Optimizing Communication: Phone Systems for Healthcare Organizations

Table of Contents

  • The Role of Mobile Devices and Apps in Healthcare
  • Prevalence and Types of Mobile Devices in Healthcare
  • Benefits of Mobile Devices for Healthcare Professionals
  • Mobile Apps for Healthcare Professionals
  • What are Medical Apps?
  • Categories of Medical Apps
  • Need for Mobile Devices at the Point of Care
  • How Healthcare Professionals Use Mobile Devices and Apps
  • Best Practices for Implementing Phone Systems in Healthcare Organizations
  • Assessing Communication Needs
  • Choosing the Right Phone System
  • Implementing and Integrating the Phone System
  • Training and Support for Healthcare Professionals
  • Ensuring Security and Compliance
  • Continuous Improvement and Monitoring


The role of mobile devices and apps in healthcare has become increasingly important in the digital age. Mobile technology is transforming the healthcare sector by streamlining processes, enabling real-time information sharing, and enhancing communication among healthcare professionals. The adoption of mobile health (mHealth) apps has also seen a significant increase, highlighting the demand for innovative solutions in healthcare. However, implementing these technologies is not without challenges. Healthcare facilities often face hurdles such as high implementation costs and regulatory oversight.

Despite these challenges, a unified effort from healthcare providers, technology developers, and policymakers is necessary to address concerns and ensure the affordability, accessibility, and security of mobile health solutions. In this article, we will explore the prevalence and types of mobile devices in healthcare, the benefits they bring to healthcare professionals, and best practices for implementing and integrating phone systems in healthcare organizations. We will also discuss the categories of medical apps available and how healthcare professionals can effectively use mobile devices and apps to enhance patient care. Additionally, we will examine the importance of training and support for healthcare professionals in adopting new phone systems, ensuring security and compliance, and continuous improvement and monitoring of these systems. With the right strategies in place, mobile devices and apps have the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes.

The Role of Mobile Devices and Apps in Healthcare

The digital age has undeniably made its mark in the healthcare sector, with mobile technology at the forefront. From streamlining processes to real-time information sharing, mobile devices and applications have become integral tools for healthcare professionals. This shift in technology use has led to a surge in mHealth app adoption, from 56% in 2012 to an impressive 77.4% in 2019. This increase underscores the existing demand for such innovative solutions in healthcare. However, the journey towards digitalization is not without hurdles. Implementation costs often pose a significant challenge, forcing healthcare facilities to seek alternative funding solutions or form strategic alliances to navigate the ever-changing technological landscape. Regulatory oversight is another critical aspect, with regulated mHealth apps under continuous scrutiny to ensure adherence to evolving standards and best practices. Resistance to change is a common phenomenon, especially when it comes to technology.

A unified effort from healthcare providers, technology developers, and policymakers is needed to address concerns, facilitate training, and ensure the affordability and accessibility of tech solutions. Let's also consider the impact of these technologies on regions with limited medical infrastructure, such as the village of Yogyakarta in Indonesia, now reaping the benefits of device services as part of a global initiative. Patient data privacy and security are paramount when developing a mobile health solution. Platforms like iplum, with its HIPAA compliance, robust security, and virtual phone capabilities, provide a viable solution. iplum's separate business line feature allows healthcare professionals to maintain client privacy without compromising personal contact details. Its cloud-based server system enables access to calls and messages from various devices, enhancing accessibility. The digital era brings both challenges and opportunities to the healthcare sector. By facing these challenges head-on, we can fully leverage mobile technology to enhance healthcare outcomes.

Distribution of mHealth App Adoption

Prevalence and Types of Mobile Devices in Healthcare

The rise of mobile devices in the healthcare sector has revolutionized the way organizations operate. These devices have become essential tools for healthcare professionals, providing instant access to electronic health records (EHRs), facilitating communication with patients and colleagues, and keeping practitioners updated on the latest medical research and guidelines. The Juan Misael Saracho Autonomous University in Bolivia, for instance, faced significant technological challenges between 2018 and 2022, which were exacerbated by the pandemic. However, through the adoption of mobile technologies, the university managed to overcome these hurdles and improve its capacity to support distance learning. Similarly, a hospital network saw a six-fold decrease in the implementation time for its electronic medical records system after standardizing procedures across the group. Mobile solutions have also been instrumental in improving patient engagement, with Prisma Health reporting a 71% increase in the rate of patients returning to use their app.

