Avaya survey reveals healthcare IT professionals’ opinions on latest technologies and challenges

March 21, 2011

Basking Ridge, NJ Avaya, Inc. recently announced the results of a Healthcare Technology Outlook survey it recently conducted at the 2011 HIMSS Conference and Exhibition in February. Avaya offers an array of healthcare communications solutions incorporating unified communications and contact center technologies, serving more than 5,000 healthcare providers globally.

According to the survey, improving patient care and satisfaction through collaborative communications – which includes mobile communications, automated outreach, and technologies for driving workflows – was top of mind for most healthcare technology professionals. When asked “What results do you expect to gain from your technology investments?” the majority (74 percent) cited “improved level of care and response to patients.” And after respondents were asked what they considered to be the most beneficial value of mobile communications, the majority chose: “improving patient care by improving response time to patients (67 percent).”

The survey, conducted onsite at the Avaya booth at the HIMSS event and hosted by market research firm Exhibit Surveys, Inc., asked healthcare technology professionals their thoughts on various collaborative technologies and their impact in healthcare environments.

Overextended staff is top concern amongst healthcare tech professionals

When it comes to the healthcare technology industry’s thoughts on the obstacles to providing better patient care, Avaya’s survey found that respondents focused primarily on staff issues. Asked about the biggest challenge healthcare providers currently face, the top answer (32 percent) cited “overextended clinical staff spending too much time performing non-patient care activities.” This was followed by “poor or lack of effective communication amongst staff,” and “bottlenecks in patient flow.”

“With these survey results, we’re seeing concerns among healthcare technology professionals about staffing and time being spent away from patients, which greatly impacts patient care and efficiency,” said Bruce Wallace, Avaya’s healthcare practice leader. “To address these challenges head-on, industry professionals are turning to communications solutions that drive faster and more productive collaboration, which makes all the difference in an industry where every second counts.”

The survey also asked about video-based communications in the healthcare industry. Survey respondents felt this technology could make the most significant impact in two key areas — Physician Consultations and Distance Telemedicine – both of which tied for first place in terms of impact. According to Wallace, video adds an important new dimension to the healthcare industry, with group consultations gaining real-time visuals and enhanced document and image sharing capabilities.  This can speed and improve collaboration for doctors, medical professionals and patients.

Looking ahead, healthcare professionals were asked which issues facing their hospital or facility would be most important to address in the next three years, considering Meaningful Use and Accountable Care requirements. According to the survey, “communication and workflow integration into Healthcare Information Systems (HIS)” was ranked as the most important (with 95 percent responding ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’), followed by automated patient followup and mutli-modal collaboration.

For more information on these and other Avaya healthcare solutions, please visit avaya.com/healthcare.

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