If you are like many of the Healthcare CIOs I come into contact with through my LinkedIn group (Healthcare Unified Communications Forum), then you are probably faced with ever-increasing merger and acquisition activity. While consolidation in the Healthcare industry might make great business sense, and can benefit patients, it can wreak havoc with IT groups who must react quickly to new systems, new platforms, new technologies and new networks they “inherit” from these acquired properties. In an instant, you are expected to integrate the new platforms into your existing enterprise platforms and systems while also reporting back to the CFO on cost-savings initiatives to reduce the related, inherited expenses.
Mark McNeill is the Vice President of Healthcare Telecom Services for ISI Telemanagement Solutions, Inc., a Schaumburg, IL based telecom consulting and software development firm. Mr. McNeill has over 25 years of experience in Telecommunications and Medical Software industries. He has consulted with hundreds of healthcare providers and management companies on how to streamline IT costs, improve patient services and optimize efficiencies in the hospital environment.
Big Data analytics has become a critical component of a Healthcare provider’s means of surviving in an ever-growing competitive landscape. They rely on statistics, metrics and measurements to identify relationships that help improve patient care, reduce mortality rates, provide better service and reduce their costs. However, as a Healthcare provider, an important data source you often overlook in your analysis is Communications Activity within your organization. That includes all incoming/outgoing calls, IM/Texts, Conferencing, Video Calls and File Sharing. These Collaboration events enable your Healthcare entity to improve communications, speed the sharing of critical data and, ultimately, improve patient care while reducing your costs.
My, how the times have changed!
In the past, it was “taboo” to record interactions between Patients and Caregivers. The reason? General Counsel for the hospital would always point out that any-and-all information, including call/IM recordings, are “discoverable” in a lawsuit and could be used against the hospital in a malpractice case. Well, the pendulum has definitely swung in favor of recording all communications related to the hospital and its employees, especially Caregivers.