Communications Blog • 5 MIN READ

UC&C: Improving patient experience and care with digital transformation

With healthcare providers under constant pressure to improve patient outcomes, the healthcare sector has become one of the leading adopters of digital transformation.

Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) tools are at the forefront of this change by opening new portals of connection between different care providers, and significantly enhancing patient experience and outcomes.

UC&C: The path to improve patient experience and care in healthcare

Since the pandemic, healthcare IT teams, practitioners, and patients have come to rely on a variety of communication platforms to connect, collaborate, and provide or receive treatment.

For many patients, digital channels have become a key aspect of their medical treatment. While for practitioners, they have improved the efficiency and quality of service delivery.

While leveraging these new technologies holds the promise of organizational success and improved patient care, there is one small caveat – the need for 100% uptime. Ensuring your communication infrastructure is always on and always working is mission critical for digital transformation to work in the healthcare industry.

Telehealth success fueled by efficient UC&C

When legacy systems in any industry are replaced or enhanced with newer technology, it is generally a catalyst for business growth.

In a medical setting, digital transformation and the increasing adoption of telehealth practices is revolutionizing the industry in more ways than one:

1. Increased patient engagement

UC&C gives patients access to their own records, enabling them to take a more active role in their own health. The ability to review their own test results and other records streamlines the process of quality care.

2. Less risk of error

Automating manual processes with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI can help reduce errors and improve safety and accuracy. For example, Computerized Physical Order Entry (CPOE) systems can reduce medication errors, while checking for drug interactions and allergies.

3. Cost reduction

Telehealth consults often require less resources than in-person appointments, meaning fewer overhead costs to treat the same number of (if not more) patients.

Plus, using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can help to reduce the need for paper records, along with the associated costs of storage and management.

4. Improved access to care

The access to digital tools, including video and chat technology, helps healthcare providers to connect with their patients more easily. This is particularly important in rural or isolated areas and for those patients who have accessibility and transportation issues.

5. Improved provider systems

Digital tools undoubtedly improve provider workflow, while healthcare-specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can reduce operational costs, improve efficiency and compliance requirements.

6. Big Data Analytics

The digital collection and storage of healthcare data means it can be analyzed to identify trends and improve care – for example to predict when patients are at risk for re-admission.

Symptoms of poor UC&C experiences

Monitoring communications ecosystems in healthcare is as important as monitoring a patient’s health. Poor UC&C systems have significant negative impact across various stakeholders in healthcare, affecting patients, practitioners, staff and organizations.

For patients

As patients increasingly embrace virtual consultations for their healthcare needs, video and audio deficiencies can lead to misunderstandings about symptoms or treatments, delay diagnosis or ongoing treatment plans, increased anxiety and frustration, and an aversion to telehealth.

For practitioners

Healthcare practitioners now heavily rely on audio and video calls for collaborative decision-making. The repercussions of sub-par or glitchy connections between consulting colleagues can not only waste valuable time on their busy schedules, but delay or severely compromise the quality of important treatment judgments.

For employees

UC&C environments that experience consistently poor audio and video connectivity can contribute to increased workload, stress, and frustration for contact center and administrative staff, taking their attention away from providing care for patients while they deal with ineffective technology.

For organizations

Poorly performing UC&C can impact the organization in a few ways, including poor adoption of digital platforms, lost patient trust and resulting patient churn, contributing to employee frustration and burnout, and increased – all of which impact patient experience and have a flow on effect to the organizations bottom line.

UC&C tools are pivotal in the digital transformation of healthcare, enabling seamless provider interactions, enhanced patient engagement, error reduction, and cost savings. However, their effectiveness relies on consistent reliability. Ensuring UC&C systems are always operational is crucial to prevent disruptions that affect patient care and provider efficiency.

Robust UC&C environments not only improve care quality but also support the operational and financial health of healthcare organizations. Embracing and maintaining these digital advancements is essential for delivering superior care and enhancing the overall healthcare experience.

For a deeper dive into how UC&C is improving digital healthcare download this whitepaper, Improving Patient Experience and Care: The impact UC&C and Collaboration on Digital Healthcare.

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Topics: Communications UCaaS management Healthcare Technology Collaborate Digital Workplace

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