All of us have hobbies and some have passions. And then there are causes, which many of us are passionate about. I have a special place in my heart for making a difference in anything to do with healthcare.
I obtained my Master’s degree in Child Psychology. I realized that most of my student projects pivoted around activities like spending time with and reading stories to sick children in hospitals. And teaching families in rural areas about healthy living and good nutrition. My project reports were quoted as examples of near ideal written pieces that other students could emulate. The seed was sown.
I started my career with writing, mostly on health, fitness, nutrition among many other topics. I critiqued books on health, care, and life. As I progressed in my career, I moved into IT marketing. I could feel my satisfaction levels peaking when I could bring technology and healthcare closer together. Technology can improve healthcare access and delivery. It’s especially impactful in rural areas where the nearest hospital or clinic could be hours away.
The Promise of Technology-driven Healthcare
There is no doubt that technological advancements are transforming the entire healthcare industry. The proliferation of new collaboration technologies is helping to address issues such as:
- Improving patient care experience
- Aging population health management
- Delivering cost effective care
- Patient data safety
- Driving operational effectiveness
“We’ve reduced the number of emergency patient transfers from our partner hospital in Montana by 60% by using Cisco TelePresence for physician collaboration. This significantly lowers transportation costs, improves patient outcomes, and saves parents the anguish of a 12-hour drive to reach a specialist.” – Andrew Blackmon, Children’s Hospital Colorado
Moreover, patients are more informed and engaged than ever before. They are demanding personalized care. I am one of them. I am also a proactive researcher always on the lookout for the latest trends in consumer-driven health. Gartner reports that close to 70 million people in the U.S. use wearable devices and smart garments to monitor their heart rates, sleep patterns, calorie consumption, stress levels, and a whole lot more. And the numbers will go up to 90 million in 2016.
Add the surge in telehealth, value-based care, wellness programs, retail clinics, and newer proposals that have not caught my attention. Yet.
Combine these trends with changing regulations and operating costs being squeezed. The whole industry is in a major evolution toward digital, personalized medicine, and empowered patients. The number of patients using telehealth services (worldwide) will rise to 7 million in 2018, up from less than 350,000 in 2013, according to IHS.
Collaboration Technology Is the Answer
The latest predictions on healthcare issues and trends point to issues including:
- Patient experience and safety
- Operational efficiencies
- Data breaches
- Healthcare reform
Are you facing similar challenges of delivering seamless and high quality patient care? Reducing the number of medical errors? Saving costs?
Many healthcare institutions are battling with these scenarios. And many are on the path to conquering them. Let us see how.
The right video, voice, and content collaboration solutions can meet both clinical and nonclinical needs. These solutions give patients, doctors, and hospitals better ways to communicate. They can educate, share information, and interact in real-time and in a more personal and cost-effective manner. For instance, a patient in Edinburgh can consult with his oncologist in London with video conferencing. The oncologist gets a live feed about her patient’s latest labs and vitals on a tablet or smartphone. Based on the data, she asks relevant questions and orders further tests or treatment. This real-time valuable interaction saves time and travel, and enables quick care.
“Delivering education opportunities where learners reside is helping to retain doctors in rural areas.” – Anthony Knezevic, UBC Faculty of Medicine
The power of collaboration technology can further be visualized through these real life examples.
- Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, engages in patient care, research, and education to help prevent and cure cancer. With cloud-based video, Moffitt simplified connecting doctors and affiliates worldwide.
- University of British Columbia is addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural areas by extending the reach of medical education over video.
- SickKids Foundation, Canada’s largest funder of child health research after the government, improved the donor experience and is able to raise more money through improved collaboration tools.
By improving collaboration and efficiency, we’re able to raise more funds to help more sick kids. – Seth Corriveau, SickKids Foundation
Collaboration solutions can streamline workflows, enrich patient examinations and consultations, and help make critical decisions more quickly. Thus providing the tools and resources for high-quality patient care.
Just the Beginning
The revolution has just begun. According to IDC’s top 10 health IT predictions, ”Cybersecurity concerns, care coordination and patient engagement will continue to be top concerns, spurring new approaches to IT as hospitals develop increasingly sophisticated digital strategies to improve care quality, broaden access and drive efficiency.”
Explore how collaboration technology can help you meet your challenges with the Collaboration Use Case Tool.
If you have a story to share on how you are using collaboration technology to improve patient experience and care or operational efficiencies, we would love to hear about it. Tell your story and help others learn from it.