HD Video Conferencing for Healthcare & Telemedicine
10 Ways Healthcare Facilities are Using Video Conferencing to Improve Patient Outcomes, Increase Revenues, and Reduce Expenses:
After conducting lengthy interviews with seven healthcare IT managers across the U.S., researchers report that video conferencing helps solve at least 10 key challenges which have impacted their organization positively. Specifically, video conferencing has helped healthcare facilities to:
1. Increase patient access to specialists and improve level of care: Video conferencing has allowed one hospital access to more trauma specialists from other locations. By providing residents the ability to remain in their home community for care, patient outcomes are improved. Says one IT manager, "We can't seem to recruit physicians, specialists in particular, to this location. They leave after a year. Video conferencing has enabled us to have access to certain specialized services."
2. Improve delivery of treatment: The creation of a central monitoring station that is remote to any hospital in the system has changed the way ICU care is delivered at a 600-bed teaching hospital and associated network in Pennsylvania. Vitals and status of patients are monitored constantly from a control console. The staff can call codes, initiate treatment orders, and determine if patients are ready for a step down unit. "We have never changed the level of staffing on the floor even though we have increased the usage of and advanced the level of care in the ICU," reveals the IT manager.
3. Reduce the need to transfer patients and thus retain revenues: By using video conferencing to provide specialized ongoing care to patients, it creates more revenue opportunities for a hospital and network of clinics in upstate New York. In the past, these patients would be transferred to other hospitals.
4. Recruit top doctors: Technology, like video conferencing, has proven to be an mportant element in recruiting physicians. "As younger doctors become the power brokers in the hospital, more technology is being used because they demand it," says an IT manager
5. Achieve acquisitions strategies below budget: An upstate New York hospital has been able to add new facilities to its portfolio without significant incremental travel spending by integrating the new facilities into their system through video conferencing
6. Recruit and train more nurses: Video conferencing helps address the nurse shortage in many hospitals. One hospital found that nurses who are trained in their local communities through video conferencing tend to remain in those communities in larger numbers than those who are trained elsewhere
7. Improve ongoing staff training: At a Midwestern network of clinics, new employees are trained in larger groups across multiple locations for common issues like benefits, hospital policies, or compliance. In addition, new information can be presented to several locations in a single session. For example, if the nursing desk application has been updated, teams of nurses can be trained at the same time rather than one at a time.
8. Reduce meeting overload: Regularly scheduled management and staff meetings are conducted via video conferencing. By making it easier for staff to attend, meeting attendance has improved. "There is no way we can afford the inefficiency of having managers or residents travel three or four hours for a meeting," says one IT manager. Plus this healthcare facility is able to reduce travel costs and increase patient care as there are fewer staff absences.
9. Satisfy C.M.E. requirement: At New York and Philadelphia-area hospitals, doctors who had trouble finding time to travel to continuing education courses kept their skills sharp and certifications up-to-date by taking the courses through video conferencing.
10. Meet green initiatives: Video conferencing reduced the amount of travel and the associated carbon footprint, meeting the environmental objectives of one hospital.
Telemedicine and WebConference.com™
The use of computers and web conferencing tools to provide long-distance treatment is one the most-important and fast-growing fields in modern medicine. The official term for this is "telemedicine." It refers not only to web conferencing (although this a critical part) but also to other methods of long-distance treatment.
In large countries with remote locations such as India, Australia, and Brazil, WebConference.com™ enables medical personnel to provide initial medical services and informed diagnoses from a distance. Telemedicine means that patients who might once have required hospitalization can be monitored from home by medical personnel. This is a burgeoning new field and can save a great deal of hospital space currently required to keep patients under observation. Patients are likely to feel better and recover more quickly if they can stay at home. In the future, it is likely that telemedicine will go beyond web-conferencing techniques to the actual use of robots in the performance of long-distance operations.
Doctors who wish to consult with experts living in other countries (or counties) already use WebConference.com™ to establish contact with their peers and provide more-informed diagnosis for patients.
If you have small children, then you are probably familiar with those situations where your child is screaming, you do not know why, and you wonder if you need to take them to the emergency room. The decision can be agonizing since a hospital is the last place you want to take a child, especially if they are healthy. (It is not a nice place for adults, either.) Many health services provide an emergency phone number through which you can access a doctor, but these services are increasingly being done with WebConference.com™ hd video conferencing technology. Online video-conferences with a doctor enable you to make a better informed decision about your child's situation while staying at home. Thus, telemedicine is significantly improving the quality of our healthcare — and it is likely to grow extensively in the near future.
One great feature of using WebConference.com™ for doctor visits is that the entire visit can be recorded, meaning that you can replay what the doctor said and make sure you understand it correctly all while complying to the highest security standards and HIPAA compliance.
Telepsychiatry and WebConference.com™
Psychiatry is emerging as one of the most promising uses of telemedicine. The American Psychiatric Association does support telemedicine, "to the extent that its use is in the best interest of the patient," and practitioners meet the rules of ethics and confidentiality. The APA has also expressed an interest in supporting telepsychiatry as a possible solution to shortages of specialists in rural areas in states such as New Mexico and Louisiana. And this actually makes perfect sense. In the more rural areas of the U.S. where there is no local clinic or alternative, mental health practitioners embrace WebConference.com™ as a way to reach out to those in need.
WebConference.com™ can provide video conferencing between urban areas with a high concentration of psychiatrists and rural areas that are in need of specialists who can provide consultations to both other clinicians and directly to patients. Access is the real issue here. Geriatric patients, children, prisoners, military veterans and other groups that have either monetary or geographic barriers to psychiatric treatment could all benefit from adoption of telepsychiatry programs.
Large healthcare systems, such as state prisons, can also take advantage of the remote access provided by telepsychiatry. Many state prisons are located in small towns in very rural areas and as a result, have a difficult time recruiting psychiatrists. Utilizing WebConference.com™ video conferencing systems from the prison, the inmate population would have direct access to qualified specialists no matter where they are located.
In order for the widespread adoption of telepsychiatry, the programs must prove they are cost-effective and secure. WebConference.com™ is an excellent example of a secure, multipoint video conferencing solution that meets these requirements. It is available has an online service, and on-premise software.
WebConference.com™ is an IP-based solution that allows anyone with an Internet connection and a Windows PC to join a conference. Video conferencing is provided by off-the-shelf webcams and video devices. It has a full-suite of security features and IT controls, allowing complete flexibility in multi-office, VPN, public/private and wide area networks. WebConference.com™ also uses standard URLs, a web-browser and Microsoft Office compatibility.