Moreover, the use of mobile devices has proven to be beneficial in managing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Mobile health (mHealth) apps allow healthcare providers to access clinical information, collaborate with care teams, communicate with patients over long distances, and facilitate real-time monitoring and interventions. However, despite their benefits, the use of mobile devices in healthcare is not without challenges. For instance, managing a fleet of diverse devices can prove difficult, and migrating from one device management tool to another can be time-consuming and laborious. There are also concerns about the security and cost implications of using smartphones in healthcare. Despite these challenges, the use of mobile devices in healthcare is on the rise, and with the right strategies in place, they can significantly enhance healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

Distribution of Benefits and Challenges of Mobile Devices in Healthcare

Benefits of Mobile Devices for Healthcare Professionals

The digital era has revolutionized the healthcare sector, transforming mobile devices into indispensable tools for healthcare delivery. They are no longer just a means of communication, but a resource for medical information, real-time communication, and remote patient monitoring. For example, consider Dr. Rashid Riaz, who utilized his Apple Watch's health-monitoring software to monitor an elderly patient's oxygen levels during a flight. This instance showcases the immense potential of mobile devices in augmenting clinical decision-making and patient care. Additionally, these devices aid in streamlining workflows and enhancing productivity by providing access to evidence-based resources, medical calculators, and drug reference databases. This enables healthcare professionals to make informed decisions expeditiously and effectively. Despite the challenges associated with technology adoption, such as the need for funding and compliance with stringent regulations safeguarding patient safety and privacy, the advantages are significant.

Mobile devices are improving patient outcomes, broadening access to care, and reducing healthcare costs. Here is where solutions like iPlum come into play. iPlum offers a secure communication platform with features like secure messaging, call management, and compatibility with external systems. Its provision of separate business lines for professionals allows them to communicate with clients without revealing their personal phone numbers. Plus, with its HIPAA-compliant communication options, it ensures data safety. In the future, the role of mobile devices in healthcare is only set to expand. They are setting the stage for a future where healthcare delivery is more efficient, personalized, and patient-centric, and solutions like iPlum are leading the charge.

Distribution of Mobile Device Usage in Healthcare

Mobile Apps for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals are increasingly harnessing the power of mobile applications to revolutionize communication in their field. These apps, tailored with features such as secure messaging, telemedicine consultations, and medication management, serve as valuable tools for enhanced collaboration and information exchange among medical teams. This has a domino effect on care delivery, making it more streamlined and effective. For instance, the collaboration with Gazamaza University in Indonesia and the deployment of devices in Yogyakarta serve as testament to the role of such applications in overcoming geographical barriers and improving medical welfare in areas lacking in infrastructure. Furthermore, these apps are not just limited to professional circles.

Platforms like 'Thanks And Praise' have enabled the general public to express gratitude towards healthcare workers, thereby fostering a positive environment. The demand for these apps is growing, with over 60% of the population showing interest in NHS-prescribed apps. These apps, which comply with HIPAA and other regulations, are developed with user-friendly interfaces and are compatible with the latest technologies. This user-centric approach has resulted in a significant rise in the use of medical apps, with 77.4% of physicians across different specialties incorporating them into their daily work. However, it's important to note that the cost of developing these apps can range from $25,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on factors like the app's features, complexity, and the platform it's developed for.

Distribution of Healthcare Professionals' App Usage

What are Medical Apps?

Healthcare-focused apps are not just digital tools, they are revolutionizing patient care, medical education, and clinical practice. These apps, which can be easily accessed on mobile devices, are as diverse as the healthcare field itself. They range from general-purpose platforms like electronic health record (EHR) apps to those specifically tailored to certain medical specialties or tasks. In places like Indonesia, where medical infrastructure is often lacking, these apps are proving to be a lifeline. They are enabling quick and easy preventive management, breaking barriers of time and space. In fact, these apps have been so impactful that Harvard University, along with other institutions in Kenya and South America, are discussing their adoption. However, the adoption of these technological innovations is a cautious process. As Dr. Devin Mann, strategic director of digital innovation at NYU Langone's Medical Center Information Technology, puts it, they are not rushing to roll out these tools. The focus is on understanding how these tools work and ensuring they improve overall care before wide-scale adoption.

