Many businesses and industries have or are beginning to deploy unified communications solutions. However, medical centers have been slow to adopt telecommunication advances, as most IT focus in that industry has been on improving patient safety and quality of care.
As with most businesses though, UC solutions can provide vital benefits for hospitals and other medical centers. According to Express Healthcare, until recently, many of these healthcare operations used paper-based charting, forcing collaboration and communication to rely on telephone or even slower methods, such as mail. However, in India, for example, cost effective UC allows doctors to easily collaborate and transfer patient information – increasing efficiency and ultimately enhancing overall quality of care.
UC and other telecom solutions like VoIP service can make a huge difference in patient care. Rather than waiting for records to be transferred between hospitals, or even different departments in the same hospital, doctors and nurses can email digital records or collaborate through instant messaging.
Another major benefit that UC provides in the healthcare industry is mobility. Doctors can easily access information from a number of devices, rather than be tethered to a desktop or rely on printouts.
According to the recent Pearlfinders IT Index, unified communications is helping professionals in a wide variety of industries move "beyond the desktop era." This means that mobile device support and options like video conferencing are becoming a more important aspect of UC deployment, and by using more advanced collaboration services, a or healthcare center can transition to a more fast-paced yet reliable communication system.
One concern with communication services, especially in the healthcare industry, is security. A UC solution must be properly balanced between data protection and open communication in order to ensure it is adequate for hospital use. However, improving technology makes this easier to achieve.
Ultimately, medical professionals' support of UC will determine how quickly it evolves to their needs. The more hospitals that explore communication options like cloud VoIP or secure instant messaging, the more vendors will begin to meet the unique needs of the industry.