How Healthcare Can Emerge from the Dark Ages of Communications

Why bundled multi-application solutions can help hospitals move past their outdated, costly and ineffective tech.

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By Matt Edic, Chief eXperience Officer at IntelePeer

It’s no secret that many hospitals still rely on legacy technology and systems, especially when it comes to communication. In fact, researchers from Forescout determined that 39% of IoT devices and 53% of common medical devices operate on traditional platforms, posing a potential patient safety risk. And according to the Journal of Hospital Medicine, 80% of hospitals still use pagers for clinical communications, which cost around 45% more than what these institutions would have to pay for smartphone-based unified communications. Moreover, KLAS Research found that 94% of care workers believe that upgrading to a unified clinical communication platform would improve collaboration.

Expensive, difficult to maintain and unreliable, hospitals need to replace their antiquated communications technology – or else they could get outpaced by competitors or penalized by HIPAA for incompliance. One potential alternative to legacy tech is low/no-code multi-application solutions that modernize how healthcare-based organizations communicate with their patients without the need for drawn-out and costly development cycles.

The Two Levels of Bundled Multi-App Offers

The ideal bundled multi-app solution will feature 100% no-code and low-code applications that can get segmented into two main levels:

  • No-Code/Turnkey: These apps allow hospitals to implement communication solutions, such as intelligent call routing based with natural language processing, including easy interactive voice response (IVR), SMS and voice auto-response.
  • Low-Code/Advanced Snap-Ins: Customizable, and quick-to-deploy, these modules are ideal for high-value implementations like payment processing and cloud queuing, helping hospitals tailor applications into their existing workflows.  

These no-code and low-code applications will aid healthcare businesses significantly in their efforts to streamline and improve the patient communication experience. From the beginning to the end of the patient journey, hospitals can easily tailor phone-tree menus and messages and set up post-call surveys to effortlessly capture patient feedback. Smart routing will intelligently direct calls through various models – a digital assistant and payment processing connector, for instance, engages patients through natural language processing and securely collects submitted payment information over the phone. Also, when no one is available to answer the phone or the office is closed, healthcare companies can easily configure auto-response messages to handle clients’ texts and phone calls. 

Eliminate Major Development Cycles

Over these past two years, people have become more demanding from businesses, with swiftness and convenience seen as the standard – healthcare companies are no exception. As a result, the operation speed for companies has increased significantly, making it even more difficult to maintain a high level of customer service. All the more reason why hospitals must upgrade their legacy tech with platforms that empower staff to easily implement solutions quickly and affordably without sacrificing quality or resources. During stressful situations and tight deadlines (take the pandemic, for example), medical businesses need the ability to conceive, create and deploy scalable communication solutions with little notice.

Bundled multi-application solutions enable hospitals to build these effective communication systems without extensive development cycles or highly sophisticated IT teams. Eliminating the need for large, dedicated teams evens the playing field for smaller healthcare companies and helps them accomplish feats often reserved for those with massive budgets and dozens of developers. By leveraging complementary services such as step-by-step and plug-and-play setups, businesses of all sizes can solve their communication needs cost-effectively and rapidly deliver best-in-class communication experiences to their patients. And with snap-in apps, hospitals can integrate seamlessly with current workflows, CRM platforms, databases, billing systems, or any other system that supports APIs. 

Because apps aren’t built from scratch anymore, the traditional heavily code-dependent market will be phased out, along with the need for having in-house developers. And, by diverting mundane and regular questions from call center agents and front desk employees to automated routing and self-service features, businesses can save as much as $6,629 per month in payroll dollars for each additional person who doesn’t have to handle automated tasks. The benefits of communication automation shift hospitals from purely cost-saving to revenue-generating activities enabling hospitals to put even more effort into serving their patients.

Technical Support

While many vendors design these bundled multi-application solutions for ease of use, sometimes hospitals and other healthcare businesses aren’t equipped with extra hands to pause and create communication workflows whenever necessary. Thankfully, some technology providers offer customer support and work alongside hospital staff with app customization and deployment. As healthcare organizations make the complex but necessary transition away from their legacy technology, it is wise for their decision-makers to carefully evaluate all available options, looking specifically for offerings that provide comprehensive support.