I’ve talked a lot about how collaboration technology helps companies better communicate and connect with internal and external teams – both locally and globally – and all of the business benefits that come along with that.  What I haven’t addressed up until today is how collaboration technology can also be used to provide healthcare benefits to employees. Today I’m pleased to introduce this new topic.

Cisco is a world leader in providing employee benefits that foster a work-life balance. Promoting health and well-being is one of our priorities. We deliver it in the form of on-site health centers we call LifeConnections in San Jose, California, Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina and Bangalore, India, three of our largest employment locations. LifeConnections made its debut in San Jose in  November 2008; in RTP in September 2009; and in Bangalore in October 2012. Our RTP center will also open to families of employees starting next Monday, March 18. 

The LifeConnections program offers a unique combination of innovation and a best practices model for onsite corporate health centers. It promotes better employee/patient engagement through connected technologies and tools spanning the healthcare continuity. It offers access to care from in-person visits ranging from primary care, travel medicine, lab work, health coaching, ancillary services and an onsite pharmacy as well as virtual visits (our telehealth solution uses Cisco’s Healthpresence technology platform).

Unique to Cisco in the onsite healthcare model is the integration and leverage of Cisco’s technologies:

  • Collaboration
  • Data Management
  • Video
  • Mobility
  • Ubiquitous connectivity
  • Security, providing a connected healthcare delivery model that ties all the services together

Cisco created the LifeConnections technology-enabled experience so that time spent in the center is about health rather than the administrative processes. Technology-enabled cost savings include:

  1. Paperless automation and streamlining processes that help improve provider and patient experience and productivity.
  2. Improved access to care leveraging the telehealth solution platform. For example, 75% of employees who use the telehealth (virtual) platform see a healthcare specialist sooner than they would with an in-person visit – as much as two months sooner.   
  3. Employees and their family members can access everything online such as scheduling appointments, reviewing test results and medical information, securely communicating with providers, and renewing prescriptions.

In terms of metrics, our overall patient satisfaction rate is 97%. And anecdotally we constantly receive comments from employees that tell us how happy they are with the service.

We’re always striving to enhance our technologies. Future technology implementations planned include the launch of virtual visits using Cisco WebEx conferencing, mobile apps, and extending care to the home.

So there you have it. Technology is enhancing the overall health care experience and delivering it in a cutting-edge fashion. Maybe Cisco can help with Obama care?!  To this point, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, speaking at a recent healthcare IT conference, told the audience:  “You all know information technology and how we manage it is critical,” adding that IT could play a vital role in improving access and providing leverage for the American people.

Happy collaborating … and happy health!