While studies have shown that successful use of videoconferencing and real-time communications can profoundly benefit patients and doctors alike, how do we define success?
Telemedicine has been in use now since the 80’s but due to complexity, specialized equipment, expensive network infrastructure and poor Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement policies, it remained limited to a small number of users. These challenges made it impractical to use televideo technologies for care delivery on a larger scale.
Today, low cost and ubiquitous technologies do exist that can facilitate a world in which videoconferencing has a place on the desk of every doctor, nurse and clinician. However, what is needed at the clinician level are applications designed specifically for the health care industry with televideo as a method of communications.
What does this mean?
As studies have shown that health care outcomes improve when truly collaborative communication takes place among patients, doctors and specialists, televideo is becoming more mainstream. But for televideo to be both successful and effective, televideo technologies must be user friendly, highly secure, low cost and fully customizable.
Is that all?
Fixing televideo goes beyond cost and complexity. While there are a number of innovative televideo technologies, there is still the problem of integrating televideo seamlessly into clinical workflow. The success of any technology depends only 10 percent on the technology and 90 percent on how the technology is integrated with existing workflows.
To deliver care successfully and effectively across the healthcare continuum, televideo must be mapped to existing workflows to improve patient and clinician use experiences and to minimize change management issues.
Change is good but it’s not always great.
To make televideo great, let’s start with improving the usability.