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    January 7, 2016

    3 Key Healthcare Roles That Were Transformed with Unified Communications

    There’s no denying that advanced communications technologies, or unified communications, can drastically impact the healthcare industry. Unified communications helps extend the care experience of patients, improves health care team communications and performance, and can help lower costs and add new revenue.

    But what, specifically, will unified communications offer to the key roles in a major healthcare organization? Let’s take a look through the eyes of these three roles.


    Clinicians strive to deliver better care for individuals and better health for populations. This means extending and standardizing the care experience across geographies, reducing medical errors, standardizing, increasing patient throughput and transitions, and working with colleagues to gather expert knowledge.

    Unified communications gives clinicians the communication tools needed to reach remote patients and populations and collaborate with internal and external healthcare providers.

    While clinicians are responsible for delivering high-quality, standardized care to individuals and the global populations, they experience many challenges that can be combatted by unified communications. Here are a few incredible ways clinicians can use unified communications to better perform their role:

    • Video and conferencing enables virtual patient care. Telehealth, anyone?
    • Collaboration allows clinicians to quickly connect with and work with other providers.
    • Multiple methods of communication makes it easier to work with colleagues from afar.
    • Compliant technologies ensure that both the patient and provider are protected.


    Executives strive to reduce costs and add new sources of revenue in order to create financial stability. This means doing more with less, leveraging new technologies to streamline processes, and extending the care experience to new populations, lines of care, etc.

    Unified communications give executives the means to reduce costs and eliminate redundant technologies and processing, as well as extend virtual care to untapped populations.

    Executives carry some significant key responsibilities, including:

    • Driving profitability throughout the organizations by adding new lines of revenue and eliminating costs.
    • Doing more with less, especially when it comes to healthcare providers.
    • Keeping clinicians engaged and motivated.
    • Helping ensure organizational and clinician compliance.

    Key responsibilities are met with significant challenges and healthcare executives are urged to consider virtual care technologies and streamlined communications methods. Thankfully, unified communications enable these responsibilities to be implemented. Here are a few examples:

    • Voice capabilities make it possible to reduce PBX maintenance and trunking costs.
    • Video and conferencing enables executives to hold virtual meetings with clinicians to share information, develop culture, and build engagement.
    • Mobile executives can connect with colleagues, clinicians, and administrative staff from any location.

    Administrative Staff

    Administrative staff strive to support executives and clinicians in their quest to deliver cost-efficient, revenue-generating, high-quality patient and population care. This means harnessing technology to support the introduction of new lines of care and delivering personalized patient experiences.

    Unified communications give administrative staff the means to support the organization with intuitive collaboration capabilities and can be used to communicate with executives, clinicians and patients.  Administrative staff often face challenges in supporting executives and clinicians to help provide high-quality, personalized care to patients. Challenges include implementing more personalized care for patients, helping clinicians see more patients, regardless of location, and reducing patient wait time with more efficient scheduling.

    In the busy day-to-day, administrative staff ultimately require intuitive communications tools to overcome these challenges, backed by thoughtfully planned training and rollout to ensure adoption. Unified communications enable administrative staff to successfully complete their mission. For example, chat and video calls empower patients to initiate communications with administrative staff to schedule appointments, discuss billing questions, or ask a question.

    Whether you’re thinking about the business impact unified communications can have on your health care services–improved patient outcomes, extended reach of services, and increased operational efficiencies, or are focusing on increasing the productivity of the three key roles identified in this article, there is no denying that unified communications is significantly impacting the way healthcare is provided worldwide.

    Mike Hanks

    As Director of Microsoft Solutions and Services, Mike Hanks leads the Continuant team in program management and sales of solutions and services for Microsoft Intelligent Communications. While at Continuant, Mike has worked in many key areas, including Cloud, Strategy, Sales, Customer Service, and Operations, where he...

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