Cisco Canada Blog

The Digital Front Door Is Impacting Patient Care and Improving Healthcare

November 15, 2022

Canadians have embraced telemedicine since it became the go-to process for seeing a healthcare professional in 2020. According to a study by Capterra, most people reported a positive experience and 84% of users will continue to use telemedicine after the pandemic is over. In fact, 74% expect they will continue to use telehealth with the same or higher frequency.

Hybrid work tools have done more than facilitated telemedicine — their success has instilled confidence in patients to receive medical attention without always being in the same room as their physician.

The digital front door is impacting patient lives by facilitating digital interaction pathways, notifications, digital document processing, video consultations, and other processes.

According a McKinsey study, “Virtual healthcare models and business models are evolving and proliferating…[creating] a range of services enabling longitudinal virtual care, integration of telehealth with other virtual health solutions, and hybrid virtual/in-person care models, with the potential to improve consumer experience/convenience, access, outcomes, and affordability.”

In Ontario, The Autonomous Living Project (ALP), a partnership between Cisco Canada and York Support Services Network, Reena, META, CLASS, and Creating Alternatives is enabling people with developmental disabilities to live independently. Some of the same technologies that facilitate hybrid work are now fully integrated into users’ daily routines, promoting self-reliance and allowing them to lead more independent lives.

Benefits to Healthcare Workers

Telemedicine benefits go far beyond the convenience and safety it provides to patients. For healthcare workers, hybrid work technologies allow them to reduce time spent on tasks related to registration, like transcribing notes, scanning, and filing documents, and allows them to spend that time on patient care instead.

With the increasing shortage of healthcare workers in Canada and around the world, the ability to reduce tasks and facilitate focus on patient care greatly helps health professionals manage their workload.

Benefits to the Healthcare System

Telemedicine reduces transmission of infectious illnesses like COVID-19, the flu, common cold viruses, and more by providing medical care and guidance virtually so the patient can isolate in the comfort of their own home.

Doctors can even consult with contagious in-hospital patients using collaboration tools in a patient’s room. With the assistance of a nurse or other caregiver in the room, a patient can be examined and treated by a physician thousands of miles away — or in another part of the same building.

In remote areas of Canada, a doctor or nurse can use hybrid work tools to consult with specialists at major hospitals across the country or internationally.

The Secret to Continued Success with Telemedicine

Done well, hybrid work tools for healthcare like Cisco’s Webex can provide unlimited benefits to patients and health professionals, but the right tools and approach are needed for continued success.

  • Keep data secure: The security of patient and health information must be a top priority when making telemedicine investments. A single breach can be catastrophically detrimental to a healthcare organization.
  • Make adoption easy: Tools that are not intuitive or that require too much support from a help desk will, in the end, fail. In particular, when selecting the right tools for your organization, think of your patients. Some patients and health professionals can find it frustrating to learn new technologies. Select tools that are easy to adopt — by anyone.
  • Don’t delay the future of healthcare: If your healthcare organization has not already put in place hybrid work and collaboration tools that allow for telemedicine services, don’t delay making decisions about this investment to improve staff and patient engagement.

Hybrid work in healthcare is here to stay. Both patients and healthcare workers have benefited from telemedicine, and they want to continue to make use of innovative technologies to improve health services. Watch our webinar, Hybrid Work Supporting Healthcare Heroes and learn how telemedicine is changing lives.

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