3 key benefits of video conferencing for health care providers

Video conferencing is one of the most important parts of telehealth.

The unified communications market is a continually changing landscape in which businesses use new and existing telephony technologies to improve business communication. There are many forms of UC, but they all amount to one thing: Companies and organizations are better off when they streamline their communications services into one easy-to-manage system that can include phone calls and video conferencing, among other key features.

Businesses across the board are warming up to the possibilities of the latter. According to a recent study published by Sandler Research, the video conferencing services market in particular is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of about 9 percent from 2015 through 2019.

UC can be one of the most important forms of communication in today's health care world. Investing in UC to streamline communications needs and boost internal processes can include incorporating video conferencing technologies. The benefits of having a face-to-face conversation with patients and doctors are endless – especially as telemedicine continues to play an important part in how the health care industry operates in the 21st century.

How is video transforming the health care industry? Here are three key ways:

"Telemedicine is one of the only ways some people in Mississippi can receive care."

1. Provides better patient care
Telemedicine is becoming ever more important in getting patients the care they need when they don't have physical access to a medical facility. In Mississippi, for instance, the one academic hospital in the state has connections to 165 remote sites where patients either can't come in to the doctor's office or don't have access to the kind of expert they need. According to Politico, the state has the worst shortage of doctors in the country. Telemedicine, including video conferencing technologies, is one of the only ways people in Mississippi can receive care.

2. Cost-effective
One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based communications services is that it reduces infrastructure requirements and thus leads to money saved in the long term. Medscape contributor Neil Chesanow maintained that telehealth video conferencing can improve bottom lines at health care organizations.

Productivity gains lead to money saved, as well. In the U.K., the adoption of video conferencing by enterprises has garnered attention from top-level executives as being great for productivity and increased efficiency. In fact, a survey conducted by Wainhouse Research that found 94 percent of video-conferencing end users thought that increased productivity and efficiency are the two most important benefits. This concept works for health care organizations as well – patients can speak with doctors and get prescriptions from the comfort of their own homes, leading to an increase in time for office staff and health professionals alike.

When doctors and patients can speak to each other remotely, it improves productivity and decision impact.When doctors and patients can speak to each other remotely, it improves productivity and decision impact.

3. Improves patient education
Healthcare IT News contributor Tom Racca stated recently that videos of procedures can be viewed remotely and in advance by patients who are getting ready to undergo surgery. This helps patients become more knowledgeable about the procedures beforehand, and it can potentially ease anxieties. When health care organizations incorporate video into their UC solutions, it can make patient interactions more productive and can augment the steadily growing field of telemedicine.