CDW: Hospitals more likely to adopt communications plan over counterparts

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Hospitals are more likely to have prepared a business case or strategic plan for unified communications than their counterparts in ambulatory and long-term care facilities, according to a tracking poll from CDW.

Unified communications is the convergence of enterprise voice, video and data services and software applications to achieve greater collaboration among individuals or groups and improve business processes. The intended results are reduced costs, increased productivity and improved decision making, according to CDW, based in Vernon Hills, Ill.

In December 2009, 915 IT decision makers were surveyed online. Respondents worked in healthcare organizations (150), midsize and large businesses (154), federal (150), state and local government agencies (150), higher education institutions (161), and K-12 public school districts (150).

CDW established the annual Unified Communications Tracking Poll in 2009 to monitor current attitudes, approaches and progress toward adoption of unified communications technology. While unified communications implementation rates remain steady overall compared to one year ago, the percentage of organizations that have prepared a business case or strategic plan for unified communications adoption has increased 12 percent since 2009, from 55 percent to 67 percent in 2010.

At a glance, the top unified communications concerns for healthcare organizations were capital costs and service quality but respondents stated that the top benefits were reduced operating costs and increased productivity. Additionally, healthcare organizations are more likely to have audio-conferencing and unified messaging in place than the other responding industries, the report concluded.

In terms of unified communications adoption, the majority (36 percent) of healthcare respondents are in the planning phase while 35 percent are assessing adoption, 17 percent are implementing unified communications and 12 percent are deploying unified communications, the report found.

Those in the healthcare industry that prepared a unified communications business case or strategic plan increased 11 percent from 58 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2010.