Speaker Notes on Telecommunication in the Workplace

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Slide 2: Communication is the key to a successful working relationship. In health care, a strong working relationship with all team members, including the patient, is important in assisting the patient to return to an optimal state of health. Communication is a two-way street between the sender, and the receiver. The sender will transmit the message, and the receiver will decipher the message , , and can respond back. Communication can occur face-to-face using verbal, and nonverbal cues. However, the invention of telecommunication has transformed the way many communicate. Today, people communicate via distances without even seeing the other person. Of course, advantages, and disadvantages come with the line of telecommunication. In this presentation, the history of telecommunication will be examined, types of telecommunication seen in health care, advantages, and disadvantages of telecommunication will be explored, and the future of telecommunications will be discussed.

Slide 3: “The word telecommunication derives from the Greek word tele, meaning over a distance, plus the word communication. Thus, putting these two parts together, you get telecommunication-communication that spans a distance” (tele book). Telecommunication encompasses voice, video, and data transmission. Voice includes the telephone, radio, and wireless phone service. Video includes television (cable and satellite). Data includes computers, Internet, and networks.

Society has come a long way in the development of telecommunication. Many years ago, society relied on the Pony Express to deliver handwritten letters across a distance. The invention of the telegraph, and telephone transformed communication to a new level. The wait to receive a message dropped from days to minutes. Now, the user simply has to turn on the computer to send a message or chat live with another person. The need for instant communication is now more important than ever.

Slide 4: We live in the technological age, and society wanting information now. People do not want to wait around for the answer and can easily access the Internet for an answer to their problems. Research has shown that the more accessible the provider is the more likely the patient is satisfied. A 2005 study by Brown University found that patients would prefer to seek medical advice via the Internet if their physician is difficult to see. “Policy makers are beginning to target health care as an area where information technology can improve service delivery, promote efficiency, educate consumers, and increase satisfaction with medical care” (Miller & West, 2009, p. 20).

Physicians will need to become more accessible to patients. Many physicians already have a telephone triage nurse to take in calls from patients, but patients want more access to the physician quickly. This includes the ability for patients to email physicians with general questions and receive a response in a timely manner. The physician can evaluate the question and determine if the patient needs to be seen in person and can instruct him or her to make an appointment.

The ability to transfer data wirelessly has transformed the care patients are receiving. For example, there are programs for diabetic patients to upload their blood sugars daily, and transmit them to their physician. The physician can make adjustments to the patient’s medication regimen, and monitor his or her response. This will cut down on office visits and unnecessary hospitalizations (Austin, 2003).

Slide 5: As stated earlier, telecommunications includes three areas: voice, video, and data. The health care industry uses all three. Most hospitals, clinics, and physician offices have voice , and data devices installed. The devices include telephones, cell phones, pagers, computers, fax, networks, and the Internet. This provides ease in keeping in contact with patients, and other providers involved in the care of the...
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