communication technology used, 39 percent said they used telemedicine, 36 percent used video conferencing, 32 percent used remote monitoring, 32 percent used mobile care team communications and 31 percent said they used remote consults.

Clearly hospital workers are gaining some sort of benefit from these forms of communication, but something more could be done to improve effectiveness and functionality. To address these needs, health care organizations are moving toward adopting streamlined forms of communication that integrate new tools like SMS or instant messaging into traditional solutions like phone calls and email. Communication that is simpler and to the point is always more valuable and a growing number of companies are making the switch to unified communication solutions as they realize the benefits of an integrated, streamlined approach.