Replace Phone Calls with Video for Personal Communication

When you’re consulting with staff at more than 300 hospitals, you know you need fast, effective and efficient ways to maximize your time with patients and fellow physicians.

Andrew Barbash, MD, is an active telemedicine neurologist with a large service provider in the industry. He works from his home base in Rockville, Md., but consults with patients, families and providers nationwide. Dr. Barbash was one of the first physicians to use Updox Video Chat and he’s found that it fits right into how he delivers care.  While the standard approach to video using dedicated carts is a significant element of many telemedicine cases, Dr. Barbash increasingly finds how useful, efficient and gratifying it is to have options of engaging people via secure text and mobile video, without requiring an app.

“Using video for healthcare is about workflow – not technology. If it is too difficult to use or requires an app, it won’t work for my needs,” he says. “Video is a very practical tool for assessing and delivering care but it can be intimidating for patients and families. Updox Video Chat is incredibly user-friendly. There’s nothing to download and it’s easy to use. I just need a cell phone number and, from there, I can text anyone a link. They click that and we’re able to securely video chat. It’s that simple.”

Dr. Barbash created a set of default messages and templates to streamline how he uses Updox Video Chat and to help patients and partners gain comfort with the solution. By clicking on the link, as referenced in his initial message, he’s documented patient consent for a video consultation – a process that might have taken several hours outside of the Updox solution. 

“I’m really impressed by what Updox offers. Now, I’m not constrained by the need for video carts, robotic webcam devices, wi-fi limitations or solution downloads.  And, most importantly, the in-hospital care teams do not need to download or install anything on their (or the patient/family’s) devices, no special technology permissions, etc. Nothing in the history of healthcare communications has anything that approaches that level of acceptance and usability that Updox offers,” he says.

As the field of telehealth continues to grow, Dr. Barbash sees Updox Video Chat adding unique value to the specialty. “Ten years ago, when I launched my telemedicine practice, I was a niche player. The field is now exploding but, for many, it’s still hampered by being tied to integrated technology. The hospital computer cart is in use somewhere else, the wi-fi isn’t strong enough, there isn’t a web camera. Sometimes, technology is so cumbersome and would take an hour to set-up a 10-minute consult. Now, those days are gone,” says Dr. Barbash. “Give me your cell phone number. Click a link and we can have a face-to-face consultation. It’s so freeing.”

“Every healthcare provider wants to be able to text or video call but not use their personal cell phone number. There really wasn’t a viable way to do that so we used messaging apps. Now, with Updox, you have that option as a secure, HIPAA-compliant tool with a dedicated inbox and you can do so much more with that also. Updox solutions layer on top of that inbox to let you be at your most efficient while also helping you maximize your time and maintain your own privacy.”

Feedback from patients has been great too. “They are amazed by how easy it is to use and that it is private and secure. I’m able to quickly and efficiently connect with patients, family members or other providers for care coordination. Updox Video Chat has not only improved my practice but it’s also personally satisfying to connect in a way that is so user-friendly,” says Dr. Barbash.

“Text is great and there is a definitely a value to it but there are times when a call is just that much better and more efficient. Updox Video Chat offers an even more enhanced experience and I appreciate having a secure, reliable, easy-to-use option from Updox for my patients and their families.”

“The best thing about this is that Updox created a technology that seemingly took away technology. There’s nothing to download, no special apps, no hardware. They truly simplified the process, and that’s been great for my patients and partners.”

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