Digital healthcare has arrived, bringing new opportunities and new challenges for healthcare providers. But despite the data revolution, many healthcare providers are stuck in the past. Changing the conversation in the healthcare community is an important part of embracing the present and moving into the future, and Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) Healthcare Solutions is helping providers with the change.
Changing the conversation means recognizing that the new world of healthcare brings added requirements for privacy and security as electronic medical records are sent over the network. It also means providing instant knowledge access and connecting people at the right time.
“Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) have become synonymous with patients,” according to a recent Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) white paper entitled, The Connected Hospital. “Care providers must have secure access to this electronic data when they need it. Without it, they have no access to patient history or diagnoses. It’s as if the patient doesn’t exist.”
In short, changing the conversation means enabling more time for patient care, building a business without borders, and delivering the right communications system for patient care.
Telemedicine is one area where healthcare is changing, allowing providers to give more time to patient care. As the white paper points out: “To compensate for scarce resources, new healthcare delivery models that bring together payers, providers, patients and regulatory bodies must be considered…One technology enabler is to use video conferencing to extend healthcare delivery into patients’ homes.”
Simple to use collaboration, mobility and systems integration tools also help the healthcare system improve communication and save time, enabling more time for patient care. Caregivers can share information in real time via web-based conferencing using the Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniTouch 8660 MyTeamwork Conferencing and Collaboration, for instance, which enabled clinicians to securely share information across the healthcare delivery system. In addition, they can also provide more timely care by communicating crucial clinical information to team members with the OmniPCX Enterprise Communication Server.
When it comes to building a business without borders, healthcare providers need to make sure they have communications systems that support real-time conversations across a variety of devices and in a variety of locations, according to the white paper. This communications system needs to support conversations that include multiple people, remote and on-site, and be able to share video and data across a variety of bandwidths.
Changing the conversation also means recognizing that networking plays an increasingly vital role in today’s healthcare environment. This means enterprise-grade networking equipment, according to the Alcatel-Lucent white paper.
“Connectivity services that link care providers to each other and to the data they need to perform their jobs all rely on the network,” according to the white paper. “Without the network, there is no patient. It is the foundation upon which all other technology investments are made.”
ALU highlights the benefits of the OmniSwitch product family, which won the Best of Interop (News - Alert) award in the data center and storage category in 2011. The portfolio:
- Brings the cost savings and efficiencies of virtualization technologies to healthcare providers’ data centers
- Provides increased network security
- Helps clinical and non-clinical applications based on voice, video and data to run on the same LAN and meet performance requirements, among other benefits
Changing the conversation is an important prerequisite for delivering the healthcare services that are increasingly important in our society, and Alcatel-Lucent is playing its role in making that future a reality.
Edited by Peter Bernstein