A critical aspect of these apps is their user-friendliness and compatibility with the latest technologies. Telemedicine apps, for instance, are designed to be easy to use and comply with regulations like HIPAA. But it's not just about convenience, these apps are also about accessibility. They are bridging gaps in areas like depression therapy and psychological well-being care for children and adolescents. When it comes to public sentiment, there appears to be a sizable, affluent, and underserved market ready to embrace medical apps. In fact, about half of all adults in the UK said they would feel comfortable with being prescribed an app for treatment by their healthcare provider. The use of medical apps in everyday clinical practice has seen a steady rise. A 2018/2019 survey conducted among trauma surgeons across Germany showed that apps were regularly used by 64.7% of the respondents in their daily work and research. This trend has only grown with time, suggesting a continuing demand in this area.

Categories of Medical Apps

Medical apps are revolutionizing healthcare, offering functionalities that cater to diverse needs. These include:

  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) and clinical documentation apps
  • Apps providing medical references and drug information
  • Telemedicine and remote patient monitoring apps
  • Apps aiding medical calculations and decision-making
  • Patient education and self-management apps
  • Medical imaging and diagnostic apps
  • Continuing Medical Education (CME) apps
  • Apps for medical research and literature

Each type of app fulfills a unique purpose, equipping healthcare professionals with tools to streamline their daily practice. Telemedicine apps, for instance, are designed to be user-friendly and compatible with the latest technologies. They can range from $25,000 to over $100,000 in development costs, depending on their complexity and platform compatibility. Interestingly, a study revealed that 56% of physicians across 27 specialties used medical apps in their daily work in 2012. Fast forward to 2018/2019, 64.7% of trauma surgeons in Germany were regularly using medical apps in their daily work and research.

This trend has continued, with 77.4% of the surveyed specialties using medical apps, and a significant 87.4% usage among trauma surgeons. However, despite the increasing usage of medical apps, there are challenges. While many UK adults are comfortable with the idea of prescribed app treatments, many are hesitant to pay for them, with only 9% willing to pay £21 or more per month. This reluctance is largely due to a lack of trust in the technology. Despite these hurdles, digital health solutions continue to evolve, with continuous monitoring, updates, and evaluations ensuring they meet evolving standards and best practices. As the medical app market grows, it's clear these tools will continue to play an integral role in shaping the future of healthcare.

Distribution of Medical Apps by Functionality

Need for Mobile Devices at the Point of Care

Healthcare is a dynamic field, with mobile devices becoming the linchpin of modern care delivery. These devices are like magic wands in the hands of health professionals, bringing up patient records, analyzing test results, and consulting medical references on the go. They not only amplify clinical decision-making but also enhance patient safety and care delivery efficiency. Let's take a look at Evexia Telehealth's Gateway, a device that does more than just transmit patient data to the cloud. It takes patient engagement a step further by sending reminders for medication or even a warm greeting, fostering a two-way communication in healthcare. With this real-time data, securely accessible through a portal, healthcare providers can monitor patient health trends and act swiftly when needed. The introduction of 5G technology has turbocharged the use of mobile devices in healthcare, enabling remote surgeries and telehealth solutions. This technological leap gives patients more control over their healthcare journey, allowing them to connect with health professionals from the comfort of their homes, actively engage in their treatment plans, and efficiently manage their health.

A word of caution from Jessica Cormier-Breslin, director of clinical services for the US at Huma, is that the success of these technologies hinges on patient adoption. For many, especially those with chronic diseases, technology can be intimidating. Therefore, it's crucial for healthcare solutions to be patient-friendly and easily accessible for widespread adoption. Enter iPlum, a communication platform tailored for healthcare. It offers secure and HIPAA-compliant communication options, second phone numbers, virtual phone capabilities, and a phone system with extensions. It also integrates with external systems such as EHR and EMS, ensuring robust security, team management capabilities, and the privacy and security of customer data. With features like reliable VoIP call quality, and the ability to maintain the same phone number regardless of location, iPlum is a fitting solution for healthcare professionals needing secure and dependable communication. In essence, mobile devices are reshaping healthcare, making it more responsive, efficient, and patient-oriented. With ongoing advancements and increased adoption, they have tremendous potential to transform healthcare delivery.

