How IPTV can improve hospital service

By Michael Chorpash
Michael Chorpash, Vice President at VITEC, explains the benefits of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) for hospital patients, their families and staff...

Michael Chorpash, Vice President at VITEC, explains the benefits of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) for hospital patients, their families and staff

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is rapidly emerging as a critical element in the digital transformation initiatives of hospitals looking for opportunities to reduce costs, elevate efficiency and harness intelligent automation to improve the experiences of patients, visitors and staff alike.

According to analysts at Frost & Sullivan, the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 across the world has overburdened hospitals with a huge influx of patients. Traditional hospitals that rely on manual and analog methods have been unable to handle the huge patient load with limited resources. As hospitals embark on initiatives to improve outcomes, administrators are looking for ways to divert non-clinical resources to activities that contribute to the health and wellbeing of patients under their care. 

It is in this context that current video systems are being reevaluated to determine how they support a variety of applications in hospitals. In addition to offering in-room entertainment to patients, video today is being used to:

• Keep hospital staff informed of important developments in their facilities;

• Train and educate doctors and nurses; and 

• Communicate important messages -- through digital signage -- to visitors and personnel in common waiting areas.

When it comes to video services however, the current situation in hospitals is, for the most part, highly fragmented and very complex. Separate solutions -- and indeed entire infrastructures -- have been created to support different video applications. This leaves hospital leadership with the task of managing an array of overlapping video delivery technologies to address the needs of the diverse constituencies they serve. 

It is not uncommon to find hospitals using a mix of coaxial-based cable TV, closed-circuit video communications and proprietary digital signage networks. Each of these highly siloed applications often require dedicated infrastructures and staff. This leads to major capital and operational expenditures. 

As hospitals explore their technology modernization options, there is growing recognition that IPTV can be an ideal solution for addressing the full array of hospital video needs.

IPTV Addresses the Complexity and Cost of Legacy Video in Hospitals

IPTV consolidates multiple applications onto a single data network which can be centrally managed and controlled in an automated fashion. Hospitals can tailor the delivery of specific content in a secure and efficient manner based on who individuals -- or groups -- are, by allowing IT departments to leverage role-based access control and advanced encryption technologies on their enterprise networks. 

This solution makes it easier for hospitals to provide patients, visitors and staff with managed access to different categories of content -- whether it is video on demand, live broadcasts, or proprietary hospital programming. In so doing, it allows hospital leaders to deliver more value with fewer resources.

IPTV also creates opportunities to streamline operations and improve service to administrative and clinical functions. Many hospitals, in addition to operating central facilities, also run smaller clinics throughout the communities they serve. The open, intelligent nature of IPTV networks makes it possible for IT staff to remotely manage and deliver consistent video-based services to these clinics. This elevates the patient experience and improves employee productivity.

Security a Major IPTV Benefit for Hospitals

Hospitals deal with the most sensitive categories of personal information. Patient data is governed by an increasingly complex array of federal, state and local rules designed to protect consumers as the volume of data generated -- and consumed -- by hospitals rises exponentially. 

It is for this reason that the most effective IPTV solutions utilize security measures based on technology developed for military and intelligence agencies to deliver Department of Defense-grade encryption technology. This ensures that all video services delivered over a hospital’s enterprise network are protected to ensure the privacy of patients and security of content is continuously maintained.

In short, effectively deployed IPTV strategies can play an important role in helping hospitals modernize their technology infrastructures to enable truly patient-centric operations.


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