Recently, the American College of Physicians reported that a little over half the doctors in Canada said that their patients had to wait four weeks or more to see a specialist. The reasons for this varies, but one cause could be the geographical location. That’s where collaboration tools come in.
This statistic also highlights a potential issues with lack of access to specialty healthcare treatment and advices. In rural areas, as an example, medical staffing may be restricted, which means patients have to travel long distances to meet with specialists.
However, collaboration tools can connect patients with doctors remotely, ultimately improving their access to healthcare resources.
A patient could interact with over 20 different medical employees during a multiple-day stay at a hospital. These could be physicians, nurses, technicians, or specialists. It's therefore critical that you focus on team collaboration in your organization so that your caregivers can better communicate and collaborate with patients.
It's vital that you implement collaboration tools in the healthcare environment because it can:
- Cut the wait time to see a specialist
- Allow for more time with each patient
- Lead to faster communication, which diminishes patient anxiety
- Lead to speedier problem solving, better efficiency, and reduced downtime
- Result in quicker emergency response
Collaboration Tools Are the Answer
Many healthcare institutions are battling with these scenarios, and many are on the path to conquering them. To improve collaboration in your health organization, we recommend that you:
- Define your collaborative approach to health care.
- Assign the roles of each team member according to the job role.
- Assign specific responsibilities and tasks.
Define Your Collaborative Approach to Health Care
Different medical specialists or professionals could share patients. At times, these medical practitioners might have responsibilities for complementary tasks or areas of a patient's health. You need to establish what collaborative approach your team will take.
Keep in mind that your team should be interdependent; they must have an established way of communicating between team members and patients so that they can fully integrate their patients' needs. Relying on technology like mobile devices can strengthen the bonds between team members--no matter the geographical location. These devices make communication more robust and immediate, which helps enforce collaboration.
Assign the Roles of Each Team Member
Collaboration spurs more efficient teamwork in organizations. Organizations that have a well-coordinated collaboration process provide their patients with better medical attention, which is essential in meeting any challenges in the healthcare industry.
A healthcare professional’s education is mostly separated by profession. Their knowledge and skill set is limited to their specialization, which limits the knowledge they might have about the skillset of another specialist. This could potentially cause future problems.
When it comes to effective delegation, it is good practice to define the goals of your efforts and to develop a system of feedback to ensure that all team members complete their assigned tasks.
Assign Specific Responsibilities and Tasks
Ideally, medical professionals would understand the essential components of collaboration. When you have effective communication, you have coordinated care at all times.
Your communication system should strive to include a well-designed digital filing system, regularly scheduled meetings, and a mechanism for communicating with external systems.
Related blog: Choosing the Right Collaboration Solution
Collaboration tools can allow people in remote areas access to care that would otherwise require hours of travel. It can also leverage specialists across facilities to provide specialized expertise to more patients and help caregivers confer with one another across geographies to collaborate on solving complex cases.
Ongoing team collaboration is necessary so that your healthcare organization can be successful. One way to improve a medical practitioner's ability to collaborate with fellow team members, partners, consultants, and patients (both on location and remotely) is for them to receive ongoing education on collaborative tools and technologies. Learning about these new collaboration tools could significantly improve the quality and speed of medical services.
One such tool is Cisco Webex Teams, which enables healthcare workers to interact virtually with each other. The security, compliance, and management features of Webex Teams helps them keep patient data safe, meet regulatory and legal needs, and simplify scheduling.
Improve collaboration with Cisco Webex Teams.