Distribution of Mobile Device Usage in Healthcare

How Healthcare Professionals Use Mobile Devices and Apps

Mobile devices and applications have become indispensable tools in healthcare, with a myriad of uses that enhance communication and improve patient care. For instance, they are used in information management for accessing electronic health records, reviewing lab results, and updating patient records. They are also utilized for communication and consultation, with secure messaging apps enabling healthcare professionals to communicate with colleagues, consult with specialists, and coordinate care. Medical reference apps are also widely used for referencing and gathering information, providing easy access to drug information, clinical guidelines, and medical literature. Clinical decision-making is also supported by these tools, with medical calculation apps, clinical decision support tools, and diagnostic apps aiding in diagnosis and treatment decisions. Patient monitoring has been revolutionized with remote patient monitoring apps, which collect and analyze patient data, track vital signs, and manage chronic conditions.

For instance, an Apple Watch was used on a flight to gauge a patient's oxygen levels during a medical emergency, demonstrating the practicality and convenience of wearable health-monitoring devices. Furthermore, mobile devices and apps are used in the realm of medical education and training, providing access to educational resources, virtual conferences, and online training programs. A significant trend is the shift towards smaller, more flexible medical devices that improve patient experience without sacrificing accuracy and efficacy. However, challenges such as security concerns and cost implications persist, leading to a decrease in smartphone usage for clinical communications. Despite these challenges, the value of having a single platform to communicate with all devices is essential. Overall, the use of mobile devices and apps in the healthcare industry is expected to continue to evolve, addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities to improve patient care and operational efficiency.

Distribution of Uses for Mobile Devices and Apps in Healthcare

Best Practices for Implementing Phone Systems in Healthcare Organizations

In the healthcare sector, the delicate balance between maintaining effective communication and ensuring patient data security is paramount. The role of phone systems cannot be overstated, with missed calls potentially leading to undesirable patient outcomes or even the loss of patients to other providers. The digital age has ushered in innovative solutions, such as Internet Protocol (IP) phone systems. These are not just tethered to the physical premises of a healthcare facility, but can manage large datasets and enhance communication between healthcare providers and patients. However, a user-friendly interface and proper training are crucial to ensure their widespread adoption. Despite the technological advances, traditional communication devices like fax machines and pagers still have a role to play. With the healthcare industry's needs continually evolving, the role of smartphones may see changes in the face of emerging technologies and operational requirements.

One solution that bridges these communication gaps is iPlum. It offers a secure second phone number with HIPAA-compliant calling, texting, and voicemail capabilities, along with a phone tree with extensions. It also ensures clear communication through reliable VoIP call quality. IPlum's secure, cloud-based servers allow users to manage calls and access message history. The platform also integrates with external systems such as EHR and EMS via their API. And, to top it all off, iPlum offers a convenient app along with robust support resources for users. In essence, the future of healthcare communication could well be a blend of traditional and digital devices, all managed through a single, secure platform like iPlum.

Flowchart: Communication Workflow in Healthcare

Assessing Communication Needs

When it comes to updating phone systems in healthcare organizations, a comprehensive approach is required. It's not merely about swapping out outdated tech but understanding the organization's communication dynamics and identifying areas for improvement. The starting point? Evaluating current processes, highlighting what's effective, and identifying what's not. Consideration must also be given to the unique requirements of different departments and roles. A remote care team, for example, may have different communication needs than in-hospital staff. Cultural sensitivity in communication is another vital aspect. The perception of respect can vary widely across cultures, and it's essential to be mindful of this. The decision-making process can benefit from tools like the Digital Technology Assessment Checklist (DTAC) to ensure the technology meets the necessary standards.

