11 Ways Avaya Technology can Improve Veterans’ Healthcare

Studies continue to show that veterans’ healthcare needs are increasingly complex. The total number of veterans relying on Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) health care has substantially increased—even as the veteran population has been declining since 1980.

Many problems impacting veterans are similar to the general population’s challenges. Communication solutions are a key to solving many problems, according to “To Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds: Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization.” Staffs believe mobility and technology can help deliver better care. Recent surveys show:

  • 56% of physicians believe mobility could help expedite decision making
  • 39% say mobility would reduce time for administrative tasks
  • 36% believe it would increase collaboration among physicians
  • 26% reported it would increase time spent with patients
  • 40% of those surveyed said they could eliminate 11%-30% of office visits through mobile health technologies such as remote monitoring, email or text messaging

Given the right communications tools and mobile devices, government healthcare providers, are convinced that care would be improved. It’s no wonder. Approximately 80% of physicians use smartphones in hospital. But security is just as important as quality care and the patient experience. Consider these startling facts:

  • 100 million people were directly impacted by data breaches in 2015
  • 90% of healthcare organizations have had at least one data breach in the past two years
  • 5% of reported hacks in 2014 were in healthcare
  • Healthcare records are ten times more valuable than financial records on the black market

Communication technologies can securely enable higher quality care, reduce costs, and improve satisfaction for patients and employees alike, on- and off-site at Federal Government facilities managed by the VA and the Department of Defense. To ensure it can keep up with demand, the VA has expanded three key telehealth initiatives:

  • Clinical Video Telehealth platform—enables clinicians to use real-time interactive video conferencing to remotely assess, treat, and provide care to veterans
  • Home Telehealth platform—provides in-home care for patients with chronic conditions via mobile monitoring, messaging, and video technologies
  • Store and Forward Telehealth—streamlines communication, collaboration, and record-keeping among multiple facilities by allowing medical staff to share clinical information (e.g., x-rays, ultrasounds, or other test data) with a nationwide network of providers and specialists.

Enabling the VA to improve the patient “anywhere” experience requires technology that can support patient demands—from public and private clinics and hospitals to home-based care options. Battle-tested and proven automated Avaya solutions can:

  1. Improve the patient experience through a range of administrative tasks. Streamline the admissions process, facilitate faster patient discharge, remind patients of daily dosages, and make, track and remind patients of appointments from the hospital electronic health records.
  2. Maximize time that doctors and nurses spend with patients. Use mobile clinical collaboration solutions that keep providers, patients, and caregivers securely connected—anywhere, anytime, via smartphones and tablets. Action requests and alerts are handled quickly and seamlessly—patients receive the right care at the right time.
  3. Deliver quality experiences wherever patients are located—at home, in the field, on the road, or in a hospital—with the same quality of care. Mobile applications for intelligent wearable devices provide broader access to care and proactive patient monitoring.
  4. Enhance monitoring of patients through automated solutions. Use reminders and mobile applications to alert patients and care providers about scheduled therapy and medicine dosages.
  5. Beyond the hospital, keep patients connected to treatment and care providers by taking advantage of flexible, easy-to-use, mobile video and multimedia solutions. Crowded facilities employ mainstream technology to service non-critical cases on an outpatient basis, and remote facilities and wearable monitoring devices support consistent quality care.
  6. Ensure favorable outcomes with efficient patient admission and discharge processes, room preparation, post-op follow up, prescription management, test scheduling, and other workflows.
  7. Optimize productivity by communications-enabling hospital electronic health records with increased automation to reduce errors and facilitate collaboration.
  8. Support health information security with an Avaya flexible network that automatically segments traffic into distinct zones for guest Wi-Fi access, medical devices reporting, and patient records.
  9. Secure networks that have thousands of medical devices and public Wi-Fi. Avaya has an innovative capability for device isolation. Our Open Network Adapter securely locks down individual medical devices and easily adds new ones as required. The Adapter enables IT staff to quickly provision authorized access to employees, guests, and business partners on any device.
  10. Enable virtual solutions that are designed for public and private cloud implementation—you’ll gain effective management and upgrade paths designed for large-scale environments. IT professionals are able to determine which applications and services best support their needs through secure, hosted environments.
  11. Manage crises by automatically locating, connecting, and deploying extended care teams, including clinical associates, through a dynamic response team and notification system. With the capability to instantaneously expand and contract services, clinicians are available when and where they are needed most.

