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The medical profession is always in flux -- the latest studies and latest findings all bear weight on how a doctor or a nurse can treat patients.  A shift in the provision of healthcare services towards systems of care, which includes early immersion in patient-centered care right from medical schools, where aspiring medical professionals need to be trained with smarts and people skills, and consider the patient’s life circumstances and personal preferences on top of symptoms and vital signs, is also a revolution underway.

 

Getting the most recent information and training is a huge benefit of implementing a collaborative medical education network indeed.  It will provide the much needed access to subject matter experts who are now in such high demand.  While it is almost some wonderment on its own that students can watch a surgery performed thousands of miles away by an expert in a speciality, learning from the best in real time, it is even more notable that this face-time from the start of their medical journey allows these doctors-to-be to learn much better when they learn a body of knowledge in the context in which it is going to be used. A good example of this is found at the AZ Sint-Jan Hospital in Bruges, Belgium.  Equipped with Polycom collaboration solutions in their surgical theatres, the hospital can broadcast live surgery and procedures as part of its medical curriculum.  They also broadcast live lectures while recording them for those students who are unable to attend, and for online reference material.

 

Importantly, H2H video collaboration puts that early training into real-world settings that gives them experience working with other health professionals and real patients, honing their people agility and relating skills. Various researches, including a study by Michigan State University, found that when trust and empathy are associated with positive physician-patient encounters, the brain actually changes its response to stress and increases pain tolerance, patients are also more compliant with their treatment regiments, and less likely to experience complications along the road.

 

Silver Chain is another success story for video collaboration putting a face to medical education. It began as a humble district nursing service in Australia's largest state, Western Australia, but is now one of the largest providers of community, clinical and health care services assisting over 40,000 people each year in Western Australia. The leverage of video collaboration has driven considerable behavioural changes in the way Silver Chain's wide network of nurses and volunteers deliver patient care, enabling the sharing of best practices in bedside manners and outcomes in patient care.

 

Needless to say, the education of medical professionals has become more multi-faceted than basic science or clinical care. Professionalism, respect for other and commitment to serving others, as well as how to deliver safe and effective care within a complex system, including everything from reducing errors to understanding costs are just some of the competencies on the checklist of what it means to be a good doctor or healthcare professional. This needs a broad all-encompassing multi-disciplinary medical education network to reach multiple locations, medical schools to hospitals to healthcare regulatory organisations.

 

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For more information on how Polycom unleashes the power of human collaboration for a robust medical education network and puts a face to medical education, please visit our healthcare solutions page

 

This blog is part of a series of 25 blogs that take a look at how Polycom has transformed industries and business functions.

These blogs are a variety of retrospective, current and visionary perspectives with the common thread of unleashing the power of human collaboration. Follow the hashtag #Polycom25 on Twitter for tweets about this significant anniversary in our history.

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