By Katie Brenneman, Writer, Researcher
The healthcare landscape encompasses a varied range of professionals, each playing an essential role in the quality of patient care and the success of a business. It’s important to recognize that the efficacy of staff in hospitals and clinics is reliant on good communication and collaboration. Unless workers can interact with clarity and good teamwork, there can be significant consequences for everyone involved.
The good news is that there are a growing number of information technology (IT) solutions that can support these efforts. As the digital landscape has developed over the last couple of decades, more relatively advanced tools have become accessible to healthcare facilities and staff. With guidance from facility IT staff, there are opportunities to implement these to the benefit of staff, patients, and businesses alike.
Let’s take a closer look at how IT solutions can improve healthcare staff communication and collaboration.
Supporting Medical Staff
Communication and collaboration between teams of healthcare workers is essential. Their efficient cooperation can improve, change, and save the lives of patients. It is, therefore, vital to establish what tech tools IT teams can implement in hospitals and clinics to facilitate better interactions between medical professionals.
The continued implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can be effective here. When facilities enable workers to record and store patient data on secure healthcare cloud platforms, medical staff can access patient records from any location. This means that multiple staff can quickly and easily collaborate on patients’ cases across departments and even between cities.
Another important area of technological adoption is wearables. Medical staff can use devices, such as smartwatches, to monitor patients’ vital signs remotely and receive alerts when changes occur. Not to mention that they can utilize these devices to easily communicate with colleagues wherever they are in the facility.
There’s also a growing number of communication and collaboration smartphone applications for medical professionals. Staff can use these to securely communicate with each other and to access patient records. In some instances, these apps allow doctors to also communicate with other providers in their network and order tests and medications.
Improving HR Operations
A strong human resources (HR) team in a medical facility is an invaluable tool. After all, facilities need to be able to identify and recruit the best possible care and administrative staff available. Not to mention that hospitals and clinics have a duty to ensure workers receive the care and support they need to thrive.
The best practices of any effective HR team include utilizing effective tools to understand and address workers’ needs, including technology that enables clear communication between staff and HR professionals. Collaborations between members of the HR department are also best served by establishing technology that makes recruitment and engagement metrics more transparent. It is, therefore, essential for facilities’ IT departments to work closely with HR teams to establish the most impactful platforms.
This may include robust HR management systems. These are software platforms that streamline the HR processes, such as recruitment, onboarding, and performance management, among others. These systems often include messaging features that improve communication between HR staff, employees, and managers. Not to mention they act as centralized hubs so all HR staff have visibility of key data that allows them to collaborate more effectively on day-to-day projects.
Alongside this, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can streamline the recruitment process by automating the collection, screening, and tracking of job applicants. Importantly, they also create a single point from which HR staff can easily communicate with candidates throughout the application and interview process.
Boosting Marketing Efforts
Marketing plays an important part in the healthcare landscape. From a business perspective, it enables facilities to connect with new consumers to prompt growth. Though, it also has a vital care aspect, in ensuring medical professionals can communicate with a large number of patients and improve public health literacy. IT teams in healthcare spaces should work with healthcare marketing professionals to identify the platforms that can best aid in communication and collaboration here.
Firstly, making impactful content is an essential part of healthcare marketing. Not to mention that this is in itself a key part of healthcare communication between staff and patients. One of the priorities is to establish tools that help make content creation practices more efficient. Some aspects of this are largely manual, requiring marketers to research the most appropriate content categories and define a solid visual identity. However, there are platforms that assist with gathering assets and sharing them among marketing teams for a more collaborative approach to campaigns.
This may include artificial intelligence (AI) driven asset creation platforms. These are increasingly being used to help marketers in content ideation, structuring blog posts, and sourcing appropriate imagery. However, it’s important for staff to recognize that this process is often best approached as a collaboration between workers and the AI. Content creation still requires the credible insights of experienced healthcare industry creators.
Alongside this, healthcare marketing teams can also benefit from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. This tool helps facilities manage relationships with current patients and attract new patients. By storing patient information in a central location, marketing staff can communicate with patients more effectively and provide more personalized marketing messages based on patient data.
Effective communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals is vital for ensuring solid patient care and the success of healthcare businesses. With the increasing availability of advanced IT solutions, healthcare facilities can leverage these tools to improve staff and patient interactions. This includes the adoption of communication apps for medical staff, ATS platforms for HR professionals, and CRM software for marketers.
Nevertheless, it’s important for the IT teams of healthcare facilities to stay on top of rising technological advances. Wherever possible, they should collaborate with staff members from other departments to understand the challenges workers face and how new tools might address these. This helps to ensure professionals receive the most relevant technological support to keep operating efficiently and for patients to receive the highest quality of care.