Healthcare and pharmaceutical operations have come under immense pressure during recent months as a result of COVID-19. Restrictions on movement, ever-increasing precautions and limited resources have forced pharmacies, general practitioners, hospitals and more to adjust client care protocols.
These monumental operational changes have placed a strain on healthcare workers while exposing the limitations of some legacy technology, in particular, communications.
Subsequently, the healthcare industry is adapting to new means of client interface, embracing unified communications to continue delivering a high level of patient care, regardless of their location.
The Growing Popularity of Telehealth
According to the Common Health Fund, medical visits were down 60% by mid-April 2020. Although this figure has stabilised, on-site medical appointments are still down by about one third, from the previous year.
Therefore, healthcare professionals have had to adapt to new ways of working. Providing medical support to those who need it most, without the risk of an on-site visit. Telehealth and the adoption of VoIP solutions has bridged the communications gap between people, health systems, physicians and patients.
Maintaining Relationships with a Unified Solution
Preserving the doctor-patient relationship is fundamental in the sector. For this reason, a telehealth concern is the deterioration of these relationships without face to face consultations.
VoIP features like high capacity Call Conferencing, Mobile Softphone and Blueface Video Conferencing can enable medical staff to continue operating while reducing face to face consultations. All while improving productivity and reducing cost.
Video Conferencing can offer a face-to-face, humanised alternative to on-site doctor visits.
Services such as WebDoctor / WebMD were early adopters of video and call consultation and their reliance on their digital consulting facilities has never been more broadly accepted.
According to a recent study from the Annals of Family Medicine, the majority of patients who have received a video and call consultation would be happy to continue doing so after COVID-19. Conferencing is a convenient, private and cost-effective method for both patient and doctor.
A Modern Communications Solution
Faxing has maintained its position over the years as the primary method of transporting medical documentation within the sector.
However, the old-age ways of the fax are beginning to show cracks, resulting in missing files and the inconvenience of a fax machine in remote working environments.
Fax to email provides healthcare organisations with a modern method of sending and receiving fax. This can now be done without security concerns or a physical fax machine. A solution which helps maintain vital communication, with the benefits of faxing in a digital format.
Farranfore Medical Centre cut their phone system costs by 50% when they switched to a new VoIP system from Blueface.
“With the old line-based system, we were paying north of €650 per month. Our new system offers features like the Softphone App and a new hardware estate for less than €350pm. A fully transparent system for half the price.” said Dr Eamonn Shanahan.
Additionally, a recent study from The Ponemon Institute found that outdated communication systems cost the healthcare industry a staggering $8.3 billion each year.
Unified Communications offers more consolidated features at a significantly lower price point and plans that scale with your needs. Cutting costs without compromising on patient care.
Staff Efficiency and Productivity
Heightened demand means the healthcare environment can be hectic, and it’s not always possible to answer every phone call. Additionally, in-house staff has been reduced across organisations to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Powerful communication tools such as a Virtual Receptionist and bespoke Call Routing can help reduce the number of on-premise staff and allow patients to self-navigate to the right person. A simple tool which enhances the patient experience, ensuring no calls are missed.
Features like the Console (IP PBX Switchboard), Call Analytics and Call Recording offer multiple reporting levels to ensure a high quality of care is delivered across every healthcare variant.
The importance of healthcare is undeniable. A VoIP solution can serve as a vital tool for the progression of this industry. No matter what the future holds, unified communications can boost healthcare services and deliver a range of benefits. Lowering cost, maintaining patient care and increasing productivity in a time when it’s needed most.
If you want to discover how Blueface Unified Communications can improve and help you navigate through changing times, reach out to one of our cloud communication experts today.