The Rise of Mobility in Healthcare

By Brian Ferguson

Mobility in Healthcare

If you’ve had a doctor’s appointment recently, or been a patient or visited a friend or loved one in the hospital lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed that medical technology has changed.  Technology has become a primary component in managing patient care, staff processes, and office productivity.  Long gone are the days of handwritten notes in patient files, doctors using voice recorders to take notes (only to hand-write them later), and the staff having to find a desk phone to make a call.  Everything is digital, and everything is mobile.

From the consumer perspective, wearable tech continues to help shape the growing trend of mobile healthcare. This is reflective in the popularity of watches and bands, such as the AppleWatch and FitBit, which provide consumers real-time, personal health information, including pulse rate, calories burned, sleep rhythms, and more.  For those working in the healthcare industry, mobility is transforming the medical profession as well.  The rise of digital patient record systems has allowed over 66% of doctors and nurses to use laptops and tablets for patient diagnosis and documentation.  Mobile applications are helping medical offices, hospitals, and assisted living staff members to deliver prescription information to pharmacies, submit insurance claims, and even deliver real-time information from a patient’s pacemaker, for example.  These mobile processes and improvements are all part of what the industry has labeled Clinical Mobility, which, according to Health Insights, is now a $5.6 billion industry.

Even with all of these important improvements, the major advancements in mobility have their roots in communications.  Communication is the most important aspect of healthcare, and is often the difference when lives are on the line.  Mobility becomes vital as doctors and nurses need to have access to communications tools on- demand to organize care and call for assistance. Every second counts in patient care, especially during an emergency, and time spent searching for a desk phone is anything but ideal. Unified Communications (UC) systems, like Switchvox, deliver the tools and mobile applications that a medical staff needs to communicate successfully- anywhere, anytime.

Mission-Critical Communications From Anywhere

UC mobile applications like the the Switchvox Softphone for iOS and Android connect doctors and nurses to each other, as well as to patients, and other key personnel, regardless of location.  Many medical professionals work outside a traditional office or hospital, and several have multiple office locations they travel to throughout the week.  The flexibility provided by mobile communications is key for professionals such as in-home health workers who travel from home to home, obstetricians who jump from office to delivery room, surgeons who travel from their office to the hospital, after-hours on-call doctors, and any medical professional that travels between multiple offices.  The Switchvox Softphone gives these and countless other medical professionals access to the advanced communications features on devices they carry with them, eliminating the need for more costly hardware.  These vital features include the ability to conference with other experts for assistance, record patient calls for accuracy (and reduced liability), gain access to staff members’ status to see where people are located, and to enable remote access to voicemail.

After-Hours Connectivity and Privacy

As we all know, a doctor’s work doesn’t stop when he or she leaves the office.  Most offices today use an answering service to route after-hours calls to the on-call doctor, who then calls a patient back to help solve his problem. These answering services are very expensive and oftentimes charge extra to hide the doctor’s caller ID or to log calls for billing.  It’s important for doctors to connect with patients outside office hours, but they must be able to maintain their private phone number to avoid being pestered and called for frivolous reasons. Also, after-hours phone calls may get charged to the patient’s account, so keeping call logs is essential to account management.

Switchvox, combined with the Switchvox Softphone can practically eliminate the need for an answering service all together. Switchvox can route calls to the proper on-call person after hours and log these calls for billing purposes. Calls that are made from the Switchvox Softphone automatically pass the doctor’s office caller ID information without the need to remember key codes or * functions, allowing them to maintain a healthy work/life balance and protect their privacy.

Switchvox is the perfect fit for all kinds of medical offices and facilities, including hospitals, offices, nursing care facilities, and more.  To see one example of how Switchvox changed the way a medical office communicates while saving them a significant amount of money, take a look the Cullman Primary Care Group success story.

Discover how Switchvox can deliver mission-critical communications to your staff-

Request a personal demo and let our Account Executives show you how we can solve your medical office’s communications problems.  

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About the Author

Brian Ferguson

Brian Ferguson is the Product Marketing Manager for Switchvox. Since becoming part of the Digium team in 2010, Brian has worked in multiple sales and marketing roles supporting Diguim’s reseller channel and helping SMB customers use Digium solutions to solve their business telephony challenges. With an additional 10 years of sales management experience in a retail environment, Brian has extensive experience working with a diverse range of technical products and brings a unique perspective in helping problem solve for customers. He graduated with honors with a BS in Business Management from the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He enjoys numerous, short walks on the beach (as opposed to long ones) and loves to travel.

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