No desktop, no problem—productivity and collaboration tools for mobile health workers

22 August 2013 | Sumit Virmani, Director, Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector

Many in today’s health workforce don’t have a dedicated desktop PC. But they still need productivity and collaboration tools to do their job from wherever they and their patients are. And often they’d like to have access to such tools from their own mobile devices. I hear from health organizations all the time that they want to provide these capabilities to their staff but need to do so in a way that’s compliant and aligned with their organization’s other systems and processes. And that’s where Microsoft Office 365 subscription-based cloud services can help.

Office 365 offers multiple options for equipping mobile health professionals with tools to help them be more productive and collaborate better from anywhere using most any device. Perhaps some staff only need email, instant messaging (IM), voice, video, and content sharing; others could benefit from email, IM, and Office Web Apps; and some could really use the full Office suite. Health organizations can mix and match as necessary. This way, rather than turning to apps that aren’t necessarily compliant and security-enhanced, mobile staff can use Office 365 apps, which are enhanced for security and compliance. For example, instead of using public file-sharing systems to share sensitive data with team members, mobile health workers can use SkyDrive Pro, which is HIPAA-compliant.

Using Office 365 native apps on Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android-based devices, deskless health professionals can work better with one another and their patients for a number of important clinical and administrative scenarios. Here are three examples:

Easy access to patient data during consultations. When a clinician consults with a patient and needs quick access to information on that patient that another clinician may have captured, for example, he or she can easily pull up shared patient records using SharePoint Online or SharePoint Mobile. Or the clinician can call, IM, or video another care team member using Lync Online.

Streamlined collaboration within and across organizations. Clinical and administrative staff can communicate and collaborate more efficiently. If a nurse or administrator has a question for someone in another department or organization, for example, he or she can use Lync Online to see who’s available and the fastest way to reach that person to get an answer. Dispersed nursing and administrative teams can also easily conduct video team meetings using Lync Online or collaborate on documents using SharePoint Online and familiar Office apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Efficient home visits. When case workers visit patients and clients in their homes, they can quickly capture notes and flip through patient notebooks using the touch and pen capabilities of OneNote on their Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices. They can even take a photo of an injury and instantly add it to the patient’s record. Plus, the information they capture can be made available immediately to other care team members via SkyDrive Pro.

These are just a few of the ways that Office 365 apps support the needs of today’s mobile health workforce. I look forward to continuing to share more examples of how these apps—which provide a synced, familiar experience across devices, platforms, and browsers—equip health professionals to be more productive and collaborate better from anywhere.

In the meantime, you can learn more here and here. Or read my previous blogs on the new Office right here. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out via Twitter, post to our Facebook, or email us at

Sumit Virmani
Director, Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector

Microsoft in Health Blog

About the Author

Sumit Virmani | Director, Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector

Sumit Virmani, director in Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector, is responsible for strategy and marketing of collaboration technologies in the health industry globally. Read more