Healthcare agencies continue to seek innovative solutions that will advance the quality of veteran care And technology continues to make it possible to have a connected and secured experience at every stage of the patient care cycle—including healthcare anywhere that integrates mobile solutions, telemedicine, contact centers, and thousands of medical devices. Harnessing the right technology will help ensure that the best possible anywhere patient care happens now and for the next generation.

Related Articles:

Get Your Company Culture Right—and Go from Surviving to Thriving

One of the most remarkable business comebacks of the last 20 years is Delta Airlines. This is a company that began as a fleet of crop-dusting airplanes in 1924 and grew into one of the nation’s largest airlines … there’s an impressively long Delta history. In recent decades, however, the company struggled. It became known for short-term thinking and poor decision making. Most telling was how Delta failed to value the employee experience. Eventually, in 2005, Delta filed for reorganization under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code—one of many airlines to do so. It emerged from bankruptcy two years later and made the decision to learn from its mistakes. The company chose to be different—to build a new future and a new company culture. How did they do it?

One of the biggest lessons Delta learned is this: the behaviors that enabled it to survive difficult times were not the behaviors needed to grow and win. Let me explain.

As expressed in an article by Glenn Llopis, during times of uncertainty and instability, it’s not unusual for companies to lose their focus. They start doing for the sake of doing. Activities become tactical with little, if any, strategic value. A once thriving culture transforms into one that’s fast-paced, with short-term thinking and a daily grind of tension. Understandably, this takes a toll on the company’s greatest assets: its people. Employee relationships tend to weaken, trust in leadership diminishes, a reactionary mindset becomes the norm, and a culture of competition versus partnership emerges. It becomes a dog-eat-dog world, without financial rewards or long-term payoffs.

Like so many companies that enjoyed successful comebacks over the last 20 years, Delta did a lot of soul searching. They determined the type of company they wanted to be and built the company culture needed to deliver it. Suddenly, the Delta leadership team became the No. 1 fan of its once forgotten employee base. And you know what? The leadership team earned back the trust and respect of their employees. Simply put, Delta transformed into a growth company.

Characteristics of a Growth Company

A Google search will reveal a broad list of traits attributed to winning companies. Here’s how I see it.

In a growth company, reactionary thinking is replaced by proactive attitudes. Everyone is expected to lead with compassion and respect. The company invests in the employee experience, treating employees just as they want their customers treated. They innovate strategically. They identify what sets them apart from their competitors and then invest heavily in those areas. They develop a passion for winning. Applied wisdom (mentoring, sharing of best practices, collaborative work groups) takes shape … because everyone has something to teach and something to learn. Communication is contagious, transparency is in overdrive, and every employee—regardless of role—understands, embraces and believes in the corporate strategy. This is what a company that plays to win looks like.

From Surviving to Thriving

There are many factors that can cause a company to lose its focus: holding on to old ways of doing things, market disruptions, bad business decisions, lack of a clear vision. But with a renewed commitment from leaders and employees, companies can regain their standing in the market and transform from a surviving to a thriving company. As Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard H. Anderson wrote, “We have a saying at the company: ‘We hunt in a pack.’ From the C-suite down, we approach every challenge and opportunity as a group in which each member feels valued, and that ability to work together gives us the freedom and clarity of thought to do business in a different way. This culture—the Delta culture—has allowed us to bring innovation back to an industry that was once known for it.”

This is what a growth company looks like and everyone in the “pack” is responsible for creating and driving it. What a great sentiment too: to work together with a common vision and a common purpose, knowing you have a team around you that has your back every step of the way. We can learn so much from Delta’s transformation. And the best part is—it’s never too late to make a comeback.

3 Key Steps to Starting Your Company-wide Digital Transformation

Stats show that 80% of companies identify “digital transformation” as their top strategic priority—but only 5% feel they’ve mastered it. Why the gap? Achieving a digital experience to a point of competitive differentiation requires organizational alignment. Digital transformation represents a crucial paradigm shift across the entire organization, yet research suggests only a fraction of companies currently implement an enterprise-wide digital strategy. To successfully digitize, all lines of business (LOB) must be aligned and move in concert towards digital innovation. This involves communication and collaboration among key stakeholders, especially senior executives, across every business unit—even ones you wouldn’t typically include.

