There is a huge pressure on the healthcare industry to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and enable simple and easy communication, all while enhancing the patient experience.

This is why Unified Communications (UC) has an incredibly important role to play in unifying patients and healthcare staff and equipping them with the necessary tools in order to carry out their important work.

UC also needs to offer this at a cost-effective price-point while keeping patient information secure and adhering to data protection regulations.

Afterall, the easier and more efficiently healthcare professionals are able to communicate, the better and quicker care they’re able to offer patients; this is all the more important when time-critical care could be the difference between life and death.

From theatres to pharmacies and waiting rooms to wards, UC plays a crucial role in enabling seamless communication to be realised.

Let’s explore five key areas within healthcare where UC can help enable a better staff/patient experience.

1. Improving patient experience

The number one focus for any healthcare provider: the patient. The patient experience, and service they receive, can be aided and improved by efficient and robust UC integration.

A well-structured UC ecosystem will allow healthcare teams to respond quicker to issues by ensuring continuous, connected communications, no matter where the various teams are based.

Any interaction the patient has with the healthcare teams adds to the patient experience. Whether that’s booking appointments via an online portal, navigating a phone-based Cloud booking system, or communicating via video with a doctor, this needs to be as seamless as possible.

UC enables healthcare organisations to utilise virtual receptionists, align patient calls with the appropriate person quickly, and allow patients to interact with the healthcare provider, even when staff aren’t available, or are working remotely.

2. Face-to-face…from anywhere

Following on from our previous point, telehealth solutions are increasingly giving patients access to doctors and medical staff without the need to be in the same room.

The UC industry has a wealth of healthcare dedicated video and voice solutions to help enable a new generation of telehealth and telemedicine.

Such software – combined with compatible hardware – can provide a lifelike and secure meeting experience that helps healthcare professionals collaborate, and connects staff with patients, all while remaining data compliant through a secure Cloud network.

Of course, many patients will still prefer in-person appointments, but being able to offer a virtual experience option that’s as close to the real thing as possible, opens up care to even more people.

Healthcare unified communications cameras
Portable cameras can be used for lifelike meetings, anywhere.

3. Connecting healthcare teams

Focusing specifically on the benefits to healthcare workers, UC is helping connect an increasingly mobile workforce.

With healthcare teams finding themselves increasingly distanced – whether a nurse required at multiple home visits or healthcare staff constantly dispersed across large hospitals – these organisations can now implement UC solutions to mitigate communication breakdown, and help staff give their patients the care they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This highlights another key benefit of UC within healthcare: increased staff productivity.

Being able to provide a quicker and more efficient patient experience – even when remote – staff can focus their attentions on more patients and/or offer an increased range of services which, in turn, will hopefully increase the quality of the care they offer and for a broader range of patient needs.

Connected healthcare teams through UC technology
Video bars and screen sharing make collaboration simple and efficient.

4. Security and compliance

To ensure healthcare teams remain compliant, they need simple management tools that help them access and share patient data within the parameters of data privacy and compliance policy.

UC solutions allow these teams to not only utilise simpler communication tools, they also make information being shared easier to track, and ensure it’s being handled correctly and by those who are qualified to access it.

These tools are often flexible and able to be moulded to the unique requirements of each environment. Organisations can look at adding additional tools that automatically detect security threats or even prevent them occurring in the first instance.

5. Let technology do the work

And finally, UC solutions can help healthcare organisations to stay up-to-date with leading technology innovations, and implement them into their communications strategy.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) help take repetitive administrative tasks out of the hands of staff, freeing up more time to spend with patients, putting their specialism where it’s needed most and helping prevent them getting bogged down in paperwork.

AI can also improve alignment within, and between, teams. Meetings can be scheduled easier through shared calendars to see when each member is available, while transcription and recording functions help preserve important meeting information without the need to take up someone’s time and take minutes.

These functions can get incredibly detailed. Meeting participants can create actionable takeaways at the click of a button, from these transcriptions, for each member to take away with them, increasing meeting productivity.

Nuvias UC are aligned to a number of UC vendors with the healthcare industry at the heart of their product and solutions portfolio.

If you’re a reseller looking for support on your healthcare clients’ communication strategies, come and have a chat with one of our specialists.

Darren Togwell

Marketing Specialist - Nuvias UC.