Home healthcare providers are a critical part of our medical landscape. These dedicated individuals help senior adults remain self-sufficient in their homes, support those recovering from surgery with in-home physical therapy and provide an important liaison to the medical community for children and adults with long-term disabilities. Yet all too often, these on-the-go workers lack a seamless communications solution for keeping in touch with the office between appointments as well as with their patients, and they need better ways to manage their caseloads. Fortunately, unified communications (UC) can heal the issue.
UC provides a number of features that translate into better efficiency for these employees and, most importantly, better patient care. For instance, a unified mailbox, accessible via a mobile app, means that workers can see all of their calls, messages and emails in a centralized location—allowing them to be more timely and responsive when patients and their families are trying to reach them. UC also ensures that workers can make and receive all of their calls on the device of their choice—so while helping people in their homes, they can still receive calls that come into the office.
Call recording is important too—in an age of electronic records, UC allows recordings of inbound and outbound conversations to be easily added to a patient file. Those patient records also can be shared across devices in real-time with physicians, pharmacists and others– through mobile apps, instant messaging, email, or video and web conferencing.
UC also offers advanced advantages for information review as well: Workers can access corporate directories, review patient files, look up medication and medical device features and more, all from their smartphones, tablets or laptop PCs.
Caseload management is another area where UC can play a critical role. Today’s healthcare providers are often faced with increasing patient loads as the population ages, in tandem with reduced budgets and ongoing staff shortages. UC can boost productivity and streamline processes, by allowing easier scheduling. Providers can access detailed views of employee availability, so that they can ensure that the right resources at the right time are available to patients.
And finally, doctors and outpatient nurses often need to follow up with patients after surgery. UC allows practitioners and nurses to do so via video conferencing and instant messaging, through any device, thus saving on travel time and expenses, and making staff more available to patients in general.
Whether it’s better quality of care by enhancing patient care interactions, better collaboration among medical professionals, improvements in business processes or the ability to provide better customer service to patients and their families, UC has an important role to play in home healthcare.