The Medical Field is Ripe for IP Transformation

I ran across this blog by Houston Neal of Software, on seven great applications for IP-PBXs in the medical field, which is a good start to laying out what can be done in different vertical markets with IP, particularly in the medical field, which is ripe for transformation. Houston points out, that in his practice of advising companies of free software to help in business, that in the medical field he believes that there is a lot to be gained by integrating IP-PBXs with electronic health records (EHR) and practice management systems. I couldn’t agree more. He then lays out the seven great applications he feels would be the result of combining voice and data using open source technology.

I’ll leave you to read his blog, but here is his list with some of my comments.

  • Patient screen-pops – this isn’t just something that would benefit medical practices, in the traditional PBX world, its 21 year old technology that even today is so underused that it has most contact center analysts tearing their hair out
  • IP faxing – Couldn’t agree with Houston more. Whereas faxing has gone the way of the Dodo in some fields, in others, such as medical, it’s still a big necessity.
  • Appointment reminders – Sure thing, and lots of other outbound reminders, from pre-surgical instructions to education.
  • Find me, follow me
  • Dunning Voicemails – Hmm. I like this title about as much voicemail jail, and prefer to call it outbound collections or something like that.
  • vPrescribing – Otherwise known as automated prescription refill. This is even better when combined with education for the patient about the drugs they are taking.
  • Patient-centric recordings – IVR with personalization – extremely hot in the industry right now.

That is enough on my comments on his list. Here are a few I think he missed.

  • Radiology dictation using speech recognition packages. I doubt this is open source free at the moment, but streaming dictation reports over an IP Network to a database that is then accessible to all parties that need that information is a great application.
  • Unified communications applications other than find-me-follow-me. How about collaboration software, presence, IM, video. All of these can greatly enhance the productivity of medical personnel.
  • Expert agents outside the contact center – IP Telephony provides a great opportunity, particularly when combined with UC functionality, of being able to bring in experts into a call with a doctor or patient, that aren’t part of the contact center.

OK, that is my short addition of what I’d like to see. I’m going to go check out some of the other verticals Houston works with.

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