Effective communication is the cornerstone of every successful business. You can’t fully maximise positive outcomes without it. After all, collaboration and teamwork depend on being able to communicate seamlessly. This is especially true in the healthcare industry, where timely and accurate information is critical for delivering safe and quality care.
Hospitals, physician’s offices and insurers aren’t the only ones who need to work together to ensure patient care. They’re also supported by ancillary healthcare services such as labs, pharmacies and home health agencies. The challenge is to keep them connected as they might be using multiple systems. This is where unified communications (UC) comes into play.
What is unified communications (UC)?
As the name suggests, UC is a type of communication platform that integrates different hardware and software components into one suite. It combines telephony, instant messaging, video conferencing, email, presence services and more in one interface.
Unified communications has gained momentum in the digital space owing to its numerous advantages. According to market research analysts, the global UC industry is forecasted to reach AUD$325.51 billion by 2030 at an annual growth rate of 17.7% during the analysis period (2023-2030). This figure reflects the growing demand for this technology in various industries, especially healthcare services.
Top benefits of unified communications in healthcare
In the era of hybrid working environments, healthcare professionals are increasingly adopting a mix of in-person and remote work. That said, the role of unified communications has become paramount in creating an efficient and secure healthcare ecosystem.
Here are the several ways it has been positively impacting the healthcare industry:
1. Enhances patient engagement
Some patients may hesitate to visit the doctor’s office due to their busy lives or health concerns. Or perhaps they’re living in remote areas with limited medical facility access. In such cases, the UC tool transcends geographical barriers and enables individuals to access medical expertise beyond their immediate location.
Medical practitioners can leverage the UC’s video conferencing feature to conduct consultations, communicate with their patients and provide personalised care without sacrificing quality and safety. They can also use messaging platforms to deliver timely responses to patient inquiries. It makes it easier for healthcare providers to support remote patient monitoring, medication reminders and more. All this contributes to improved patient engagement and satisfaction.
2. Streamlines inter-departmental collaboration
As mentioned, patient care requires the cooperation of more than just the attending doctor and nurses. Lab results, medical records and other essential documents must be shared between departments and, if necessary, with external entities such as home health agencies.
The unified communications tool makes this process seamless by centralising all communication channels into one platform. For example, doctors can send messages directly to pharmacists or request lab reports from the pathology department instantly. Once received, it can be stored and accessed securely within the UC system. This can speed up the entire workflow and enable better coordination between multiple parties involved in patient care.
3. Facilitates virtual meetings
Teleconferencing is becoming popular in many businesses, especially now that a hybrid work setting is the norm. Whether it’s an administrative meeting, a staff training session or a discussion of medical case studies between specialists, UC technology offers many options to facilitate these events.
For instance, it can support screen-sharing capabilities to show slides and documents during meetings. Alternatively, the audio streaming feature allows multiple participants to join simultaneously from different locations. This allows the audience or attendees to conveniently take notes or keep up with the discussion. The best part is that there’s no need to download large files or make multiple copies of the same presentation.
4. Secures patient information
In a 2023 report from Statista, around 7 in 10 companies globally are at risk of cyber attacks. You can’t take risks with patient data as it’s confidential and must remain secure. That’s when UC shines. It incorporates the highest level of encryption and security protocols to protect data from being accessed by malicious actors.
Take a look at the features of a secure unified communication system:
These solid layers of protection help maintain data confidentiality and reduce the risk of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations. With this innovative system, you can rest knowing that all patient data is safe and secure.
Break digital communication barriers with Kaine Mathrick Tech
As the demand for hybrid work environments and remote care continues to rise, unified communications will remain a necessary component of the healthcare system. Its immense potential to revolutionise the healthcare industry is undeniable.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and discover how we can help you move your organisation into the digital age with unified communications, our experienced professionals will assist you every step of the way, from planning to implementation. Contact us today!