Put simply, digital transformation is more than just digitizing your infrastructure before your competitors do. Yes, it’s about serving the growing number of digital consumers faster and better. But, more importantly, it requires a shift in organizational mindset and redefinition of business processes. The starting point for any digital transformation initiative should be a clear understanding among all business leaders (not just IT) about the nature, direction and projected outcomes of the transformation.

What does the discovery process look like? It can be summed up in three key steps:

  1. Situational Assessment: Executives across every LOB need to weigh in and agree on business drivers and expectations. Insights derived from this assessment should be used to map out short- and long-term business goals and key digital strategies to ensure organizational alignment.
  2. Opportunity Prioritization: Identify target applications and technology architectures, then determine how these new solutions will affect existing technologies and align with core needs (i.e., operational savings, CX improvements). In parallel, use this time to identify, analyze and prioritize gaps between existing and planned processes.
  3. Roadmap Creation: A detailed roadmap helps you finalize digitization plans before implementation. It should outline phasing strategy sequences, risk mitigation plans, and project feasibility reports that define the timeline, dependencies, costs (and return) and controls of each digital initiative. Consider this your digital transformation playbook.

Digital transformation is the foundation of how organizations will succeed or fail. Check out our eBook, Fundamentals of Digital Transformation, to learn more about this discovery process—the first of a five-step plan for creating a foolproof digital transformation strategy. Let me know what you think. We are here to help and happy to discuss.

Use Data Analytics to Create Incredible Hotel Guest Experiences

It’s safe to say that organizations are getting serious about data analytics. Overall, nearly 60% agree that analytics improve the customer journey, with 41% currently using analytics to customize the customer experience (CX).

Not bad, but we can do better. In fact, we must. Personalized customer experiences, no matter how effective, mean nothing if they’re siloed within the end-to-end brand journey. Consumers use a variety of connected devices and channels to engage—they’re generating, consuming and sharing an exorbitant amount of data in the process (up to 2.5 quintillion bytes each day). It’s imperative that brands seamlessly share and analyze the data within each individual experience across the entire brand journey—that is, organization wide—to drive desired customer outcomes.

So, why is it that 64% of companies currently lack data analysis capabilities that combine data from all channels? Why do only 42% share customer intelligence data organization wide? When it comes to data analytics, there’s a clear gap both in organizational awareness and implementation that must be quickly closed. This is especially true for one of the most rapidly digitizing industries: hospitality.

Data-driven Innovation within Hospitality

There are more ways than ever for guests to interact and engage with hotels: sophisticated mobile apps, virtual concierges, interactive kiosks—and any number of intelligent, connected “things.” A new portfolio of advanced, data-driven solutions has reimagined the guest experience, and industry leaders are quick to get on board to drive revenue and competitiveness. Consider that 81% of hospitality managers are striving to create high-functioning mobile apps within the next five years, and 62% are leaning towards the development of smarter in-room communication hubs. These digital developments require a sophisticated level of data exchange to deliver value. Data isolation is simply not an option.

The bottom line is that hotels must be able to ubiquitously share customer knowledge to differentiate the guest experience. With data seamlessly existing across all teams, processes, and customer touch points, employees can track, share, and use relevant information in a way that truly delivers value.

Imagine, for example, a front desk worker seeing through the reservation system that a guest’s flight has been delayed an hour, so he sends an SMS informing the individual that his or her room will be held until arrival. Picture a housekeeping employee bypassing a room during her morning rounds after seeing through the CMS that the guest requested a late checkout due to a late-night concert. Consider an event planner preparing a virtual tour of a grand ballroom after seeing a series of live chat sessions in which a guest expressed concerns about décor and room size.

Making Data-rich Guest Experiences Your Standard

Data analytics are expected to drive the most enterprise change—but analytics are also perceived as the most complex of 21st century technologies. Nevertheless, organizational success largely depends on data integration and analysis. By implementing technology that is inherently built to support a smart digital world, hoteliers can begin sharing and analyzing data from virtually any source to build custom solutions that meet exact customer needs. Data collected across reservation systems, property management systems, call center systems, affinity programs, outside travel agencies and more can be analyzed to begin gaining a contextual visualization of the end-to-end customer journey.

It’s one thing to talk about data-driven guest experiences, but it’s another thing entirely to see them in action. Avaya will be attending HITEC 2017, the world’s largest hospitality technology show, to demo innovative products and solutions for hospitality leaders looking to transform their data analytics strategy. If you’re attending, stop by Booth # 2627 to see the power of intelligent data exchange or to pick our team’s brains. HITEC 2017 takes place June 26-29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.