Healthcare Communication Services Your Facility Can't Do Without
The primary goal of healthcare communications services is to provide the highest quality care. This is done by making the job of caregivers more efficient through a suite of communications tools and strategies. In this article, we explore the importance of communication services security. Then we'll look at some examples of the components that make up communication services within healthcare and how they can enhance any healthcare facility.
The Importance Of Security
Security is at the top of the list for any communications services provider in the healthcare industry. Healthcare facilities must follow HIPAA regulations and so too must any provider. Voice calls must be encrypted and have controlled access. Data such as emails, messaging, video calls that contain PMI must also offer the highest level of security.
Examples of Healthcare Communications Services
Specific communication services vary widely. Think of these services features within a provider's offering.
Messaging: Messaging has become ubiquitous in the healthcare industry. It provides an engaging environment that allows caregivers and patients to communicate in a clear manner. Conversely, miscommunication between a caregiver and patient can have adverse consequences, which messaging helps to avoid.
Messaging offers a few distinct advantages. Patients can scroll through the message history to be sure they understand what is being said or perhaps go back to something they may have missed earlier. Important files can be shared right in the messaging interface, reducing turnaround time. Messages can also be used for important alerts. Best of all, they are very easy to encrypt.
Mobile Access: Smartphones continue to get more and more powerful and the networks that support them keep getting faster. These improvements open up communication possibilities that didn't exist just a few years ago. High-quality video conferencing over a cellular network is possible. Caregivers can log into their communications software from their mobile device and have nearly all the same features as if they were on their desktop.
Besides its feature set, mobile access serves another purpose: To allow remote workers access to the healthcare facility's software system. Once the physical location restriction is removed, staff can be expanded. Experts in other cities who prefer not to move can be added to the facility's staff, enhancing overall care.
As healthcare insurance becomes more complex, integration with billing software becomes even more important. When a patient calls in, their profile and medical history are displayed. Communications software that is able to integrate with various billing systems can also bring up the patient's billing history, allowing one staff member to take care of billing issues or handle payment in a single transaction.
Automated alerts are another popular feature of most healthcare communications systems. As patients go into certain care programs, related alerts are triggered at specific intervals. Because virtually everyone has a mobile phone, text alerts can be sent and received in a timely manner. Patients can be notified about:
- Upcoming appointments.
- A bill coming due.
- Alerts related to a specific treatment program.
- Encouraging text messages as part of a wellness program.
As much as non-voice services provide a multitude of benefits, voice calls remain an in-demand service. Communications services offer several key features to enhance the voice call experience. Some of these features include:
- Control over the outbound phone number displayed on Caller ID.
- When a customer calls in, the menu system should always offer an option to speak to a live person.
- Call routing intelligence. If a staff member receives a call at their desk phone and isn't in the office, they should be able to pick up the call on the mobile device.
- Access to voicemails from anywhere. When a customer leaves a voicemail on a staff's office phone, the voicemail should be accessible off-site. Additionally, many services now transcribe the voicemail and send it as an email.
Healthcare Communication Services That Enhance Any Healthcare Facility
Healthcare communication services are very ingrained within the healthcare industry. Knowing which services are making caregivers more productive and enhancing patient care are critical for any facility to remain competitive. Some of the most popular services include:
- Mobile access
- Integration with billing software
- Automated alerts
- Enhanced voice calls
As communications software and mobile devices become more powerful, this list will only grow.
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