In part 1 on our blog series about technology in healthcare, we focused on the benefits of telemedicine. Here, we take a look at what can happen if things go wrong in your UC ecosystem.
Changes in the healthcare market over the past decade have opened up a vast array of opportunities for IT solution providers and healthcare decision makers. Huge advancements in technology have placed telemedicine at the forefront of progressive medicine, and it’s having a radical impact on the way doctors deliver, and consumers receive healthcare.
With today’s strong focus on improving patient care and outcomes, IT solutions are heavily invested in lowering costs, making healthcare more accessible and increasing the effectiveness of treatment.
In 2016, in the United States alone, over 15 million people were treated through telemedicine.
The University of California Davis Health System’s telemedicine program conducted a study on 11,281 patients over 17 years. The results were impressive.
None of this would be possible without Unified Communications.
At its core, telemedicine uses videoconferencing to connect patients with healthcare professionals. But when used in a healthcare application, UC platforms can be extremely complex. There are multiple vendors, various SBCs, servers, gateways and other critical elements that make up the UC ecosystem.
Access to patient records, quality of calls, and security are even more important in this intricate UC environment.
With all the benefits of telemedicine, what goes hand in hand with this technology is the importance of stringent monitoring, troubleshooting and optimization.
The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a legislation that exists to protect patient information and privacy. This requires end-to-end encryption and adherence to strict security standards to comply with HIPAA regulations. Monitoring and troubleshooting is the insurance that keeps the telemedicine industry compliant.
A major concern for the telemedicine industry is losing access to electronic health records (EHR). Obviously, planned downtime is necessary to carry out maintenance and system update, and these are scheduled so as to have the least impact on clinical care. More concerning is unplanned downtime that can last for an unspecified period of time and have concerning consequences. Using an end-to-end monitoring solution can help predict and prevent outages that cause unplanned downtime.
One such client now using Prognosis, is a US healthcare organization with over 70,000 employees. In late 2018, a nationwide telecommunications outage affected the organization’s internet and phone services, and the health system was unable to access patient EHRs.
The client was looking for a state-of-the-art UC monitoring and troubleshooting solution, as they’d experienced issues with EHR outages and serious data breaches including a ransomware attack in the past.
The goal was to deliver a complete end-to-end solution to monitor their mission critical needs over 80 locations.
They required a monitoring and alerting platform that would seamlessly traverse or launch all features and functions for any tool from a central console. They wanted to see high-level data from all tools in a unified interface.
They needed to monitor call quality metrics, such as latency, jitter and MOS scores, and expose these metrics to the rule-based event engine.
Working side by side with the most complex IT environments, Prognosis can plan, deploy and migrate new technologies to proactively prevent problems. A single minute of downtime in any industry can seriously affect an organization’s bottom line. But in the telemedicine space, downtime can have a far more serious impact.
Prognosis for Unified Communications delivers fast problem resolution with complete visibility across an entire collaboration ecosystem for the best possible user experience.