Category Video Communications

Look to the Cloud for Collaboration

Joseph Laezza, SVP of UCC and Service Solutions for AVI-SPL, explains why cloud-based collaboration systems can be the right choice for cost-conscious companies that want the ability to bring together onsite and remote workers, and quickly scale those systems as their organizations grow. With the changing nature of work — more remote employees, and an emphasis on teamwork — cloud-based services are, as Joe explains, a valuable option.

Read “What the Cloud Means for UC” and then contact us at 866-559-8197 or sales@avispl.com to set up an analysis of your enterprise and how it can be improved for collaboration among your team members.

AVI-SPL Launches Desktop Collaboration App

AVI-SPL is proud to announce the launch of our Unify ME desktop application – a free, easy way to connect to meetings from your PC or Mac.The new Unify ME desktop application enables users without their own hard or soft endpoint to join virtual meetings from their PC or Mac. The app is now available to download for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X. Simply install the app – nothing else is needed to participate in meeting using the Unify ME VMR platform.

Download the Unify ME Desktop Application:

Unify ME for Microsoft Windows | Unify ME for Apple OS X

Features of the Unify ME Desktop App:

  • Join virtual meetings directly from your PC or Mac
  • Voice, video & content sharing
  • Basic conference controls: add or disconnect users, muting, presenting & more
  • View roster of meeting participants, so you always know who’s on the call
  • In-meeting group chat

Need help? Contact VMR-Support@avispl.com

Webinar: Create a Collaborative Workplace Culture

Companies know collaboration improves the flow of ideas and increases productivity. And you may have the latest in meeting room technology and a wide choice of diverse meeting spaces, but that does not mean your employees are necessarily collaborating. So how do you ensure your workers effectively connect with one another?

Attend the webinar, “How Does Workplace Strategy and Office Configuration Allow for Improved Collaboration?” to learn how to best create a collaborative workplace culture in the final webinar of this 3-part series on the subject.

The webinar, facilitated by Peter Smit, a thought leader in measuring organizational collaborative performance, will be presented by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and Cisco on Friday, November 20 @ 10 AM PT, 1 PM ET.

90% of Healthcare Providers Already Developing Telemedicine Options

According to a survey from Foley and Lardner LLP, 84% of C-level healthcare executives feel telemedicine is very important to their organizations and 90% have begun to develop or implement a telemedicine program.[1]

Part of the drive to telemedicine comes from the growing shift from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement models.  This means healthcare organizations must improve care while lowering costs. Providers are quickly coming to realize that telemedicine deployment is effective in helping to achieve both goals.

There are four major areas where a telemedicine implementation can be especially beneficial:

Patient-Centered Care

As the healthcare industry moves toward outcome-based care, focusing on the entirety of a patient care plan becomes crucial. Telemedicine enables providers and payers to interact face-to-face with patients regardless of location. Providers can easily make video calls to patients and physicians to answer questions or discuss issues regarding particular patient cases. A telemedicine installation can also improve population health initiatives by providing better coordination between clinicians and patients.

Urgent/Specialty Care

A video deployment improves response time and the quality of care across multiple healthcare facilities or hospital networks. Lesser-used resources can be easily redeployed to better service patients in rural or urban areas. Deploying telemedicine carts in clinics and nursing homes can dramatically increase efficiencies for providers.

Home Care

A telemedicine deployment can reduce costs and make patients more comfortable by enabling healthcare professionals to provide quality care in the patient homes via video. Providers can better coordinate wellness and prevention programs by monitoring patients in their homes and patients can remotely discuss their health issues with a doctor or nurse.

Medical Education

Clinicians need to stay on top of the latest healthcare information but sending them to offsite seminars can be expensive. Using video, physicians and nurses can improve their medical knowledge and skills remotely in collaborative learning environments. Innovative training with content sharing, annotation, recording, streaming, and video lectures are all cost effective options with a telemedicine deployment.

The Reimbursement Obstacle

With so many obvious benefits, what is preventing more widespread telemedicine deployments? The biggest obstacle is still the issue of reimbursement. The F&L survey reports that 41% of respondents are not reimbursed for telemedicine services and 21% said they received lower rates from managed care companies for telemedicine than for in person care.[2]

Thankfully for healthcare organizations, this trend is slowly changing.

In 2013 Medicaid and Medicare began participating in the reimbursement of telemedicine services – a major breakthrough for the industry. However the legislation that enabled this reimbursement came from individual states, not the federal government, meaning the decision to opt-in on reimbursement was being made on a state-by-state basis.

Compounding the problem, those states that opted in only agreed to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement for what it referred to as “rural areas.” That means there are only a finite number of areas where service delivery is a challenge that are able to receive reimbursement. As a result, nationwide reimbursement is still not available.

Addressing the problem

The reimbursement issue still remains a significant roadblock and removing it would require action at the federal level to subsidize telemedicine programs. Today the federal government provides some help in the form of grant programs funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). More states are enacting and funding programs for telehealth and using some of the federal grant money to build and augment those programs. As an example, Delaware just passed legislation that creates payment parity for telemedicine services that offer the same level of care and expertise as in-person visits.

Telepresence video collaboration systems from Polycom designed and implemented by AVI-SPL are helping raise the level of quality in healthcare while controlling costs. As the national healthcare conversation continues to focus on these two areas, it’s only a matter of time before government and private payers resolve the reimbursement challenge.

[1] 2014 Telemedicine Survey, Foley and Lardner, November 2014
[2] 2014 Telemedicine Survey, Foley and Lardner, November 2014

 

How to Deal With Video Security in the Public Sector

Video conferencing improves the way we do business. But it’s vital that you stay on top of the latest cyber security issues related to videoconferencing, BYOD, and shadow IT.

This free whitepaper will explore:

  • The value of enterprise-grade video conferencing services and solutions
  • The resulting shadow IT risks and threats for organizations adopting BYOD policies.
  • How IT can promote secure, cost-effective, and performance-intensive video conferencing services.

If you are already using video collaboration systems in your agency or organization, or are considering adopting this very positive business trend, download Video, Security and the Risks of Shadow IT in the Public Sector.