Enhancing Communication Between Healthcare Professionals and Patients
Patients and healthcare professionals exist in a large universe of information. Using modern communication systems to exchange information among healthcare professionals and patients can facilitate the availability of important information. However, the increased focus of regulations like HIPAA compliance to protect healthcare systems has affected the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals.
Many healthcare centers and offices are still largely using paper-based systems. Errors such as omissions, duplications, illegible handwriting, manual prescribing errors, misinformed verbal communication, drug administrative errors, and inadequate patient hand-offs are common. While electronic medical records systems can occasionally fail to capture key elements relevant to a patient's care, electronic systems have proven far superior to outdated analog methods.
Communication Scope for Healthcare Providers
How do we positively impact the flow of information in patient-centered care? As we provide technology to patients and healthcare professionals utilize information-sharing tools with one another, we strive for high-quality information and secure mediums for communication. Healthcare providers should consider selecting solutions that enable them to encourage patient participation in making healthcare and caregiving safer. Solutions of unified communication and contact — like a cloud-based center — secure integration to the healthcare systems.
When it comes to personal health records (PHR) and other sensitive healthcare-related data, security is crucial. “The Role of Informatics in Promoting Patient-Centered Care” states, “Most PHRs fall into one of two categories: cloud-based standalone PHRs developed by companies such as Google and Microsoft or tethered PHRs integrated with a provider’s specific EHR product.”
Healthcare professionals who have patient information readily available can leverage what they learn from working with previous patients, which can improve patient caregiving. In addition to access to information, a secure cloud-based platform communication solution for healthcare providers can help avoid medical-reporting errors on the backend.
Because maintaining HIPAA compliance is not a trivial job, finding a mature, secure, and robust cloud-based unified communication solution for healthcare institutions is important.
Communication for Healthcare Provides
“The Role of Informatics in Promoting Patient-Centered Care” lays out five levels of communication functionality within healthcare communication:
- A passive collector of patient information
- Personalized messaging
- Vetted health information
- Self-management and action
- Integrator of decision aids
Technology-savvy patients present a larger challenge to healthcare providers as they look to get their hands directly on their medical history. Studies and statistics don't show us how patients are using healthcare cloud-based solutions or how the issues and barriers of cloud-based solutions impact them.
Why Cloud-Based Communication is Important
Communication between healthcare professionals and patients isn't limited to the systems and choices available through a healthcare provider’s facilities. The Internet has quickly changed how we access information. Web-portals have evolved as a platform to exchange ideas, information, and informal prescriptions. Many small, agile healthcare providers began appointment-taking through the Internet before they began using the Internet to generate more revenue from their patients. However, with HIPAA regulations putting pressure on the healthcare industry, many providers can be slow in adopting this new technology.
Cloud-based solutions evolved to provide a secure, reliable platform to exchange information between patients and healthcare professionals, letting patients access their health records, laboratory test results, X-rays, scans, and other information. Current cloud-based technology enables patients to communicate with their physicians, request prescription refills, and make appointments. Studies have shown that healthcare provider messaging solutions improve patient perceptions of the quality of overall care and doctor-patient communication.
Cloud-based portals can be used as a direct communication platform to educate and coach patients on chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease or focused on health risk factors like hypertension and smoking. Cancer patients, for example, utilize cloud solutions to share information, exchange ideas, and develop rituals with their peers and providers.
Mobile Healthcare Communication
Mobile is dominating the space by patients who are pushing healthcare providers to deliver their information directly to their handheld devices. However, tablet-based adoption is the most common in healthcare administration and assessment roles.
Healthcare providers who adopted handheld devices in their administrative and assessment work and workflow procedures proved that it could replace traditional means of administration and assessment with little to no impact on the patient experience. “The Role of Informatics in Promoting Patient-Centered Care” shows that data collection outside of the clinical environment uses a wide range of cloud-based technology tools, web-based patient portals, websites, mobile apps, SMS, and computerized phone surveys.
If you're looking to enhance communication between healthcare professionals and patients to improve your practice, it's worth advancing to a secure cloud-based communication system.
When it comes to security, 8x8 provides reliable and compliant cloud solutions at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out our online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 Product Specialist.