But remember, effective communication isn't just about words. Non-verbal cues - like body language, facial expressions, and physical appearance - play a significant role. Be aware of potential barriers, such as language and cultural differences, conflicts, and mental or emotional pressure. Now, let's talk about solutions. iplum.com offers phone system solutions tailored for various industries, including healthcare. With iplum, you gain access to secure, HIPAA-compliant communication, virtual phone capabilities, and system integration. You can manage call and message history, configure your system, and maintain visibility and compliance. Plus, they ensure reliable call quality and offer numbers for the United States, Canada, and 800 toll-free lines. So, choosing a new phone system is not just about getting new technology. It's about enhancing communication to improve patient satisfaction and safety while ensuring efficient and effective operations within the organization.

Communication and Phone System Solutions in Healthcare

Choosing the Right Phone System

Healthcare organizations have a critical need for a phone system that caters to their unique requirements. This involves assessing the scalability, reliability, and user-friendliness of various systems, along with their compatibility with existing systems. Adherence to industry standards, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), is paramount. Take the example of Sun River Health, which noted a substantial increase in call answer rates and fewer dropped calls after incorporating RingCentral's suite of products. This led to smooth collaboration among healthcare professionals, administrative personnel, and support teams, allowing them to provide care for 250,000 patients across urban and rural areas. Iplum.com offers a unique solution to these challenges. Their phone system features secure and reliable communication, virtual phone capabilities, and integration with external systems. They provide a second phone number with secure HIPAA texting, calling, voicemail, and a phone tree with extensions.

This service is accessible globally through their advanced cloud platform, which significantly enhances the organization's efficiency and profitability. The type of phone system also matters. While digital phone systems routing call traffic over an Internet Protocol are dependable, an Internet phone system based in a data center located anywhere has its advantages. These systems can be implemented in a day and are easy to manage, making them a fitting choice for any healthcare organization. The need for advanced communication solutions in healthcare settings is on the rise. Nurse call systems, for instance, are predicted to see significant market growth by 2024. Emphasizing HIPAA compliance is essential. Any chosen phone system must safeguard sensitive patient information, ensuring patient privacy and security. In essence, a well-chosen phone system can significantly enhance communication efficiency and effectiveness within healthcare organizations, leading to improved patient care and satisfaction.

Implementing and Integrating the Phone System

Adopting a new phone system in healthcare organizations is a carefully coordinated dance. It begins with a dialogue with vendors to ensure the system fits like a glove to the organization's unique requirements. But the dance doesn't stop there. The system must be seamlessly woven into the existing infrastructure and software applications, like a thread that blends effortlessly into a tapestry. What's more, healthcare professionals must feel comfortable using the new system. To achieve this, they need thorough training and support, akin to a dance instructor guiding their students through a complex routine until they can perform it flawlessly. Let's take a peek at the real-world dance floor. A healthcare provider, struggling with communication issues, partnered with a technology team to create a user-friendly solution. They choreographed the Primary Care Physician Notification System, improving communication and increasing project speed threefold. Another healthcare system, UHealth, orchestrated a smooth transition between academic and healthcare domains using ServiceNow platform.

The results? They've been striking. Prisma Health, for instance, saw a 71% rise in patient app usage post-integration. In Armenia, the integration of laboratory systems improved the quality of patient care by providing complete lab test histories to healthcare providers. However, the dance of digital transformation is ongoing. Healthcare facilities must remain adaptable, ready to meet increased demands in times of crises. They must communicate effectively with patients, whether it's about device maintenance reminders or diagnostic results. After all, the dance of healthcare is about the entire platform serving both patients and providers. It's about using digital transformation to enhance data collection and knowledge, but also about ensuring these advancements reduce the digital burden on the workforce. With the right partners and choreography, healthcare organizations can tango their way to improved patient care and outcomes.

Flowchart: The Process of Adopting a New Phone System in Healthcare Organizations

Training and Support for Healthcare Professionals

The dynamic healthcare landscape necessitates effective communication. A crucial element is the implementation of a powerful phone system, but it's more than just the installation. It entails the proficient and secure use of the system by healthcare professionals. To achieve this, comprehensive training and continuous support, including user manuals, technical help, and training sessions, are required. The aim is to equip these professionals with the know-how to fully utilize the system. In addition, aligning the training program with organizational objectives and improvement of patient care is crucial. Active participation can be encouraged through incentives such as professional development opportunities, recognition, or tangible rewards.

