Telephony is a foundational capability for any healthcare organization. And while the primary purpose of telephony hasn’t changed in more than 100 years, the ways in which we enhance the connection has.

Telephony in healthcare has always been about connecting two people, for example patient and provider. But providing quality clinical care has moved beyond a simple phone call and writing notes on a clipboard.

Today, telephony in healthcare is about the entire platform that serves the patients’ and providers’ digital communication needs. Identifying and connecting the needs of the patient to the provider with context is critical to driving better patient engagement and care.

Integration drives significant impact

Digital transformation facilitates enhanced data collection and knowledge in the pursuit of better and more informed patient care. But the greater volume of information can pose a challenge for the workforce trying to manage the information and effectively use it in care delivery. Having multiple systems that a healthcare worker must interact with and transfer information to and from is already a burden.

That’s why it is critical for healthcare organizations to ensure that every new capability platform investment reduces the digital burden for the workforce, rather than adding to it.

The value of linking clinical systems with voice conversations is powerful. Adding context to a conversation helps drive purpose, moving the interaction beyond a call to an integrated and enhanced communication experience for both the patient and provider.

Imagine a patient and provider interaction that goes like this:

  • The provider can log into their digital patient record platform and place an audio or video call to the patient directly from within the clinical system. Because the clinical system is linked with the communication platform, the provider has patient information on hand, driving greater context within the conversation. Documentation in the clinical system post-call is easy, and the provider remains in the platform once the call has concluded, simplifying workflow.
  • The patient doesn’t get frustrated being redirected or reexplaining their concern or health history to provider after provider. The provider and patient can have an educated and informed conversation – which ultimately leads to better outcomes for the patient.

Strengthening the ability of your clinicians and support teams to communicate and collaborate with timely and relevant health information is critical to driving more effective workflow and better patient experience.

Cisco is well-positioned to cover the foundational and functional telephony needs within healthcare (through Webex Contact Center or Webex calling) but can also help organizations move beyond calling to an integrated communication platform through tools like Webex CPaaS, call escalation and Webex Instant Connect.

As you think about the way patients interact with your providers and providers interact with each other, it’s time to evaluate whether your communication platform is simply driving telephony or if it’s helping drive efficient, contextual connection.


Andrew Riley

Head of Solution Architecture

Cisco Australia and New Zealand