Technology advances have made it possible for small businesses to access collaboration and conferencing solutions previously reserved only for big enterprises. With the rise of cloud communications and innovations to traditional tools like audio, video and web conferencing, the hardware costs and hands-on technical support requirements associated with collaboration technologies have dropped dramatically. As a result, robust business communication suites are much easier to manage and more affordable for small businesses to install, maintain and optimize over the long term.
Hancock Regional Hospital
Despite the newfound availability of these solutions, many small businesses are challenged to understand how innovative collaboration technologies can impact their operations on a day-to-day level. Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, Indiana, is one example of a small organization creatively using web meeting technology to increase collaboration and solve meeting attendance issues and inefficiencies.
At Hancock, Dr. Michael Fletcher is a widely recognized physician and medical professional. He’s an MD, MBA, FHM, FACP, Vice President Medical Staff Services and Chief Medical Officer, but one of his biggest sources of professional pride recently is leveraging technology to advance the learning and patient care initiatives at Hancock.
Solving the Commuter Dilemma
One of the challenges Dr. Fletcher faces is collaborating with his staff when they have frenetic schedules and commute 30 minutes or more to the hospital. He meets regularly with his team and works closely with them in order to achieve their goal of ongoing education and providing quality care to patients by improving hospital processes. For a variety of reasons, it is difficult to get his staff members around a table at the same time, and, as a result, there is often low in-person attendance. Similarly, participation via audio conferencing is not as effective for engaging the group and ensuring the education has maximum impact.
The Cure for the Common Meeting
To avoid the common pitfalls of remote meetings and conference call-based training, Dr. Fletcher wanted a way to share audio, on-screen information AND video of the room. He felt it was valuable for participants to emulate live, in-person discussions and knew their engagement levels and absorption of information would increase with a multi-media experience. To accomplish this, Dr. Fletcher needed a reliable web conferencing and video set-up that was easy to set up and manage for all members of his staff.
With a very busy schedule and so many web and video conferencing options on the market, Dr. Fletcher chose to utilize a third-party advisor, Select Communications, to evaluate vendors and determine the best solution. After reviewing requirements, the team at Select recommended GoToMeeting and helped Dr. Fletcher understand the various benefits GoToMeeting offers in relation to his needs. To make the transition as seamless as possible, Select aided in the installation and integration of the system and handled staff training. Dr. Fletcher had a single point of contact for his technology suite and didn’t have to burden his IT staff to make it happen.
Prescription for Success
It didn’t take long for Dr. Fletcher to realize that GoToMeeting had succeeded in solving his challenges – and then some. He felt the web and video conferencing offered a host of immediate benefits:
- Solved the commuter dilemma by allowing remote participation
- Resulted in better participation in meetings and more engagement
- Enabled the staff to attend meetings in between their appointments with patients
- Proved useful for future needs like collaborating on grand rounds
Other features of the web and video conferencing capabilities are a bonus, such as the ability to launch meetings from any location and to record meetings allowing those who can’t attend to share the experience at a later time. Dr. Fletcher has since expanded his use of GoToMeeting for training sessions and executive functions, and continues to look for ways to employ collaboration and conferencing technology to improve care.