As new skills are implemented, ongoing support through help desks, additional resources, or mentorship programs can smooth the transition. Here's where iplum, a communication service, comes in. It offers a secure and HIPAA-compliant phone system, perfect for healthcare professionals. iplum provides a platform to review important client information and conversations conveniently, and even integrates with external systems for usage management. Embracing features like second phone numbers, cloud-based servers for calls and messages, and secure text and voice messaging options, healthcare communication can truly be enhanced. With iplum, no call goes unanswered, no information is compromised, and no patient is left out due to communication gaps. All this can be managed via the iplum app or website, ensuring data safety and compliance.

Flowchart: Training and Support Process for Healthcare Professionals

Ensuring Security and Compliance

Facing the digital age, healthcare organizations are compelled to adhere to stringent security and compliance measures while embracing new technologies. A key player in this space is iPlum, a secure communication solution offering robust features tailored to address these needs. Imagine a cloud-based platform that streamlines HIPAA compliance with templated policies, incident reporting, and third-party verification. This is what iPlum delivers, enhancing your organization's credibility while ensuring patient data protection. Secure communication is the new order of the day, and traditional methods like faxing are being replaced by more efficient tools. iPlum offers a unique blend of old and new by providing a separate business line for healthcare professionals, allowing them to communicate securely without exposing their personal numbers.

The app also ensures that only authorized individuals gain access to sensitive data through its advanced access controls. With features like call and message history management, it effectively integrates with external systems like EHR and EMS, enhancing the overall workflow. The rise in cyberattacks highlights the need for such robust measures. The app's data encryption and HIPAA compliance features are designed to combat these threats, ensuring the privacy and security of patient data. In essence, navigating the digital landscape in healthcare requires a comprehensive approach. With iPlum, healthcare organizations gain access to a solution that combines cutting-edge technology, rigorous compliance measures, and a commitment to maintaining patient privacy and security.

Distribution of iPlum Features for Healthcare Organizations

Continuous Improvement and Monitoring

The journey of setting up a phone system in a healthcare setting isn’t a one-off event. It's a continuous cycle of assessment, feedback, and enhancement. It's about keeping an ear to the ground, listening to the needs and experiences of healthcare professionals using the system, and spotting room for improvement. Take, for instance, how Cisco experts helped Puntonet streamline operations, reducing the volume of logs by more than half from 200,000 to 90,000. They also implemented new software versions and protocols based on industry best practices, leading to a more efficient network and cost savings.

Similarly, the healthcare sector is embracing innovation and improvement through the adoption of as-a-service models. By focusing on technology that benefits both patients and providers, healthcare is stepping into an era of efficiency, customization, and patient-centered care. Moreover, a single platform for communication is crucial, as seen in the rising usage of pagers in hospitals and healthcare systems. It's important to keep up with these trends and ensure that your phone system is HIPAA compliant and able to cater to the evolving communication needs. Regular updates, maintenance, and a reliable infrastructure are essential to keep the system running smoothly and securely. This approach not only addresses current needs but also lays a strong foundation for future advancements, ensuring the continuous evolution and improvement of patient care.

The Flow of Setting Up a Phone System in Healthcare


In conclusion, the article highlights the growing importance of mobile devices and apps in the healthcare sector. The digital age has brought about significant advancements in technology, enabling healthcare professionals to streamline processes, access real-time information, and enhance communication. The adoption of mobile health (mHealth) apps has also seen a substantial increase, indicating the demand for innovative solutions in healthcare. However, implementing these technologies comes with challenges such as high costs and regulatory oversight. Despite these challenges, a unified effort from healthcare providers, technology developers, and policymakers is necessary to address concerns and ensure the affordability, accessibility, and security of mobile health solutions. It is crucial to invest in training and support for healthcare professionals to effectively adopt new phone systems while ensuring security and compliance.

With the right strategies in place, mobile devices and apps have the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes. To fully leverage the benefits of mobile devices and apps in healthcare, it is important for healthcare organizations to take action now. By embracing innovative solutions like iPlum's secure communication platform with HIPAA compliance features, healthcare professionals can enhance communication efficiency while safeguarding patient data. It is essential to continuously monitor and improve phone systems to meet evolving standards and best practices. Let's seize this opportunity to transform healthcare delivery for the better. Start now with iPlum!

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