In today’s world, organizations need state-of-the-art communications systems to manage workflow, facilitate collaboration and respond to customer enquiries. Unified communications are especially important for medical facilities because timely communication can often be a matter of life and death. Of course, hospitals, doctor offices and medical clinics can be chaotic places. Therefore, technologies that can improve communications and organize workflow can be of immense benefit. Microsoft Lync, a platform that streamlines information sharing, is advancing the way healthcare institutions deliver care to their patients.
Microsoft Lync is a communications platform that can be easily integrated into an institution’s existing software system. The program’s core features include: videoconferencing, IM and voice over IP, but these features are designed to be extendible to other Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, Office, PowerPoint, Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server.
In a nutshell, Microsoft Lync allows all members of the care giving community to communicate and collaborate more effectively.
Here are some of the ways medical institutions are benefitting from this tool:
- Remote Telemedicine: Medical institution can deliver consultative care to rural communities via video conference.
- Intuitive One-Touch Icons: The program features intuitive icons, which means that vital information is only a click away. A nurse who needs to reach a doctor regarding a patient’s care can immediately route important calls to that doctor’s laptop or mobile device simply by clicking the physician’s icon on the screen.
- Global Overview: The Lync platform gives health providers a global overview of their healthcare environment. For example, one feature allows each member of a medical team to see at a glance which patients need care at any given moment. Indeed, caregivers can even listen to audio files describing why the patient is in the hospital. Further, virtually any hospital staff member can pick up the phone or check their computer and see at a glance which of their colleagues is available to handle an emergency.
- Virtual Rounds: Nurses can check on patients remotely, which can help them see more patients in less time as they make their rounds.
- Better Patient Assessment: Hospitals using Lync have seen substantial reductions in costly patient diversions.
- Improved Communication: Unified platforms reduce miscommunication and improve collaboration. In addition to video conferencing and audio communications, Microsoft Lync provides a unified collaborative platform where remotely located participants can work together in real-time using virtual whiteboards, presentation software and other on-line meeting forums.
Here are two ways Microsoft’s technology is making a tangible difference in the lives of patients:
- St Luke’s Health System in Idaho is using Lync to deliver health and nutrition counseling to cancer patients via video conference.
- The Victorian Deaf Society is using Lync’s robust visual, text messaging and collaborative capabilities to help the hearing impaired communicate and interact better in the workplace.
Microsoft Lync is helping healthcare teams collaborate better, improve workflow, cuts cost and improve patient outcomes. Microsoft Lync is yet another example of how an ounce of hi-tech may be worth a pound of cure.
About Bob Higginbotham
Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at email@example.com