Transforming Healthcare: Why a Unified Approach Means a Unified Operation

Healthcare professional in Doctor's scrubs 7is using a laptop to communicate with other healthcare professionals via video.

Terry Smith, Head of Public Sector Sales at Daisy, talks unified communications in healthcare.

Across the board, demand for unified communications (UC) solutions is growing and growing – greatly accelerated by the effects of the pandemic. Nowhere is that more profoundly felt than in the healthcare industry. From doctor’s surgeries, admin offices, hospitals, pharmacies and so on, today’s teams need to be able to operate faster than ever, with access to specialist tools and support across a range of channels.

The symptoms behind the demand

The good news is that the NHS knows this. In fact, NHSX, the Government unit with responsibility for setting national policy and developing best practice for National Health Service, acknowledges in its Transformation Directorate how digital helped to transform the delivery of care throughout COVID-19. The rate in which may Trusts were able to pivot to remote working through the use of UC technology was seriously impressive. It also acknowledged how it’s now important that that momentum continues; harnessing the myriad benefits that digital still poses to help address future challenges as well as deal with the immediate task of pandemic recovery.

Pre-pandemic, health workers would spend up to 7 hours on their feet at any given time, hours that spent tending to patients and rushing between appointments, wards, cases, etc. Fast forward to 2022, with mobile clinics, in-home care specialists and telehealth providers added into the mix, the traditional surgery/office setup needs to expand to support this “new era of care”. To be successful, any expansion must deliver opportunity for collaboration between all stakeholders, and this means investment in systems which enable flexibility. For healthcare, the best solution is cloud-based, mobile solutions.

Unified on all fronts

More good news is that in the second half of last year, NHSX launched a Unified Tech Fund in response to feedback that “funding for technology is too complicated” in addition to the myriad other challenges facing providers including funds being released too late in the year; not knowing what funding was available; and who or what the support is available for. The Fund therefore consolidates national funding pots for tech projects giving integrated care systems (ICSs) more control over spend.

Challenges in remission

As understanding of key operational and investment challenges continues to head in a positive direction, the last piece of the puzzle is getting the actual tech in place to match. It’s important for Trusts to know what solutions are readily available to them and where to go to acquire them. Providers like Daisy are already seeing how healthcare organisations across the UK are leveraging unified communications solutions to streamline communication processes and revolutionise the standard of care. Purpose-built communications solutions from world-leading vendors can seamlessly integrate with your organisations’ workflows can help foster the real-time collaboration that helps engage employees and deliver expectation patient experience, as well as offer flexibility, choice, opportunity, and futureproofing that the NHS needs as standard across the board.

With the correct vendor and access to the right technology, a unified way of working will become the reality rather than the goal. You can start your journey today by visiting daisyuk.tech.

This article was originally published in Public Sector Focus Magazine May/June 2022 edition.

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