Meeting the Challenges of Digital Connection in Healthcare

Everyone has been talking about the pandemic and its impact on the world of work for some time now. While the influence of the epidemic on our lives is undeniable, it is worth remembering that the pandemic has, in many ways, accelerated the recognition of the benefits of digital for healthcare. However, as the digital is not acquired, we still observe many challenges to be met.

According to Patrick Hourtoulle of ALE, Marketing Manager for Healthcare Communication Solutionse, while epidemic waves may come and go, digital trends in the healthcare world are really starting to go mainstream. As healthcare providers continue to be challenged, ALE demonstrates what’s possible when we more effectively connect people, apps, processes and things.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is currently one of the world leaders in real-time communications and cloud technology. The company’s desire to “connect everyone (patients from all stakeholders, staff, institutions, territories) and everything” to optimize care pathways is, according to Patrick, crucial for future innovation in healthcare. .

What has changed in medical communications?

To get a sense of the transformation happening in healthcare today, I asked Patrick how important communication was in healthcare before COVID-19.

“Companies in the healthcare sector have always needed good collaboration and communication tools. They have always wanted to have access to the right applications and data in the same space, and innovative interactions have always been essential, but innovative projects have had great difficulty getting off the ground: lack of resources, difficulty in finding relays in the professions, administrative complexity, regulatory uncertainty, etc. What is different now is the speed at which these changes are happening.

“Many countries and governments are now pushing for healthcare innovation, which means more funding for digital transformation programs, public hospitals and social care resources. These funds must enable health establishments that are less advanced in terms of digital solutions to have the minimum:

  • Go Paperless for Patient or Nursing Home Resident Forms with Commercial Tools (EHR/EMR)
  • Acquire a network and communication infrastructure to take advantage of these applications on the move inside and outside the walls of the building
  • Provide physical distancing to protect patients and staff (telemedicine)

For other healthcare institutions, these funds should address the need for process automation, which may involve connectivity to IoMTs or even AI, to compensate for the lack of clinical teams and reduce the risk of errors due to fatigue and stress. They will also provide advanced applications that make life easier for patients and clinical teams, such as

  • Location-based service solutions to help patients find their way around huge hospital buildings
  • Asset Tracking Solutions for Nurses to Quickly Find a Wheelchair or Oxygen Cylinder

What’s most important to healthcare providers right now?

As the demand for healthcare innovation accelerates, I asked Patrick what the health priorities seem to be. He told me that ALE believes the key to success is “connecting everyone and everything,” and that starts with connecting people.

“Three strong communication needs have emerged during the pandemic because voice is important when we need to interact with patients or clinical colleagues in times of crisis.

The first need was to improve the reception and reception of patients. During the various waves of covid, the reception of the hospital was saturated with calls related to this virus, preventing other patients from making an appointment. This could be avoided by automating the pre-qualification of calls in order to route them to the correct reception service.

The second need was the demand for a consistent level of care for patients. Even when the healthcare organization’s telecommuters, like medical secretaries and managers, use different tools, communication needs to stay strong. Softphones connected to on-site communication can be useful for continuity of mission critical services

The third need, according to Patrick, is to ensure ongoing collaboration inside and outside the healthcare facility. Teams must be and remain “connected” at all times with their colleagues, peers, providers and partners in the health ecosystem and have the tools necessary to effectively coordinate care teams. Rainbow collaboration services are the perfect answer to this second requirement. It contributes to allowing a proximity between the professionals essential to ensure a constant social link and to contribute to prevent the burn-out and the turnover »

“Teams are starting to use more mobile devices and smart systems to access all the apps they need in one place, and Rainbow collaboration services can help with that.” Technology is one thing, but compliance is “a must-have”: ALE recently introduced Rainbow HDS certification (health data hosting for France) and is working on HIPAA certification for the United States.

How can healthcare organizations empower clinical teams more?

“The pandemic has given physicians and healthcare professionals insight into the benefits of teleconsultations and remote working opportunities. Going forward, groups will continue to leverage these tools to improve efficiency and patient care, but the right solutions must be implemented in commercial healthcare provider applications to ensure success. To cope with the current situation, more and more healthcare providers are implementing CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) solutions to combine applications with communication solutions. Creating a complete app with its own communication functionality can even open the door to telemedicine opportunities and better tracking of information in the digital health workplace.

Healthcare organizations are also investing significantly more in automation. “Automation has now become a priority. With so many complicated processes to manage, healthcare groups rely on automation to make operations more efficient and scalable. »

Rainbow’s Unique CPaaS The solution enables groups to connect multiple platforms together, creating a scalable and highly secure environment that connects to applications, IoT and machine learning. Combined correctly, tools like this could even pave the way to better diagnosis and better patient care. A good example would be to create a system that allows:

  • A bot to take information from a human for a healthcare registration process in seconds,
  • Citizen application to get expert health advice via chat, and have questions answered by a chatbot on vaccinations and opening hours of health centers
  • Peri-operative app connected direct contextual care service keeping hospital and IoMT link automating patient status tracking and avoiding data entry errors or misuse of measurements

What’s next for healthcare communications?

To thrive in the modern world, healthcare groups are getting more involved with disruptive concepts. ALE has even seen growing interest in things like the digital twin, to provide real-time information on the status of the healthcare facility, or more accurate information on patient wait times.

The smart device is going mainstream: “Smaller, smarter devices are emerging to integrate all the applications nurses need, from patient data to alarms and communication tools into a single system. This system can even be improved by automation functions which allow a better flow of information in a new nursing digital workspace reduce time wasted walking, searching and using the business application. Therefore, the device must be connected to a any-to-any message broker monitoring system of entire healthcare ecosystems (object/medical system, smart sensor) in real time, sending urgent clinical alerts to the right staff members working in and beyond your facilities for quick action.

Now, our digital workplace strategy for nurses is a consultative approach. It’s fine to talk about technology, it’s our job, but we are aware that this technology can be implemented and bring the benefits it promises if it is worked alone with the needs expressed by health establishments. of the territories where they operate, by the users and this is done with the users and the ecosystem because digital cannot be decreed.

Regardless of current trends in the healthcare environment and regardless of how technology evolves, there will always be a fundamental need to connect people, applications, processes and things, to create a more effective care.