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3 Problems Collaboration Solves for Healthcare

February 13, 2019 Network Solutions


Increased Workloads on Physicians

Doctors, especially primary care physicians, are under increasing workloads and can have negative effects on the arms-care-check-905874patient experience. Increased workloads and less time with each patient, requires each interaction be meaningful.

Healthcare needs a new approach.

Technology is rapidly becoming the remedy to these increased workloads. The need to collaborate between physicians, their staff, and the patient in an intuitive way is critical to getting patients the personalized care they need and expect.

The rapid expansion of information connectivity means that healthcare requires less hands-on work than it used to. A majority of patient-doctor interactions are done orally with little to no physical contact required. Tasks such as blood pressure testing can happen easily and accurately from home leading to more patients being able to see their primary care physician from home.

According to a study done by American Well in 2017, 64% of patients who visited a brick and mortar facility felt their issue was completely resolved, while telemedicine patients felt their issue was completely resolved 85% of the time. The ability to have a secured visit with your doctor through a video visit increases the number of patients that can be seen in a day and reduces burnout in overworked physicians. 

Increasing Number of Stakeholders

During an average 4-day stay at a hospital, a patient may interact with over 50 different staff members. Specializations are only increasing that number. Having a collaborative team reduces medical errors and improves cohesion that instills confidence in patients. Healthcare providers are realizing that it’s in their best interest to give these teams easy collaboration tools because they can quickly diagnose issues and tackle difficult medical problems.  These tools help increase patient satisfaction and the number of successfully treated patients.

Collaborative visits increase the bottom-line and aid in patient retention.

According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in patients 65 and older, 47% of all doctor visits require a specialist. This highlights the growing need for more streamlined collaboration between specialists and primary care physicians. These disparate medical teams are working towards a common goal, but communication between them is typically slow and cumbersome. Collaboration technology aids in cross-team collaboration including video conferencing, unified communications, and technology rooms allowing administrators to communicate with the entire staff more efficiently. This ensures on-call physicians won’t miss critical information.

Reduce Costs

The elephant in the room is that healthcare is a business.  Being able to effectively treat patients in a timely mannerCollab-Healthcare has a major effect on the bottom-line. Medical errors can cost healthcare organizations millions of dollars. According to a Hopkins Medicine study, 9.5% of all American deaths between 2000 and 2008 were due to medical errors. Having a medical team that collaborates effectively and efficiently can mean the difference between the right or wrong amount of medicine being administered. With technology that allows communications to be accessed from virtually anywhere, these mistakes can be significantly reduced.

With the red-tape strangling medical professionals, workflow complexities are becoming more unmanageable by the day. According to a study conducted by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, an estimated 80% of serious medical errors involve miscommunication during patient hand-off. These mistakes can be remedied by systems like Webex Rooms where confidential patient data can be stored and accessed by an entire medical team and can be securely saved and destroyed so nothing nefarious can happen with the shared information.

Technologies to Empower Healthcare

Collaboration tools have stepped into a new era. The tools available today can range anywhere from being able to view which of your team mates are online, (known as "presence"), to live video streaming with a full-blown next-generation conference room. These tools are giving practitioners and administrative staff the ability to reduce medical errors, improve billing times, and make the entire patient experience easier than ever.

cisco-collaboration-healthpresenceOne of the most powerful tools that can ensure synergy across departments is WebEx Teams. WebEx Teams is a collaboration solution that brings all of the best features that new technology can offer onto one platform. You are able to see if colleagues are online for a question or if they are with patients. The ability to save an extra 20 minutes goes a long way when you have a waiting room full of patients.

One revolutionary feature of WebEx Teams is the ability to setup separate, secure virtual "rooms" that key stakeholders can interact in. Are you trying to help a patient who doesn't have the best insurance? You are able to add the practitioner, administrative staff, and billing department to this highly secure, virtual room so all the information can be digested by all team members and can be referred to at anytime! 

Making sure your team can communicate efficiently is important, but what about the patient? Many offices are offering virtual care through secured collaboration applications. Everyday issues can now be handled remotely and simple prescriptions can be filled without the patient ever having to walk-in. Healthcare organizations are reducing their costs significantly by offering patients the ability to see a doctor this way. Medical offices are often backlogged with minor cases or things that can be dealt with virtually.  Easing that congestion is valuable. Being able to help patients quicker serves to raise the bottom-line and make healthcare more accessible to all.

Collaboration solutions like those mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes what is available to help reduce costs and increase efficiencies. The healthcare industry is so bogged down by red-tape that technology is a game-changer in helping to ease headaches. Creating easier workflows and improving efficiencies is the name of the game.  

If you want to explore how different collaboration technologies could help your business – schedule a no-hassle conversation below and let’s work together to make life simpler for your team!


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