The healthcare industry faces a lot of challenges that, while not unique to the healthcare industry alone, hits harder because healthcare is a need, not a want. Lack of adequate staff, time, and funds means that doctors and nurses have less time to spend with patients, and the wait time to get an appointment is an ever-present problem for people who have serious acute and chronic health problems. It’s a constant struggle for providers to keep up, and working the long hours and dealing with so many patients leaves them burnt out.
While there’s no one quick fix for getting healthcare on its feet again, there are some solutions that can accelerate the healing process. Videoconferencing is one of these medicines for solving problems in the healthcare industry. As a collaborative solution that connects people who need people, videoconferencing has been delivering results for providers and patients alike. Here’s what videoconferencing has been doing for medicine so far.
Improved Patient Care
When patients are treated by multiple doctors at multiple facilities, communication can be a challenge. There is often a delay in treatment when doctors are unable to connect with each other and the patient. Videoconferencing lets doctors and nurses share information with facilities where their patients are being treated. A second and third opinion with specialists can be done over videoconferencing without having to send the patient somewhere else. It can also get crucial information to patients and get them important information about their treatment. In some cases this can even save lives.
More Educational Opportunities
New research is coming out everyday on the latest treatments and medical findings. Doctors, nurses and other providers are hard-pressed to find the time to learn about them from continuing education classes. The rise of online courses delivered through videoconferencing technologies has made it possible for more healthcare providers to take continuing education courses. The better informed they are, the better quality of healthcare they can give their patients.
Efficient Discussion of Business Matters
We forget that doctors spend much of their time on things other than treating patients – like health insurance, hospital policies, and compliance. Meetings about these can be time-consuming, but are necessary to running a successful practice. Videoconferencing is an efficient way to connect all involved parties – from insurance companies to hospital directors – and minimize that time spent away form patient care.
Personalized Relationships with Patients
One of the biggest complaints about the healthcare industry is poor bedside manner and feeling just like a number. Most patients only see their doctors for 5-10 minutes and then don’t see or hear from their office again for months, other than a short phone call with lab results. Videoconferencing is a way that healthcare providers can make their interactions outside the office more personal. There is no comparison between a 30-second phone call and a 3-minute videoconference. Seeing the provider on the other end – their genuine concern and care for the person – puts them more at ease and gives them a positive association with their healthcare experience.
Big Returns on a Small Investment
Healthcare providers have nothing to lose by investing in videoconferencing solutions. There is a clear association between access to videoconferencing technology and improved healthcare solutions, efficiency on the business side, and overall patient satisfaction. Need to make a quick decision involving doctors in another location? Videoconferencing can do that. Want to give a diagnosis face-to-face but your patient can’t get to you? Videoconferencing can do that. Confused about a new healthcare policy and want the input from an expert who’s off that day? Videoconferencing can do that. Videoconferencing is all about cutting back on time and money, and the medical profession has little of that to waste.