Healthcare Optimization: Effective Communication is the Key

Collaboration technologies are a sure way to reduce the delays that afflict the healthcare system.

The continuum of healthcare comprises a series of steps in which several players take turns to provide the patient’s care. Beyond purely medical issues, healthcare systems include a series of processes that require complex logistics.

A patient could, for example, call the Health Information line, where they may recommend that he go to the hospital. He may have to call an ambulance to take him to the emergency room. There, he goes though admissions, which could send him to another department to obtain his hospital card.

More administrative paperwork is required. Among other things, the hospital provides relevant information to his health insurance company and the patient contacts his insurance company to see if certain treatments or services (such as the room and television) are reimbursable. And when the patient leaves the hospital, his case is completed and closed, and then sent to the records department.

When it comes to treatments, the procedures are equally complex. In fact, a multitude of people – nurses, urgent care doctors, family physicians, radiologists, social workers, etc. – intervene, communicating with each other and with the patient and other resources such as homecare, specialists, administrative staff, etc. 

It goes without saying that effective and fast transmission of relevant information among the different players is likely to reduce delays that impair the proper functioning of the healthcare system. Which means that reducing the delays leads to improved utilization of healthcare professionals and better quality services being offered to the population. The continuum of healthcare is a highly mobile environment, in which rapid access to information becomes increasingly critical.

Using state-of-the-art communication methods

Today we have user-friendly and affordable technologies (http://www.cisco.com/web/CA/solutions/strategy/healthcare/index.html) for transmission of images, voice and data that can easily be leveraged to improve the processes involved in healthcare. These technologies are already in use in the healthcare system; the supporting infrastructure and equipment are widely available. However, these technologies are deployed on an ad hoc and isolated basis, without having a comprehensive plan to reduce delays across the whole system, increasing efficiency.

In fact, the widespread use of concepts and techniques such as mobility (http://www.cisco.com/web/CA/solutions/trends/mobility/index.html), video, standardized communications and collaboration tools can render valuable services: fast access to information reduces the burden on caregivers, remote consultation avoids costly transportation of patients in large urban centers, better communication between patients and providers simplifies administrative tasks and reduces the duration of the process, the use of discussion forums increases the sources of information…

This avoids overburdening professionals with time-consuming processes, making them more available. It reduces the long waiting periods that patients must go through to access care, without increasing resources.

We all know that healthcare costs account for a growing portion of the budget of the Quebec government. Additionally, with the current state of government finances, healthcare seems to be an area specifically targeted for cost control. A more effective healthcare system, unhampered by long waiting periods, can not only provide better services to the population, but allow significant savings, helping to end Quebec’s budget impasse.

Author: Jerome Bourgoin, Regional Sales Manager

jbourgoi[1]

About Cisco Canada

Humans, devices and things are connecting. We’re assimilating a network that is complex, awe-inspiring and powerful. And we’re doing it faster than before. Tomorrow, we’ll work, live, play and learn much differently than we do today. Tomorrow’s world will surface an exciting, dynamic and thoughtful conversation — one that will transpire in the social web among thought leaders, network architects and early adopters. Cisco, the beating heart of this transformation, has the distinct opportunity and authority to lead this conversation. And with Cisco at the heart, more things will be connected, and tomorrow will be built with our imaginations. La connexion entre humains, appareils et objets est en train de s'établir. Nous sommes en voie d'assimiler un réseau complexe, imposant et puissant. Et nous sommes en train de le réaliser beaucoup plus vite qu'avant. Demain, notre travail, nos vies, nos loisirs et nos apprentissages seront très différents d'aujourd'hui. Le monde futur émergera de dialogues dynamiques et éclairés qui surgissent des liens sociaux tissés entre des chefs de file éclairés, des architectes réseau et des pionniers dans l'adoption de technologies. Et avec Cisco au coeur du mouvement, plus de choses se feront connecter qui permettra de construire un avenir fondé sur la richesse de notre imagination.
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One Response to Healthcare Optimization: Effective Communication is the Key

  1. Cisco is big firm, it build a many more networking devices for sharing the data from one location to another.

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