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Video conferencing in Healthcare

Aged care provider Feros Care has seen a quick return on its investment in a new video conferencing facility, estimating its new solution has paid for itself in 13 months mainly through a reduction in travel and accommodation expenses for care staff.

Feros Care, which is also providing telehealth services over its new LifeSize system, predicts that when multi-party conferences, desktop-to-desktop and mobile-to-desktop conferences are included, the system will have paid itself off within three to six months.

Last year, Feros Care purchased seven LifeSize room-based systems and a LifeSize Passport device, which allows users to make point to point video conferences from anywhere. Mr Payne said that before introducing video conferencing, Feros Care was trying to run a centralised business without using centralised collaborative tools.

“We would spend a lot of time hiring venues and going to meetings as we don’t have a traditional office structure,” Mr Payne said. “We only have six offices and we have a lot of staff who work from home. What that means for Feros Care was that we weren’t getting that communication out to staff. They were very isolated out there and they weren’t feeling a part of the organisation.”

The not-for-profit was spending large amounts of money in accommodation and travel costs for staff coming in for monthly meetings, as well as when new staff were being interviewed and recruited. Thirteen months later, Mr Payne said the use of video conferencing had changed pretty much everything Feros Care does in terms of procedures and processes. “We don’t have to have staff meetings where everyone has to come in. We do them all by VC.”

He said the company estimated it would need to be doing 18 site-to-site conferences every month – which have an average cost of $403.22 – to achieve its forecast return on investment, but staff have taken to the technology so well that they are doing about 60 site-to-site VCs a month.  “What that doesn’t include is our desktop-to-desktop VCs,” he said. “We have now just about chalked up 7000 desktop-to-desktop video conferences, and it has changed the way we work.”

The combination of room and desktop VC equipment has allowed Feros to dramatically change the way the company operates, aiding efficiency by cutting travel time and accommodation costs. The greatest benefit however is the increase in staff communication and wellbeing; this is something that companies state over and over again as the true value of incorporating video conferencing into their companies’ operations.

Any company who has invested in video conference equipment can get a great ROI by using public video conference facilities to link from thier facility with those who do not have access to the necessary equipment.