Trends in Health Care IT
Back Published 2011-03-21Basking Ridge, NJ —March 21
A recently conducted survey asked health care technology professionals their thoughts on various collaborative technologies and their impact in health care environments.
According to the survey, improving patient care and satisfaction through collaborative communications — which include mobile communications, automated outreach and technologies for driving workflows — was top of mind for most health care technology professionals.
Results of the Healthcare Technology Outlook survey were announced by Avaya, Inc., a global player in business collaboration systems, software and services. The survey was conducted on-site at the Avaya booth at a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society event and hosted by market research firm Exhibit Surveys, Inc.
When asked, “What results do you expect to gain from your technology investments?” the majority (74 percent) cited “improved level of care and response to patients.” After respondents were asked what they considered to be the most beneficial value of mobile communications, the majority (67 percent) chose “improving patient care by improving response time to patients.”
Top Concern Among Health Care Tech Professionals
When it comes to the health care technology industry’s thoughts on the obstacles to providing better patient care, the survey found that respondents focused primarily on staff issues. Asked about the biggest challenge health care providers currently face, the top answer (32 percent) cited was “overextended clinical staff spending too much time performing nonpatient care activities.” This was followed by “poor or lack of effective communication among staff” and "bottlenecks in patient flow."
“With these survey results, we're seeing concerns among health care technology professionals about staffing and time being spent away from patients, which greatly impacts patient care and efficiency," said Bruce Wallace, Avaya’s health care practice leader. “To address these challenges head-on, industry professionals are turning to communications solutions that drive faster and more productive collaboration, which makes all the difference in an industry where every second counts.”
The survey also asked about video-based communications in the health care industry. Survey respondents said this technology could make the most significant impact in two key areas: physician consultations and distance telemedicine, both of which tied for first place in terms of impact. According to Wallace, video adds an important new dimension to the health care industry, with group consultations gaining real-time visuals and enhanced document and image sharing capabilities. This can speed and improve collaboration for doctors, medical professionals and patients.
Looking ahead, health care professionals were asked which issues facing their hospital or facility would be most important to address in the next three years. “Communication and workflow integration into Healthcare Information Systems (HIS)” was ranked as the most important issue, with 95 percent saying it was either extremely or very important; this was followed by automated patient follow-up and multi-modal collaboration.