Collaboration Makes the Future Bright for Healthcare

March 24, 2015 - 1 Comment

Well, New Year’s Day is long past. As I continue to plod along with my New Year’s resolutions through this brutally cold winter, I do so with varying degrees of success. I still start my day with an apple-ginger juice and try to eat my veggies.   Along the way I bolster my dedication with the incremental successes that a healthy lifestyle delivers.  I feel lucky to have my health and I’m trying my best to protect it! 

Sometimes, I get bummed when I read the healthcare headlines: There’s a new “super bug”… there is a shortage of doctors… antibiotics are nearing the end stage of their effectiveness…. The headlines can be scary!

But I know that headlines are meant to elicit emotions and capture attention. I recently looked behind the headlines at stories about how companies in the healthcare industry are using Cisco collaboration technology.  I came away feeling optimistic.  There are some cool things happening!

Technology is making a huge difference in doctor-patient care.  

Park Nicollet Healthcare is a nonprofit integrated healthcare system located near Minneapolis. The company was looking for ways to improve collaboration between the more than 1000 physicians on staff. Park Nicolette made huge strides when it added Jabber to its existing Cisco Unified Communications Manager implementation.

Jabber freed up doctors to roam the halls and check on patients while staying fully connected on their devices.  Because doctors are connected, they can check on patient data, communicate with other providers, and access applications.  Jabber’s instant messaging speeds communications and provides a platform for real-time responses.

Utilizing WebEx Meeting Center as the primary conference hub gave Park Nicollet an easily accessible platform to use from Jabber. Staff can now hold scalable meetings — inviting new participants to join until they solve the problem or challenge.

As a patient, I cannot imagine anything more comforting than knowing a doctor can look up my history, consult with other doctors in real time, and find solutions faster.  Technology allows just that to happen!

Doctors still do house calls?

To my colleagues and friends on the East Coast do you feel like like its snowed all winter? Well, what happens to you if you need medical attention and you’re snowed in? Or the doctor is? Or, maybe the doctor is in an entirely different country.

The house call may be coming back, but not the way it used to be. Telehealth is making a difference.

No hospital is an island!

No one hospital is the repository of all information.  Sharing information is necessary to find the best health care solutions.  At Moffitt Cancer Center, researchers, clinics, and experts in the field use cloud-based Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMR Cloud) to engage anywhere at any time, globally.  Implementing the system also solved challenges related to sharing information between affiliate hospitals.

CMR Cloud even solved problems the center’s HR department was experiencing. Interviewing is often done via video.  The previous system was plagued with lapses, delays, and disconnected sessions.  Using CMR Cloud, anyone using nearly any video device can connect without struggle at a higher quality. And people can share the video across different departments within the Cancer Center.

“This new way of meeting has revolutionized how we practice medicine,” says John Maass, Moffitt’s manager of conferencing technology. “Now we want to share it with all our partner affiliates.”

For more examples of how healthcare organizations are using Cisco collaboration technology, check out our case study index.

As for me, I am still going to stick to my juicing and exercise. But seeing how healthcare providers are using Cisco technology for real-time communications, platforms for collaboration, and easily accessible video communications, I personally feel confident in this innovative technology.  It is impressive how much technology can aid in solving so many problems and bettering the quality of life for all.

Here’s to your continued good health

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  1. It is so important that healthcare professionals remain connected and collaborative. The need for second opinions among specialists demands availability. I’m reminded of a time last year when I thought I might have a blood clot in my leg. I spent 4+ hours in the ER waiting for the results of the sonogram. In the end, it ended up being nothing. When I asked why it took so long to tell me all was good, I was told the images were faxed to the wrong location. I’d like to think we now live in a time where an image sent to a smartphone would render better quality then a fax (Who uses fax anymore?) and be received immediately by the right specialist.