6 Common Communication Technology Issues in the Healthcare Industry
In healthcare, communication is a crucial element in maintaining quality treatment for patients, as well as accurately storing and distributing data between healthcare professionals. With new technology, communication, as well as the sharing of critical information to doctors, has become much easier.
However, despite these advancements and their importance in healthcare, numerous problems and errors can still occur. Understanding these common problems is important, since any delay in data can lead to improper treatment or a delay in care provision.
1. Old systems and legacy tech. It can be challenging for hospitals to upgrade their current infrastructure because of budgetary concerns and the concept of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Staff must adequately treat their patients, so upgrading can be viewed as a disruption of service.
However, old tech like basic phone systems can hold back medical centers. When virtual phone systems that can scale as needed would be better, being stuck in the past is a basic, problematic concern.
2. Few communication options. There are various ways people can talk to each other. Text, email, phone, and video conferencing are all nuanced ways to increase communication efficiency.
A medical center that doesn’t make use of them, however, will face problems. Embracing new and creative means to talk with patients, especially those with crippling conditions, is key in expediting treatment.
3. Poor internal communication. Going hand-in-hand with the first point, old systems or healthcare facilities which don’t modernize their communication platforms create lag in the environment. Anything from a doctor awaiting test results to nurses getting messages late is a major detractor in a medical facility.
4. Non-adaptive communication. Hospitals face constant challenges of keeping up with communication regulations and the need to upgrade their infrastructure to meet new demand. As a result, those that do not adapt are likely to face severe problems down the road.
Medical facilities must invest in adaptive IT and technology solutions for the future, or face the common problem of losing out as a provider.
5. Security standards. Data handling in healthcare must be in line with strict regulations, and it’s a common error to not have communication solutions abide by those same rules. Older, more outdated communication systems may not completely abide by protective policies.
6. Inefficient user experience with communication. If tech and various solutions are not adopted properly, this can often lead to a more difficult user experience when trying to get care. This can be anything from getting responses from doctors, setting up appointments, accessing personal records, and more.
Adopting more nuanced solutions in healthcare (e.g., using a tablet to talk with a doctor) is one of many ways to improve performance and manage discussions better, but many healthcare facilities are hesitant to adopt new solutions.
Data, regulation, and demand are factors that rapidly change each year, with medical services having to juggle it all. Therefore, it’s important to manage these common issues with new, adaptive technology, or turn to managed service providers to help.