I work at a hospital, in a research department. Surprisingly its more efficient to talk to people over the phone than it is through other means. You can only type so fast, and sometimes you need to use a lot words back and forth when you're talking with someone who's in a different field than you.
I'm not talking about help desk stuff... if a scientist needs clarification from an engineer about a technical problem.. the phone is the best method. If you are trying to recruit participants for medical experiments... the phone. If you are talking to someone from a different department about transferring data... the phone. If you are talking to a nurse or surgeon on a medical unit about a patient in a research study... the phone.
As always, just because the engineers think it will people time if they improve technology doesn't mean it actually will. Hospitals have tried replacing phones with other devices, and it just doesn't work. The phone is the simplest device for communication, and it will stay.
One of the biggest challenges engineers face is accepting that the current technology is adequate and that no radical changes are necessary.